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Food has always had a special place in Jason Wu's life. The Taiwan-born fashion designer has early memories of cooking with his mother as a child, a tradition that he carried into adulthood with frequent gatherings. "Memories in the kitchen were such a part of my childhood, and something that, when I grew up, became a way to connect with people," he tells House Beautiful. Now, he's marrying this passion with his design savvy in the form of a new line of (refreshingly affordable!) cookware that's designed for the home chef who's both daring and discerning. The line, available today from QVC, includes tools for making everything from pasta to potstickers—and keeping your kitchen chic while doing it.
Like many of us, Wu amped up his home cooking quite a bit over the past few years, both by necessity and interest. "All of my favorite restaurants were closed, and I had all this time at home," says the designer. "For the last 10 years of my life, I was always traveling. And then all a sudden, it's like, how do you continue to find that inspiration when you can't leave home?"
As a result, he confesses, "I became a bit of a food nerd," turning to YouTube videos to satiate both wanderlust and creativity by learning to make new dishes. (His favorite hosts? Gordon Ramsay and—who else?—Ina Garten.) "It was a great opportunity for me to get outside of my norm, too, and to really travel the world in my kitchen through cooking."
Wu's cookware takes such gastronomic adventure into account, with tools that are multifunctional and easy to use. Take, for example, the 12-inch "Everything Pan," "probably one of my favorite pieces from the line," Wu gushes. The piece is designed to fit a bamboo steamer insert for making dumplings—which you can do while sauce, stew, or soup simmers underneath. The Everything Pan's clear, silicone-rimmed lid provides a secure topper for steaming while letting you check on progress. "Most steamers have a lid you can't see through, so you can't tell how they're cooking," Wu points out. Plus, thanks to a silicone base that comes with the steamer, when you're done, "you can bring the bamboo part right to the table to serve," says Wu.
Even a rice cooker which, Wu notes, is "something that's a prerequisite in Asia, but not nearly as common here" can be used for a variety of dishes. "And I made it really small, really compact"—plus, the simplified design (which includes rose gold accents) "almost looks like an Alexa," Wu quips. "So you can be proud of it sitting on the counter."
It's an easy approach that small-space dwellers will especially appreciate: "When I first moved to New York, I was in a studio apartment," Wu reveals. "Everything had to be out. So my thought was, 'if it's going to be out, why can't it be beautiful?'" We couldn't agree more.
As for what culinary adventure Wu will be tackling next? "I'd love to try making Moroccan food," he says. "But I can tell you one thing—after the pandemic, I am not making sourdough anymore."
Shop our favorite Jason Wu pieces below, and see the entire line at QVC.
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