Colour Chronicle Media

Why Star Chefs Swear by This Storied French Cookware Brand

With Staub, Michelin darlings and home cooks alike can create magic in the kitchen.

May 10, 2024

Can cookware be a culinary status symbol? Dan Kluger says yes—and he would know. The decorated chef, who counts Michelin and James Beard Award recognition among his many accolades, points to his Staub enameled cast-iron oval cocotte as an essential ingredient in cult-favorite dishes like the fresh-baked bread served at Greywind, one of his New York restaurants. “It’s the crème de la crème of cookware,” he says. “The heavy cast-iron dish cooks the bread evenly and it keeps it warm on the table. And I love the rustic style.”

  • Chef Dan Kluger in the kitchen of Greywind, his celebrated New York City restaurant.

    Colour Chronicle Media
  • Kluger’s roast chicken on a bed of vegetables.

    Colour Chronicle Media

For more than half a century, French cookware brand Staub has been the choice of top chefs battling it out for dominance in the culinary world. Founder Francis Staub was so serious about giving gourmands the best tools possible that he collaborated with legendary chef Paul Bocuse—dubbed “the pope of gastronomy” for his three-Michelin-star L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges—to create cast-iron pots that don’t just cook well; they optimize flavor by locking in juices and retaining heat. Kluger’s beloved oval cocotte was originally conceived with Bocuse’s input to perfect the chef’s own Gratin Dauphinoise Potatoes, a heavenly dish requiring the utmost durability and heat control to achieve the perfect bubbly top. Served tableside, the potatoes also demanded a stylish serving dish that could hold its own among refined cutlery and crystal.

Staub cookware’s combination of form and function is rooted in its founder’s Alsatian heritage. The region is known for its longstanding history in artisanal ironmaking and enameling, and Francis Staub pioneered his innovative cookware by building on his homeland’s grand tradition, melting scrap metal, iron, and limestone into cauldrons, and then pouring the blend into cookware molds. What he created was a kitchen workhorse that could withstand even the most intense heat conditions, while also resistant to rust, scratches, and other wear.

Staub’s cast iron is still hand-made in Northern France.


Half a century later, Staub’s meticulous process remains the same. Each pot comes with a lifetime guarantee and is finished in a range of signature glossy enamel colors—all of which have come to be recognized by gastronomes as a status symbol. (For his part, Chef Kluger prefers sleek gray or black in his restaurants, while casual white, blue, and green rule when he’s cooking at home.)

While Staub’s cocotte—more commonly known as a Dutch oven—may have achieved prominence among those like Kluger who brandish serious bona fides, it is versatile and accessible enough for casual cooks, too. Capable of stewing, searing, caramelizing, braising, boiling, and browning, the cocotte simplifies high-heat cooking for all, making it the ideal vessel for one-pot weeknight meals. A tight-fitting, spiked lid allows steam to rise and evenly drip back into the pot, creating a self-basting effect for juicier and more flavorful food. After cooking and serving, these versatile Staub pots can go in the refrigerator to preserve leftovers, then back on the heat again.

For Chef Amanda Frederickson, who founded Nashville’s Radish Kitchen and penned The Staub Cookbook: Modern Recipes for Classic Cast Iron, Staub’s quartz-studded black matte enamel interior is her secret weapon when grilling protein, baking falafel, or searing Mexican sweet corn for her healthy yet robust grain bowls and salads. “It evenly browns my ingredient so much better than any other cookware,” she says, adding that the interior enamel is virtually stain-proof. “The five-quart cocotte and the 10-inch fry pan are the only two pans that live on top of my stove rather than in a drawer, because I use them so much.”

  • The cast-iron pans can go from stovetop to table.

    Colin Price / Courtesy of Staub
  • Unique lid designs create a self-basting effect.

    Colin Price / Courtesy of Staub

At Loring Place, Kluger’s seasonal restaurant in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, Staub cookware is also the trick to creating drama for dishes like his fan-favorite rice and meat Indian biryani stew. “We bake everything in the pot and bring it tableside,” he says. “When you open the lid, you’re hit with this incredible perfume of spices and herbs, like saffron and ginger.”

In other words: From first flame to the last bite, Staub is the secret to a perfect dish.

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