The Top Chef host announced on Monday that he is investing and partnering with the new cookware company Made In, a direct-to-consumer brand that offers high-quality cookware at an affordable price.
Tom Colicchio is helping to make professional kitchen tools accessible to the home cook.
When Colicchio first came across the company—which launched in 2017 by founders Jake Kalick and Chip Malt—he jumped at the chance to work with them because he was “so impressed” with the product, he tells PEOPLE exclusively.
“What they’ve done is really just reconstructed the cookware industry,” says the chef, who has not only stocked his home with Made In. products, but plans to keep his New York City restaurants equipped with brand’s kitchen tools as well. “Because of their supply chain and because they don’t use retailers, they can keep the price low, but the quality is as high as any high-end pot and pan.”
While the average heavy duty stainless steel pots and pans can cost hundreds of dollars, Made In was designed to provide the same well-made design and lifespan of heavily-priced cooking tools but at a price range starting at $15 to $260 for a three-piece set.
“This isn’t something where you’re paying less money and you’re compromising at all,” says Colicchio. “In fact, you’re getting double the value of that you’re paying for.”
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The saucier is one of Made In’s most popular pieces and Colicchio’s favorite tools. “I don’t think that there’s anything in the kitchen, besides a stove, that I couldn’t do without,” he laughs. “But that’s the one piece that I really like.”
Aside from his new partnership, Colicchio is also looking forward to the upcoming 16th season of Top Chef, filmed in Kentucky. He’s especially proud of the attitudes displayed between the contestants this year.
“There’s a lot less back-biting and they’re very supportive of each other,” he said. “And I think that mirrors what I see happening in the industry, especially over the last 10 years.”
Because he hadn’t spent much time in the state before, Colicchio says he enjoyed everything Kentucky had to offer, including the bourbon, adding that the spirit is featured in a few of this season’s challenges.
“I’ve been a bourbon fan for a long time,” he said, “so it was nice to be there.”