Blog:Proleno - life, style, design

All posts in Manufacturers

In the spring of 2006, Alessi, the Italian Design Factory, re-classified its large product range into three sub-brands. Quoting from the Alessi site:

Officina Alessi welcomes the most challenging and refined products with delicate elegance, often crowning projects by internationally renowned authors…
Alessi is the main and the most traditional brand, expressing quality, technology and design…
A di Alessi is comprised of magic forms, colours, and materials, products which are more accessible to a larger public at decisively lower prices, and always with the mark of excellence.

As a retailer or a consumer, I’m not sure the distinction helps me very much. I can see the A di Alessi branding – the fun and functional products like the Dozi hedgehog paperclip holder or Mr Cold, the drippy-nosed soap dispenser.
Dozi paperclip holder Mr Cold soap dispenser
When it comes to the Alessi and Officina brands, however, I find it harder to make the distinction. Where do those design classics, such as the Juicy Salif or Michael Graves’ Bird-Whistle kettle belong?
Juicy Salif  juicer Bird Whistle kettle
Ultimately it doesn’t really matter. Alessi products across all the sub-brands share the same attention to detail and design aesthetic. With so many products there’s sure to be something for everyone to love!

A relative newcomer to the UK market, Gastroguss cookware is something a bit special. The manufacturer, AMT Gastroguss, is outfitter and sponsor of the German National Culinary Team (imagine a row of chefs on starting blocks). You don’t need to be a competitive cook, however, to appreciate the quality of their products. Each piece is individually cast in aluminium, then coated by blasting with titanium particles at supersonic speeds using a patented process. The result is a non-stick surface, without the use of Teflon, that is hard-wearing and durable.

I first encountered Gastroguss about 2 years ago when I bought the square griddle pan. At the time, the shop assistant told me that I would be back for more – and she was right! Two weeks later I was back for a set of saucepans and frying pans. Confirming their hard-wearing properties, they have withstood my assaults with metal forks, spoons and spatulas. I have managed to mark them, it’s true, but they retain their non-stick properties. It is recommended that you don’t put these in a dishwasher (which I haven’t) but cleaning with some soapy water is so easy that it isn’t a chore.
square griddle pan
If you are looking for quality cookware you should check out the Gastroguss range (they also have models suitable for induction hobs). Be warned, though, these pans may be made of aluminium but they are not light!