Int'l Housewares Assn Show--Unbelievable!

I have the great luck to be comped to attend this cookware show in Chicago this weekend, the 119th year of America’s best showcase of cookware.

This show fills McCormick Place Convention Center, and every corner is eye candy of amazing scale. It would take more than a full day just to cover the consumer cookware, and about 3 to also hit tablewares, organization, appliances and commercial/industrial wares. For cookware geeks, this show is Heaven on Earth.

Today I met the 6th-generation owner of Emile Henry, and tomorrow I have an appointment with Stanley Cheng, the owner of Meyer, one of the largest pan makers in the world.

Admission for mere attendees is free. And the REAL reps, not the retailers are knowledgeable and friendly. These are the people who KNOW how thick the layers are, and are happy to let you handle a $4K sushi knife. I will return next year even if I must pay for the trip myself.

After the show, I’ll try to post on some quality vendors who may be less known in USA, e.g., Woll.

3 days of fun yet to come.

Aloha,
Kaleo

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Very cool. Please post photos!

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Wow, that sounds amazing! Please get the scoop ! I’ve seen some very nice Woll items show up in the US discount channels, that is all.

Hi, Cath & Gooster:

Woll is working hard to have a larger US retail presence. I met with their International Director of Sales yesterday. They manufacture their own pans, so they are a target for licensing our hyperconductive pan technology.

I also met with the longtime head of product development of All-Clad. They have unveiled at the show a new pan line/construction that is quite odd. It employs what look like raised pimples on the pans’ floors. The construction is triply clad, but the aluminum directly beneath the pimples is NOT bonded to the lining. Essentially, the lining is pre-delaminated wherever there’s a pimple. I’ll see if I can wrangle a demo pan to try.

Tomorrow, I hope to meet with Stanley Cheng, the CEO of Meyer (80 lines worldwide). Cheng is probably the greatest cookware innovator in history, and is interested in our technology. They have created a glass-wall, secret inner sanctum within their enormous trade booth which contains their advanced prototypes (Looks just like Hannibal Lecter’s glass cage from “Silence of the Lambs”. or M’s lab in the Bond films). These include RFID and “smart” pans that interface with mobile devices and smart induction hobs. Extremely cool.

Finally, I got answers to my burning questions about Chantal Copper Fusion from Heida, the founder and owner, who works the floor just like her S&M reps. Very nice lady, with a great backstory to how she became the Queen of Teakettles.

I have a free half day tomorrow to explore all the esoterica and gadgetry, so I’m stoked.

Aloha,
Kaleo

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It sounds like a blast! I’m looking forward to your upcoming trip reports!

The All Clad dimples look similar to what Fissler has been doing for awhile. Here’s i picture of the All Clad http://www.hfndigital.com/housewares/ihhs-cookware-preview-scratching-surface-not/

And here’s a pic of Fissler http://www.fissler.com/products/frypans/lines_frypans/product_detail/product/p_solea_frypan-2.html?no_cache=1

The A-C full clad triply design uses little raised domes in the lining that protrude from the floor plane; the area under these is not bonded to anything. But there are no voids. It took SEB 5 years to make this work.

I do not know the details of the Fissler Solea manufacturing process, but I think the structure is continuously bonded disk base under a textured lining they call “crispy”.

The A-C pimples are also more widely spaced, whereas the Fissler texture is more a continuous ripple weave of hills and valleys.

I thought of you at the Alessi booth this morning. They chose to be far removed from the cookware and tools side of things, and are focused on their tablewares.

Our technology was well-received by both Fissler and SEB. And Meyer.

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Congratulations on your successful trip. Just don’t make our cookware obsolete with your innovations.

So basically the All Clad bumps are the same stated purpose as the Fissler bumps (and I think Silga/Rosle as well) — to make a pseudo nonstick surface. .

Thanks.

I think that’s a big part of it. There’s less food in actual contact with the pan, more in contact with any fat.

When I met with Bill Groll, he said that the bumps also improve the effective conductivity, but I’m a little skeptical about that. Nothing close to our 3-5x boost past copper.

Terrific, Kaleo,

I’m sure you’ll get some interesting impressions, but I wonder if you could explore and track down some sources of information for us.

Is there information at the show or anywhere that breaks down sales volume of various product lines in different parts of the world–and trends? I’d like to test my suppositions against some real sales data.

Ray

Sounds like great fun.

Those bumpy pans seem like a horrible gimmick to me and all those “reasons” seem like marketing BS. I’d be curious to hear from an independent source who has used one.

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Glad you’re having a good time, I hope next year, your product will be the talk of the town for several cookware manufacturers. Let us know when the contracts are signed (if you can). No gold plated copper swag I guess… well enjoy.

The cost of one-off prototypes is astounding. It looks like the upcharge in making it in production my be under 15% though.

Thats cool Kaleo,

All very interesting stuff. Thanks for the first hand info while attending the show.

I had seen the “crispy” description before but wasn’t exactly sure what it was referring to.

I was wondering why Woll didn’t have as much of a presence in the US. What about Spring? the Swiss made stuff. The Brigade line and the Vulcano ceramic look like good quality lines, but not really available here.

Spring was not exhibiting at the IHHS show. Nor were Falk or Cuisinart.

Thanks Kaleo,

Any idea what’s going on with Mauviel Copper? I have had some models on back order for awhile. You wouldn’t think they would be discontinuing it, but this one and few models have been out of stock for so long I am beginning to wonder about them. Mostly about 250c/b and some M’Tradition heavy gauge tinned.

I heard they were having production problems where they get the handles made or something, but maybe Mauviel has other plans with the line/s going forward. Any thoughts?

I’ve read the Mauviel use another company to cast their iron handles, and the caster had equipment problems, so that Mauviel was needing to substitute cast bronze handles until the iron foundry was back in production. But I also know that up until just a few years ago, there were more styles of pans available in the 250 line.

Hi, Ross:

I don’t know what’s up with them. They had a LOT of copper at the show. They’re a very conservative company. They keep their distributors at a distance, and there was no one from the corporate office who attended. Contrast this with Emile Henry, the 6th generation owner of which was there and actively involved.

I asked about the change to 2-rivet handles, and was told it was done to make room for the large “Mauviel” mark to be placed in between the two rivets.

They weren’t very friendly, and said some disconcerting things about upper management.

Aloha,
Kaleo

Let me get this straight. There is exposed aluminum to the food? How are they going to market this if it has exposed aluminum. It will be a small market.

Yeah more styles like the 250c saucier, who would of thunk that Mauviel would discontinue that one. The compatible pan/s by Bourgeat or Falk Im sure are still good sellers.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold