How 2020 Helped These Creatives Rediscover Their Love for Cooking

How 2020 Helped These Creatives Rediscover Their Love for Cooking

Remember back in March when seemingly everyone started baking bread and growing victory gardens? Back then, it was difficult to imagine we’d be here nine months later, slowly accepting that our way of life may never look quite like it used to. 

There’s a seemingly endless tirade of clichés that people use to describe 2020. While it’s certainly been a year filled with tragedy, there’s also been light. For many, restaurant closures and stay-at-home orders have meant more time spent in the kitchen, not just out of necessity, but to create experiences to look forward to. We spoke with three creatives –– interior designer Tiffany Thompson, architect Michael Way Jr., and home decor content creator Saida Hussein –– about how their lives at home have shifted since the start of the pandemic, and how Caraway is helping them (re)discover their love for cooking. 

“I Can’t Cook”

When restaurants started to close their doors at the start of the pandemic, Michael Way Jr. felt an emotional loss. “I couldn’t go sit in my restaurants anymore.” It wasn’t just about the food; the restaurant community in Richmond, Va. had become a major part of Michael’s life. 

After buying his first set from Caraway, Michael says he was hit with a pang of terror. He hadn’t bought a set of cookware since college, and he didn’t really do much cooking at home. “I said to myself, ‘I’d better learn how to cook something aside from burgers and hot dogs and ramen noodles before these pots and pans arrive, or I’m going to look like a big sucker.’ And so I bought some cookbooks to go along with my new equipment.” 

Michael says that cooking became a special part of his day. He started out with project recipes on the weekends, but now finds himself making a casual Thursday morning frittata.

I could barely pour cereal that fast before all this started.

In addition to looking great in his kitchen and feeling sturdy in-hand, Michael shares that Caraway’s non-stick surface makes him feel more brave when experimenting with a new-to-him recipe. “With Caraway, I know that even if I make a big mess of something, it will be easy to clean up.”

As soon as our now-sold-out limited edition Marigold Cookware Set was released, Michael added the golden cookware to his Navy Set –– now he can cook both meat and vegan versions of the same dish at the same time (his girlfriend Jill is vegan). During our chat, Michael said he had a pot of from-scratch ramen broth simmering, a far cry from the instant ramen he used to prepare. 

Cooking for a Family 

Saida Hussein of @SaidaStyles shares her North Carolina home with her husband and four children. At the start of the year, she and her family moved into a new home. As they packed up and she started to plan for the new space, Saida focused on curating a minimal collection of home goods, from the kitchen to the living room. 

Saida describes her home as a mix of Scandanavian design (she’s originally from Denmark) and Southern style. She loved Caraway’s slimmed-down collection and its magnetic organizers, plus, she says her Cream Set has inspired her to give the rest of the kitchen a refresh. "The pots look better than the kitchen!"

Needless to say, their lives look pretty different now than they did in January. 

With her kids participating in school from home and the pandemic keeping them from going out to eat, an easy cooking routine was a must. Saida says simple, one-pot meals are her go-to, especially now; they’ve been eating lots of pasta lately. She loves how easy it is to clean her Cookware Set. “Everything literally just swishes right off.” 

"I care about my pots a lot more now." She adds, "they just bring me happiness to look at and I feel good knowing that I have cooked something that doesn’t have any toxic chemicals in it."

Cookware for a Well-Designed Home 

Ask any interior designer their thoughts on a home’s details, and they’ll probably share Tiffany Thompson’s thoughts: they matter. “Everything I bring into my home has to be well-designed and beautiful,” shares the interior designer and owner of Portland, Ore.-based design firm Duett Interiors

“I grew up in a family where cooking was an important part of gatherings,” says Tiffany Thompson. While she was growing up, Tiffany says her mom worked two jobs, so instead of nightly cooking, they relied more on batch cooked meals during the week. For her, cooking evokes memories of time spent enjoying the company of family and friends. 

Tiffany made a vow at the start of the year –– before “coronavirus” had become part of our daily vernacular –– to stop ordering from takeout services like Uber Eats. She says that as a business owner, “it’s too easy to get lazy with those habits.” Now that the pandemic has limited in-restaurant dining, Tiffany finds herself cooking more and more for herself and her boyfriend. “It’s something I find real joy in –– being able to create different experiences and in a way, travel through cooking food.” 

Of her Caraway Cookware Set, the designer offered a quote: “You only think Robin is cool until you find out that Batman exists.” Sure, there are other products out there that might seem great, but it’s not until you discover something even better that you realize what was missing. 

For Tiffany, Caraway is like Batman. It comes down to the thoughtful details –– the cookware organizers, the packaging, the easy-to-clean, non-toxic surface.

Even though it’s going to be hidden in your cabinet for the most part, when you’re cooking, your experience matters. You don’t have to transfer your meal from an ugly pot into another dish –– Caraway made sure that their pots would look great on the table, too.

While the new decade likely didn’t start out how most of us expected, 2020 did create both new and newly energized home chefs. Anyone who has ever cooked with quality tools knows that it’s impossible to turn back once you’ve found the good stuff. Take it from Tiffany: "I threw all my other pots away."

In case you’re still not sure what to give your loved ones this holiday season, we’ve got you covered.

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