The GOODS from Cook Culture
Vancouver, BC | Hello, I’m Jed. I, along with an amazing team, operate Cook Culture. Today I’d like to talk to you about traditional non-stick cookware, or more specifically the coating. This is what many people refer to as Teflon, however it can take on many names, and the coating that I’m referring to is imbedded into many high-end cookware lines.
We all grew up with non-stick cookware, it’s been around since the 40’s. It was a housewifes dream when it hit the market – image, never burn another egg, and no clean up? Modern technology! This was the thinking. In those days our parents and grandparents had no reason to question what made it work. It was awesome! And this new method for coating cookware made a few people a lot of money.
But is modern non-stick cookware safe? All the bad stuff has been taken out, right? The chemists that worked for the manufacturers realised over time that there were serious problems with the some of the chemicals used – you have probably heard of PFOA, and PTFE’s. These are the chemicals in question – as in, are they carcinogenic? The problem is that there’s so much power, money and influence at play that there’s no smoking gun. When scientists and activists started to corner the chemical companies with their own science, the companies changed the chemical composition of the chemicals in question and went to work on a massive pr campaign to let everyone in the world know that there are no bad chemicals in Teflon (and the like)!
And here’s the thing – The chemical companies just may be right when they tell me that the latest non-stick coatings test below the most stringent standards and shouldn’t hurt us, but I ask, why would we knowingly introduce chemicals into our homes and food when there are so many other negative environmental factors affecting us that we have very little control over?
Sorry, heavy, I know. But this is what I am here to say. I sold chemical covered non-stick cookware for years. And it’s an easy sell, everyone wants better and easier, right? But at what cost? The chemical industry would like me, as a retailer, to believe that all is right and I should just keep on selling. But I can’t. I won’t. Nearly two years ago I pledged to rid Cook Culture of anything with a teflon type non-stick coating and we lost a lot of business, which was expected.
But we have been working tirelessly to explain ourselves when a customer comes into one of our stores, fully expecting to buy a another non-stick fry pan (because they just tossed the last one, again). Nearly every time that we have a frypan conversation we are met with interest, and even enthusiasm. Many times we’ve found that the customer already has a good non non-stick pan at home and they just need understanding how to use it, or season it.
So we have put together a plan on how we can get more of you into the right cookware:
First, check the cookware you have. If you have any questions please bring it in or send us a picture. You may be happily surprised what is hiding in your collection.
Second, bring us your old non-stick pans. We don’t want you using them any more. With a trade in we will give you 30% off any frypan we sell. We hope that this deep discount will be a motivator for you to act.
So, with the support of Zwilling, Staub, All-Clad, de Buyer and Lodge, from now till Oct 15 we will offer you 30% off any frypan, with a trade in. We have made a fun, interactive questionnaire to help you navigate towards the perfect cookware for your cooking style. Also for those of you that would like the latest information regarding Teflon please check out more of our blog posts.
We look forward to seeing you, and your old frypans, in store soon!”
CEO – Jed Grieve
Maketing Manager – Kateland Clarke
Howe Store Manager – Murray Powers
Broadway Store Manager – Laura Kaplan
Lonsdale Store Manager – Kathy Taylor
Victoria Store Manager – Kim
Main Lonsdale Chef’s – Jonathan Chovancek, Annabelle Choi, Kimiko Suzuki, Calvin Pipping, Denise Marchessault
Main Victoria Chefs – Cosmo Meens, Anna Hunt, Tara Black, Michael Williams, Megan Hennis
ABOUT Cook Culture
We believe the one thing everyone can make in their kitchen is a better life. We want everyone to have more fun and eat better, enjoy time with family and friends, and connect with the people who grow and make what we eat. We help people improve their kitchen skills with the right gear and with inspiration from our great chefs and instructors.
Cook Culture is an evolved residential kitchen hardware store combined with home-style teaching studios (in North Vancouver and Victoria) that teach hands-on style cooking lessons. We sell high quality essential kitchen gear, with a wide selection from some of the world’s favorite brands. We work tirelessly to sell the right tools for the job so that our customers can make better meals at home. We strive to support the community through our dedication to service, knowledge, and our commitment to local food based initiatives.
Originating from downtown Victoria, Cook Culture was conceived in 2010 to offer the local community a hub to explore, discuss, and learn about the preparation of whole food at home. With the resounding success of the concept store, Cook Culture expanded into Vancouver with the acquisition of Cookworks in 2014 and then built a fourth location in North Vancouver in 2015.
“Good day! Just a quick note regarding your Victoria store. My kids and I took the pasta fundamentals class last night with Chef Cosmo Meens and I just had to tell you how fantastic is was! He was personable, knowledgeable and was very quick to offer vegetarian and vegan options to our meal which was a bonus. The volunteers there were also very friendly and we felt at ease right away. Both of my children (ages 20 and 21) also felt very comfortable with these new techniques and ingredients and have already asked to return for more classes! I also enjoyed the help received when deciding over my purchases made after the class and appreciated the lack of pressure to buy anything. Susan made great suggestions and I am very excited to try her offerings. Please pass on our thanks to Chef Cosmo and the staff at Cook Culture Victoria. Great family night out!” Pamela Martin
“Just completed ‘Boot Camp’ at your Lonsdale store with Chef Jon Chovancek. Previous to completing this course I had on occasion boiled water, but now I am cooking! Yes, Chef got me off my duff and into the kitchen. Over the course of the 9 hours of training Jonathan taught us many important lessons, but more importantly he certainly inspired me to get into the kitchen and start cooking. He is a brilliant chef, teacher-communicator, and a inspiration.
I’d also like to single our staff at the store, Sue and D, in particular for their guidance as I begin to put together some of the tools required to build a kitchen. Your staff and store are a welcome addition to the North Shore.” John