Design moment: Le Creuset, circa 1925
Cast iron cookware an essential piece of kit for any serious home cook
Each dish is created out of a sand mould and after casting, two layers of enamel are applied.
The vast range of colours now include grey, cream, red, various greens and white.
It’s not surprising that in the kitchen for her new TV series Nigella: At My Table there’s a Le Creuset cast iron oval casserole pan on view.
Of course there is. Any designer creating the ideal cook’s kitchen – and the one featured is a set – will consider the great French brand.
While it is investment-level expensive and gym-quality heavy, the cast iron cookware is an essential piece of kit for any serious home cook.
The brand was founded in 1925 by two Belgian industrialists, casting specialist Armand Desaegher and enameller Octave Aubecq who set up business in Fresnoy-le-Grand in France.
Each dish is created out of a sand mould and after casting, two layers of enamel are applied. Volcanic orange is the signature colour and the cocotte, or French oven was one of the original pieces and it is still one of the most popular items in the now vast range of cookware and kitchen related items produced by the global brand.
The second World War halted production but afterwards the company decided to focus on developing the colours and shapes of the cast iron ware.
In 1955 it launched the Elysées Yellow and three years later employed the superstar designer of the day, Raymond Loewy, who designed the Coquelle, a three-piece range including a casserole, saucepan and frying pan with the angular shape so typical of mid-century design.
The vast range of colours now include grey, cream, red, various greens and white. Innovations to mark social changes included a fondue set in the 1960s and a barbecue a decade later.