Our Place, the creator of cult-cool and eco-friendly cookware, didn’t become a quarantine sensation by accident. Its famed Always Pan unsurprisingly skyrocketed to the top of lockdown wishlists due to an innovative multipurpose design and colorful aesthetic appeal. But, the brand is much more than the sum of its popular products; it’s a method through which culture and identity are introduced, shared, and celebrated in kitchens across America. This is why the company’s limited-edition Traditionware collections are, according to co-founder Shiza Shahid, “at the heart and soul” of its culinary mission. It’s Our Place’s way of making people feel seen.
“Food media and kitchenware brands, in particular, have systemically erased the countless contributions in food of people color. But Traditionware is made for us, it is a celebration of our multi-ethnic heritages, and the traditions we hold dear,” says Shahid, who is an immigrant from Pakistan. Her Iranian-American co-founder, Amir Tehrani, understands all too well what it was like growing up without seeing the food and rituals of his culture portrayed in the mainstream. The pair launched Our Place to fill that void with products that provide visibility and access to different cuisines. With Nowruz, the Persian New Year, happening later this month, developing a Traditionware collection inspired by age-old Iranian cooking techniques was a natural next step for the brand. And thus, the new Tahdig Trio — a $65 three-piece cookware set named after the crispy rice dish it was made for — was launched.
Traditionware is made for us, it is a celebration of our multi-ethnic heritages, and the traditions we hold dear.
Shiza Shahid, Our Place Co-Founder
The Trio features a ceramic platter engineered to slot perfectly into your Always Pan in order to facilitate a seamless 180° flip from pan to plate (this is also useful, Shahid points out, for everything from Spanish tortillas to pineapple upside-down cakes). It also includes a custom Damkoni, or lid cover, to absorb moisture from your rice in the same tradition as has been done in communities around the world for hundreds of years. The third component is a vial of Persian saffron (aka the most valuable spice in the world) hand-harvested by farmer’s co-op Heray Spice to help get those creative culinary juices flowing. If your stomach is tickled just thinking about how fancy that sounds, trust us, you’re not alone.
That’s the thing about home-cooking. It is where love and identity are perhaps most fully expressed.
Amir Tehrani, Our Place Co-Founder
“Tahdig means so much to me,” Tehrani says of the recipe, whose name literally translates to bottom of the pot. “It reminds of my happiest memories with my grandmother around the dinner table. My grandmother was an incredible cook. She would always me take the first bite of tahdig as an expression of her love. And her recipes were so specific to her way of cooking. That’s the thing about home-cooking. It is where love and identity are perhaps most fully expressed.”
Like everything that’s launched under Our Place’s Traditionware umbrella, the entire process is a collaboration from start to finish with artists, designers, home cooks, even human rights leaders hailing from the community which made it all possible. The calligraphy found on the ceramic platter, for example, is by artist Parinaz Bahadori, along with illustrations across the box and beyond by Shahrzad Ghadjar. The campaign was photographed by Sunny Shokrae and captures the families of women like Priscillia Kounkou-Hoveyda, a human rights lawyer and founder of the Collective for Black Iranians. “One of my favorite quotes from my interview with Kounkou-Hoveyda,” Shahid shares, “was when she said: ‘On my haft-sin, I have a lot of Africa. A lot of Iran. And it’s very Black. I just want to be able to stand at the intersection of all my different [cultures] and finally bring to the world the fullness of the power of who I am.'”
I just want to be able to stand at the intersection of all my different [cultures] and finally bring to the world the fullness of the power of who I am.
Whether you’re planning a feast for the 4,000-year-old Iranian celebration that is Nowruz or you’re simply looking for the perfect cookware accessory to ace your next concon nurungji, pegao, stovetop flan, and any dish requiring a complete flip, the Tahdig Trio will help make that experience easier and more meaningful. (The Nowruz Bundle also includes an Always Pan if you don’t already have one!) The words “Noosh-e-Joon” that are written on the platter itself say it all: Nourish the soul.
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