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Hestan Celebrates The Good Life In A Unique Way

It started with wine. The Hestan name and logo first graced the labels of Napa varietals made by renowned winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown. An amalgam of its founder’s names – Helen and Stanley Cheng – the Hestan moniker was a near instant denotation of vinous quality and distinction. More recently, the Hestan name has become synonymous with culinary excellence. A leading visionary brand in cookware and commercial and residential kitchens, Hestan Culinary has been embraced by America’s greatest chefs, such as Thomas Keller who serves as a Hestan brand ambassador.

The seven Michelin-starred chef uses Hestan cookware within his lauded restaurants including The French Laundry, Bouchon Bistro, Bouchon Bakery, Per Se, Ad Hoc, Addendum, La Calenda, and The Surf Club. Within his famed The French Laundry, many of the commercial appliances are Hestan; he worked with Cheng, an engineer by training, to inform the performance and design of Hestan Commercial, the custom suites and ranges of which are now found in 1000+ restaurant kitchens across the country, as well as at the legendary Culinary Institute of America, Johnson and Wales, and The White House kitchens. Celebrated chefs Tim Hollingsworth, Corey Lee, Matthew Accarrino, Mei Lin, Michael Tusk, Melissa Rodriguez, James Kent, Chris Shepherd, and Joey Ward among others, are all fans.

Keller collaborated with Cheng on specific details for a bespoke line of cookware, Thomas Keller Insignia, which features Keller-requested qualities such as vented universal lids, stay-cool handle seamlessly fastened to the pan, and sealed stainless steel rims that will never split or deteriorate. “One of the wonderful things about working with Hestan was working with Stanley, who is really an extraordinary engineer,” said Keller.

Considered an innovator of cookware design with his development of the Circulon and Anolon lines which married non-stick surfaces to hard-anodized aluminum, Cheng is Chairman and  CEO of Meyer Corporation, Hestan’s parent company. Originally from Hong Kong, he attended Oregon State University, receiving a degree in engineering. After returning to Hong Kong and the family business, he released his first line of cookware in London, England in 1972 while continuing to revolutionize the industry with never-before-seen innovations. In 1996 he moved the main office of Meyer Corporation to Vallejo, California. And then he bought a vineyard.

The Cheng’s picturesque Hestan Vineyards estate, located on Napa Valley’s quiet eastern slopes, is home to 110 carefully and sustainably-tended acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Sauvignon Blanc and Grenache, crafted into award-winning, limited-release wines under the Hestan, Meyer, Stephanie and Vincent Christopher labels. The Hestan and Meyer labels are the product of Thomas Rivers Brown, one of the industry’s most lauded winemakers, who uses only the finest grapes grown on the estate vineyards. Winemaker Jeff Gaffner crafts the Bordeaux varietal Stephanie wines, named for the Chengs’ daughter, and the Sonoma Coast-derived Vincent Christopher Pinot Noir, named for the Chengs’ two sons. Most of the Chengs’ wines have been awarded 90+ ratings by Wine Spectator and other wine critics, including the 2014 Meyer Cabernet Sauvignon which was selected as the #8 wine in the world.

All of these wines can be sampled in the Hestan tasting room in Napa Valley’s charming town of Yountville, where a number of Keller’s acclaimed restaurants are within walking distance. It was this proximity that brought Cheng and Keller together in the pursuit of culinary excellence. When Keller tired of his allegiance to another cookware brand, citing the company’s inability to innovate to his specifications, he found Cheng ready and willing to meet his exacting expectations. “Something that I was really proud to see is the craftsmanship and the quality of materials that go into our cookware,” said Keller of Hestan’s Italian manufacturing processes. “The factory that makes them, their attention to detail, their ability to execute exactly what we had engineered was nothing short of really amazing.”

Cheng built his Hestan cookware factories in the magnificent Bergamo and Bologna regions of Italy. Every piece of Hestan cookware is handcrafted to the highest standards of quality and proudly stamped ‘Made in Italy,’ reflecting equal parts performance and elegance. ‘Hestan offers the most responsive, durable and beautiful cookware seamless design and superior quality,” said Keller. “These are the kitchen essentials you will want to add to your collection.”

Consumers have a choice of Keller’s own Insignia line, as well as four other groundbreaking collections, including the revolutionary NanoBond line of patented titanium based nano-technology that produces thousands of titanium-based nano layers bonded directly to stainless steel. It is a process never before seen in professional cookware. The CopperBond collection uses five-layer bonded construction with a thick 100% pure copper core for quick heating, exceptional temp control and even heat distribution. The ProBond collection features a revolutionary cold-forging process that optimizes the metal to create a thicker base for even heat distribution. ProBond with TITUM™ Nonstick is not only the most durable nonstick in the world compared to standard nonstick, its diamond and titanium reinforced cooking surface delivers chef-grade searing and browning. All Hestan cookware is optimized for induction. And when consumer questions arise about which set is most appropriate for particular lifestyles, Michael Kane, Hestan’s Cookware Concierge (the first in the business) is available by phone, Zoom, or SMS, for consultation.

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Hestan holds the title of most awarded cookware, with more than a dozen honors and fourteen patents across the collections, including the Red Dot Design Award for Thomas Keller Insignia, CopperBond, ProBond collections, the Good Design Award for CopperBond and ProBond collections, the Kitchen Gear Award for NanoBond skillets, and numerous awards from Good Housekeeping,, and Bon Appetit for Best Stainless Steel Cookware, Best Copper Cookware, and Best Nonstick Cookware. A recent honor included an invitation from Bloomingdales to join other iconic brands (i.e. Dior, Valentino, Tod’s etc.) in creating a limited edition item in celebration of the beloved department store’s 150th anniversary celebration. Hestan crafted 250 11” gold NanoBond skillets embossed with the Bloomingdale’s logo and a specific serial number on each pan.

Hestan’s cookware and commercial appliance success initiated the brand’s expansion to Hestan Outdoor (high-performance, outdoor living suites, refrigeration, and complementary products), and Hestan Indoor, a line of expertly-engineered ranges, refrigerators, dishwashers, wall ovens, ventilation, smart products and more. Additionally, the brand makes the Hestan Campania Pizza Oven and just launched the Hestan Smart Gas Range, the first to control the gas flame to a specific temperature, and a Hestan Cue Smart Cooking System, the world’s first cooktop method that delivers precise temperature control and 800+ chef guided, step-by-step recipes and some with video.

Celebrity chef Tyler Florence is yet another Hestan fan. One of the Food Network’s earliest break-out stars, Florence is in the process of converting his two San Francisco restaurant kitchens to all Hestan. “Once you get to the top of the line in cookware, there is really nothing else,” said Florence, who also uses Hestan cookware in his Marin County home. He often uses the brand’s Provisions OvenBond line of chef-inspired and purpose-built brushed stainless steel roasters and sheet pans as serving pieces. “Hestan is truly the best.”

Image Source: Just Luxe

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