Cookware

The Timeless Cookware Our Staff Loves So Much They Collect It

Why Dansk has been stealing our hearts for decades.

June 13, 2019
Photo by Ty Mecham

With its attractive, retro shapes and charming wooden accents, Dansk Kobenstyle cookware—an icon of Danish mid-century modern design—is the kind to elicit heart-eyed emojis everywhere.

Originally designed by Jens Quistgaard in the 1950s, Dansk has seen little-to-no reason to edit its aesthetic over time, despite being quite difficult to manufacture—in fact, its production was temporarily halted for about 20 years, until it was re-released in 2012. It’s easy to see how the cookware became a covetable collectable, once available only to the design savvy or those lucky enough to stumble upon a vintage casserole or butter warmer.

Enter these red beauts, a product of the line’s resurgence. One look and I got it: Delicate, easy-to-grasp handles? Lightweight-yet-stable structure? Lids that double as trivets? They were sure to make any home cook happy. I began to wonder how many Dansk collectors were amongst us here at the Food52 office—we do sell cookware for a living, after all—and what was their take?

I started with co-founder Amanda Hesser. According to Amanda, Kobenstyle is much more than good looks—it holds up:

"Growing up, there was a Dansk store about an hour away, and as soon as I got out of college, I went and stocked up on dinnerware, cooking utensils, glassware, even a salad spinner. Even then, I knew I was investing in timeless pieces. And I was right: I still have almost everything I bought back then!"

Sound like these could easily become heirloom pieces? Casey Simring, Associate Buyer, confirmed this theory:

“My grandmother only cooks with Dansk, a staple of family gatherings. I cook with one of her old casseroles to keep the tradition going. My friends know if they see the red Dansk, it's going to be a good meal!”

Art Director and true aesthetician Alexis Anthony weighed in on visual appeal:

“We love styling Dansk Kobenstyle cookware because of the clean lines and classic-but-cool shapes. The white surface is also particularly great for showing off the food inside.”

And Kristina Wasserman, Director of Product Development (hello, Five Two!), echoed the sentiment, waxing poetic on its sophisticated quality:

“I think it’s one of the most iconic product designs of the last century—and it’s in museums like Designmuseum Danmark and MoMA. The pieces are lightweight but sturdy, and they’re incredibly easy to maneuver thanks to the handle design. Seeing them on my stovetop brings me joy—they’re simple, beautiful pieces. I just love them.”

And then she cried! No, just kidding, she sent me a sobbing emoji. But you get the picture: our staff knows a thing or two about cookware, and these pieces are hands-down at the top of their lists.

Just as I was reaching for my credit card, Erin Sanders, Senior Customer Care Specialist, offered another perspective. As it turns out, the casserole is something of a one-pot wonder:

“I love that I can use it to boil pasta or potatoes, build a sauce, and pop in the oven for mac and cheese or scalloped potatoes. Delicious, and one less dish to clean.”

Swoon. By now I was sure: the love was real. If our new red Kobenstyle collection proves one point, it’s that some things are just too good to change—and if you’re really lucky, those things will bring joy to your dinner table for years to come.

Do you collect Dansk? Tell us in the comments!
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Emily Kochman

Written by: Emily Kochman

Food52 Community Outreach Manager

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