In October of 2015, we held a GRIZZLY Cookware pre-launch party at The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery. Writers, restaurateurs, foodies and friends were invited to see the unveiling of our innovative cast iron skillet with all...
At GRIZZLY Cookware, we are a team. We operate as one unit (pun slightly intended), but our entrepreneurial vision requires us to be collaborators, open to expertise from sources outside of our team. We approached Chef Kim Floresca & Chef Daniel Ryan, of [ONE] Restaurant, in the summer of 2015 to test an early prototype of our 12’ skillet. They were skeptical at first, with reason. Not only were we unknowns but talented chefs like Kim and Daniel are highly sought after. We were yet another company reaching out to glean their culinary wisdom. Despite initial reservations, Kim and Daniel accepted our invitation to provide crucial feedback for the continued development of our flagship product. We shipped pans a few hours up the road to Chapel Hill. Several months and email conversations later, we delivered one more batch of prototypes.
We entrusted our creation, which we are so fiercely proud of, to them, to be put through the ringer of busy meal times in a commercial kitchen. In turn, Kim & Daniel trusted GRIZZLY Cookware to complement their cuisine. They needed performance, versatility and efficiency. Would our pan hold up inside their rigorous atmosphere as we hoped and expected? Would they be open to working with us now and in the future? The answers we awaited, came with one of the most rewarding days since beginning our journey as GRIZZLY Cookware. Kim and Daniel exceeded our expectations.
We arrived at [ONE] Restaurant during their day off. After a quick Starbucks run, we were ready to catch up and hear about the past few months of testing. We listened intently as they discussed how our innovative cast iron, improved efficiencies in their kitchen and that they were creating new Spring menu items influenced by using the skillet. It was equally exciting to hear stories of the skillet’s consistent performance on a variety of cooking surfaces and the easier clean up that surprised even the toughest critics. One particular experience at [ONE] stood out and is worth sharing in more detail.
Kim and Daniel gathered their team around a large stainless steel prep table in the kitchen. Each member was given the opportunity to pick up and hold the skillet for a moment. Amidst the quiet, just observe and consider, what it is, and what descriptor first comes to mind. The words relayed back to us from the exercise were, “strong”, “tough”, “rugged”, and “durable”. Some team members offered vivid descriptions of an iconic visual that even we couldn’t have dreamed up any better. This exercise that Kim and Daniel facilitated with their team, gave our team more conviction for continuing on this path.
As we prepared to film and watch the skillet in action, all of the other equipment was unveiled and set out. The juxtaposition was striking. The toughest item in the restaurant, being made ready for the most delicate ingredients. Our excitement and nerves being contained (barely) in a quiet, tranquil, almost sacred, space. As Kim and Daniel artfully crafted, cooked and composed, it was easy to settle in, respectfully observing. Across the counter, Kathleen and Ruben effortlessly poured their talents through the lens and into producing. Our video partners were diligently capturing every explanation, every sizzle, and every colorful creation against the nickel coated backdrop. We were finally able to watch our skillet at work in its element.
The culmination of models and molds, ideation and execution, and finally in an environment in which it could excel. We stood back in awe, seeing each face light up with the realization that we had something really good and knowing that everyone in the room shared their passions and talents to help get us to that moment.
Wrapping up the day with interviews further affirmed that we chose incredible partners to help build GRIZZLY Cookware. Both husband and wife teams, immediately understood that our goal with GRIZZLY, is to be innovative while honoring tradition. The emphasis on quality and authenticity regarding every aspect of the day, be it the ingredients, food preparation, lighting, sound, interviews, and the pan itself left us itching to continue improving.
We are a team that places passion behind every thought, every product, and every video we create. Thank you, Kim and Daniel, Kathleen and Ruben. We left that day feeling elated, that our team of cast iron creatives had four invaluable new members. #getGrizzly