Why You Need This Classic Dutch Oven, According to a Michelin-Starred Chef

He uses it “pretty much every time” he cooks at home.

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Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Round Dutch Oven with Lid

Food & Wine / Jaclyn Mastropasqua

Michael Cimarusti is the chef and owner of Providence, Los Angeles’ premier seafood destination. It’s such an institution, in fact, that it has had a Michelin star for 14 years. The food is exquisite, delicate, and clearly prepared by masters of their craft.

As a veteran in the industry, Cimarusti has been around and tried all kinds of cookware. But if he had to pick a favorite, the answer is something he doesn’t use in his restaurant.

“I use a Le Creuset Dutch oven pretty much every time I cook at home,” he says.

Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Round Dutch Oven with Lid


To buy: Le Creuset 5.5-Quart Dutch Oven, $420 at amazon.com

While incredibly popular in home kitchens, Dutch ovens really aren’t common in restaurant settings, beyond serving dishes. Cimarusti helped explain why: “Dutch ovens are great for presentation, but it’s very easy to wear out the enameled part of the pot in commercial kitchens.” He explained that pots in his restaurant are oftentimes left on the stove for hours on end, day after day. 

This isn’t to say Le Creuset’s Dutch ovens aren’t durable. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. “I’ve had one of mine for over 20 years,” Cimarusti says, “And it still works perfectly.” 

Cimarusti loves using his Le Creuset for “making sauces, roasting bones to make meat juice, and creating rich, flavorful soups.” He mentioned that just the other day, he made a chicken and pork soup, and before that, a pasta dish that it was great for cooking, and serving in. 

One of the features he loves most about the pan is its heavy bottom. Not only does this help conduct an even heat throughout the walls, it also means he doesn’t have to stand around stirring whatever’s inside. “It practically stirs itself,” he laughs.

And while there are plenty of sizes to choose from, like oval Dutch ovens, or shallow Dutch ovens, Cimarusti prefers the classic Le Creuset 5.5-quart Dutch oven. “The attention to detail is just great,” he says. 

If a Michelin-starred chef uses one everyday, it’s worth adding to your kitchen. Head to Amazon and grab a Le Creuset Dutch oven for your kitchen.

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