How to Forge a Thoughtful Chef-Brand Partnership
In the wild, wild west of chef and brand partnerships, it's no small feat to determine who to partner with on what, when to launch whatever you've partnered on, and how to promote it. For 1990 Food & Wine Best New Chef Nancy Silverton, the secret to a successful launch lies partially in identifying a gap in the culinary market –– in her case, a porcelain baking dish with the perfect depth for baking a slab pie, which she prefers to deep dish round pies –– and a company with a proven reputation to be able to execute that vision.
"This is my fourth product launch with Made In," Silverton said, noting that each of her previous creations, which include a bread knife and enameled cast iron grill pan, were intended to fill different needs for the home cook or baker. "Nobody had an oven-to-table way to present a slab pie. To be able to serve it in something other than a sheet pan is, I think, terrific," she shared.
Aside from sharing the initial idea, Silverton was closely involved in the development process for the slab pan; At first, the handles weren't quite right, and the size and depth needed a few rounds of tweaking. "I saw it in 3D plastic form, too, to get the visual," she explained. "Our team gets really excited about making something for a chef like Nancy Silverton. At the end of the day, we want to be able to take what we learn from a chef like Nancy and teach that to our broader demographic," said Jake Kalick, President and Co-Founder of Made In.
When it comes to picking and choosing who to collaborate with, Silverton said that a brand's other partnerships (in Made In's case, chefs like 2021 Food & Wine Best New Chef Matt Horn, Tom Colicchio, and Eric Ripert) is a safe way to determine the fit. "Because of the quality of what Made In offers, it's not one where I feel like I'm compromising my name or selling out," she said.
Purchase Nancy's baking slab here.