Posted In: Gastronomy


Author: Kurtis Major

Photos: Max Houtzager

Location: Sausalito and Oakland, California


After several other projects in cohorts with Jorgen Harle and Kurtis Major involving much cooking (over fire) and forging ferrous and non-ferrous elements,  each of our passions for gastronomy inspired by our surrounding environments made for a natural progression to develop a set of grill tools.

Whether cooking directly over nothing but a small fire, or using some form of mild steel like a large plancha or cast iron pan, it felt awkward to wield highly treated, machine stamped aluminum or stainless cooking tools. After several discussions around fires for different occasions, we dove into designing and prototyping a set of tools that are better suited to real grilling- by way of using pure materials, and simple strong designs with longer handles, driven by traditional forging methods. A coffee spoon snuck its way into the mix as well.

Our lead cooking tools craftsman Kurtis Major shares a few words around the process of creating these grill tools below.
We developed the grill sets directly from the need to have cooking instruments that can hold up to the demanding use of cooking over open fire. These tools also aim to begin a new conversation around design and function. In doing so we hope that the user can feel something deeper and gain a clearer sense of the implications of cooking over fire. It is not something employed simply to impart smokey flavor to food or provide a better char, or just an option to cook when camping.
In order to achieve this goal, we would try to make tools that are balanced and comfortable in use but driven by the forging process, in the same way grilled food is shaped by the fire. While our initial drawings were specific to function, close observation of how the raw material wanted to be shaped and formed changed the design greatly. It became clear to us throughout the forging process how raw steel can be shaped and manipulated to achieve different forms of volume and balance weight. Observing the volume and movement of molten metal around each tool influenced the tactile feeling of the tools significantly. We ended up with two sets, both durable and balanced but one with a lighter and more nimble construction, and one with a more elemental feel.