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Sweetening The Pot

A new cookware company wants to do more than sell pots and pans. It’s here to help you learn to slow down, cook well, and avoid burnout.

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Sweetening The Pot

Meet Equal Parts, a new company that isn’t just here to sell quality cookware. The Equal Parts team also wants to teach you how to not burn dinner <em>and</em> how to not get burned out in life. It’s ambitious … but they may just be on to something

Whether it’s a lack of time, tools, or inspiration, there are plenty of reasons to ditch your kitchen and opt to eat out or order in instead. But cookware company Equal Parts aims to cut through the excuses and make home cooking easier and more fun. Not only does the brand offer high-quality pots, pans, and kitchen accessories, but it’s also providing a unique way to learn how to use them. When Equal Parts launched last September, it offered eight weeks of access to an experienced chef via text messaging with each purchase. This year, in an innovative move, it opened up the free Text a Chef service to all. You can sign up and text a chef for as many weeks as you like—whether you’ve bought Equal Parts cookware or not.* The aim is to help you create a cooking habit that becomes self-perpetuating. “We want to be with you along that journey,” explains senior marketing manager Lexi Tollefsen.

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From text to table

“When you start connecting with a chef at Equal Parts, you are asked a series of questions about your existing routine, your likes and dislikes, what food you need to avoid, and any goals that you have around cooking,” says Tollefsen. That way, the chef can tailor their recommendations to your specific dietary and culinary needs.

Their tips range from grocery-list guidance to recipe ideas to real-time troubleshooting. “One of my favorite things to do is to text them what’s in the fridge and pantry, and they can help me freestyle a new meal without having to go down a Google rabbit hole and comb through thousands of search results and videos,” says Tollefsen.

Some users report that the service has gotten them out of a cooking rut, while others say it has brought ease to their daily routines amid high-stress work lives.

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A burnout antidote

Under the guidance of its parent company, Pattern, Equal Parts is pioneering a “direct-with-consumer” model, relying heavily on dialogue with consumers to make decisions about how the business evolves. It’s a riff on the direct-to-consumer model that put Pattern’s predecessor on the map.

Pattern was formed in August 2019 when the team at Gin Lane (a New York-based branding agency known for popularizing direct-to-consumer brands like Everlane, Warby Parker, and Bonobos) decided to dissolve the agency. Why ditch a successful company and start an unproven one? The team wanted to do something radical: address the pervasive issue of burnout.

“Our generation,” says Tollefsen, referring to millennials in particular, “is very burned out due to the constraints on our time from work, technology, and other aspects of modern life. Pattern as a portfolio [of] was created to address those things with products that help you establish better, healthier, more enjoyable routines, starting in the home.”

Equal Parts, which is Pattern’s first brand, promotes a stress-free kitchen as a way to encourage greater well-being. “Cooking is the catalyst for so many other positive lifestyle changes,” notes Tollefsen. “When you cook more, you save money, you tend to eat healthier, and you reconnect to your home.”

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Pot of gold

Cooking can also lead to gathering more often with friends and loved ones, another stress buster. Equal Parts inspires such connection by offering pieces like its wooden cut and serve board, which fulfills the dual purpose of prep (one side of the board) and presentation (the other side of the board). “It’s like a dinner party no-brainer,” says Tollefsen.

The matte-black cookware is designed to make taking a spin at the stove inviting. The fast-heating pots and pans are coated with nontoxic, nonstick ceramic, which means cleanup is easy. All of the cookware, as well as accessories like the chef’s knife, spatula, and whisk, have ergonomic handles that “feel super natural on your hand and are easy to maneuver in small spaces,” says Tollefsen.

All this is just the beginning for the Pattern family of brands. Pattern’s home organization brand, Open Spaces, launched in January—one of an series of planned “launches that have to do with evolving the home as a place to create enjoyable, healthy habits that help you be more intentional with your time and your space,” says Tollefsen.

*To sign up for the Text a Chef service, head to equalparts.com!

EQUAL PARTS CHEFS

These are the types of questions chefs answer through the free Text a Chef service:

  • “I’ve got four friends coming in an hour. Wine recs?!”
  • “What non-boring side should I bring to dinner?”
  • “I’m headed to the grocery store. Could you help me with a list?”

EQUAL PARTS SPECS

Here’s what you need to know about the cookware. The pots and pans are

  • made of recyclable, lightweight, durable aluminum
  • oven safe up to 450 F
  • dishwasher safe
  • designed to stack and nest for efficient storage
  • equipped with universal lids
  • shipped in recycled cardboard with no plastic packaging
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