ATLANTA—Having been unveiled at this week’s Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market after two years in development, the cookware and accessories line from celebrity chef Cat Cora will debut to consumers today on QVC. Called the Cat Cora by Starfrit, the line initially launches with cookware, cutting boards and cutlery, and utensils, with more to come.
While consumers know Cora as an Iron Chef with a hard edge on the show Iron Chef America, both she and Starfrit wanted the collection’s message to incorporate her softer side as well, showing Cora as a modern mom of four children. Products include the Cook’n’Serve, a stainless steel casserole piece that comes with a bamboo bowl so it can go from the cooktop to the table easily; with an 18/10 exterior, the cookware has an impact bottom made of 18/0 so it can be used on induction cooktops as well. There will also be hard anodized fry pans, acacia wood utensils with and without silicone heads, and knives and cutting boards. Prices range from $10.99 for a wooden utensil up to $94.99 for a 5.9 quart Cook’n’Serve casserole. A percentage of the collection’s sales will go to Cora’s Chefs for Humanity foundation.
Cora had a lot of offers to work with numerous cookware companies, but she wanted to work with Starfrit, she told HFN. “A lot of the cookware is the same-old, same-old,” Cora said. “I wanted it to be efficient, as well as sexy…It had to make sense in the kitchen.” The fry pans have long handles, for example, so home cooks like Cora, who is petite, can comfortably hold the handle with both hands. The cookware includes interior measuring lines, while the utensil holder has a vent in the bottom so utensils can dry quickly. “These little details make such a difference,” she said. And the bamboo bowls from the Cook’n’Serve can be used for many other things, Cora said, such as chips or salad. Incorporating an eco-friendly aspect was also important to her, and the collection includes acadia wood, bamboo and recycled maple.
Unlike other chefs who may split their product categories among a variety of companies, Cora wanted everything with one company. “I knew Starfrit could do all of those things,” she said. “I really wanted to make a united, full collection.” Products for kids as well as meze (Middle Eastern small dishes) are among those in development.
Cora, who has been on Iron Chef America for 10 seasons, is preparing for a break-out year in 2011, with several projects in the works with Oprah Winfrey’s new OWN channel, as well as plans to open up restaurants at airports nationwide.