If you’ve been looking for Dutch Ovens from the Le Creuset search on EBAY, you will come upon vintage looking ECI pieces made in France that lack any manufacturer’s ID. There’s a good chance those are Staub Basix (or more recently Fontignac)–alternative names used to separate two completely different styles of product made by Staub. Classic Staub pieces have unique exterior and interior finishes and lid–all seemingly more expensive to manufacture. Staub is also an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for “Basix” and “Fontignac” product lines (I think) and uses a more traditional, less costly production approach–allowing them to be much more cost competitive against Le Creuset and Chasseur. A complete product line based on an older name Fontignac has recently sprung up that sells a range of products:
In the United States, Staub OEM products keep appearing with new names: Basix, Basix II, Staub Elite, Fontignac, Fontignac Fleur, Kirkland, Zwilling . . . .
About 1 1/2 years ago, I purchased a vintage Le Creuset lookalikes (26 cm–5 1/2 qt.) in gradated yellow–just like Le Creuset soliel. It was clearly a Staub Basix, but it had no identifying paperwork. It has a completely flat base that seemed to promise good connectivity with my induction unit. I immediately fitted it with my classic Staub steamer insert, and it has been a flawless workhorse ever since. A bit later, I purchased two “old fashioned” looking Basix gradated yellow 8 oz mini cocottes–this time with “wings” and the Staub matte black interior.
Last week, I received an 18 cm 1 1/2 qt. gradated yellow Basix (purchased on EBAY auction) with accompanying literature–listing a home address as Basix Cast Iron, Long Beach, California. I’ve been able to compare it, side by side, with similar sized Le Creuset and Staub Cocottes. I’m having great difficulty noticing any meaningful difference in quality between my Basix and either the Staub or Le Creuset products–and–my gradated yellow Basix Dutch Ovens look like they should have been made by Le Creuset.
Does anyone have any practical experience with any Staub OEM products (Basix, Basix II, Staub Elite, Fontignac, Kirkland, Zwilling, or?), either here or in Europe, or more knowledge about Staub OEMs? I’ve had zero luck getting much more information so far. Especially from someone familiar with the European marketplace. I’d love to learn more.