I’m not really much of a mall kind of guy, but if it’s outdoors and includes a Le Creuset store, I’m more than OK with the experience. Both of those conditions exist at the Carlsbad Premium Outlets which has some fine places to eat and shop and has one of my favorite stores in Le Creuset.
Le Creuset is a French cookware manufacturer best known for its colorful enameled cast iron French ovens, also known as casseroles or dutch ovens. The company also makes many other types of premium cookware and is a must have for the serious chef or the foodie who desires the highest quality cookware in their kitchen. I can honestly say that if I were forced to live with one pan to use for all my cooking needs, I would not hesitate to select their 4.5 quart French Oven in red. I’ve had this pan for three years now and it never leaves my stovetop because I use it so much and it’s just a great pan to look at. It’s the most versatile piece of cookware I’ve ever owned. It’s a favorite of mine for risotto, soup, braised meat, chili, Coq a Vin, braised artichokes, and poaching fish to name a few ways I’ve used it.
Of course, there is a full line of Le Creuset products and I’ve been finding more and more of them in my kitchen lately. Their ever expanding line includes casseroles, stoneware gratins that are great for individual servings, a very cool bean pot, and the mini round cocotte is a functional charmer.
Keeping an eye on tradition and authenticity has been Le Creuset's guiding principle yet their innovative designs and exceptional quality ensure that they remain relevant today. Part of the appeal to me is that tradition and timeless design and functionality. The company began in 1925 when Armand Desaegher, a casting specialist, and Octave Aubecq, an enameling expert, recognized an opportunity to improve the versatility of cast iron cookware by coating it in a porcelain enamel glaze. Le Creuset was founded in the French town of Fresnoy-le-Grand, a strategic location at the crossroads of transportation routes for iron, coke and sand. That same year, the first cocotte (or French Oven) was produced; laying the foundation for what is now a wide assortment of cookware and kitchen utensils. The Le Creuset signature color, Flame (orange) was in this first piece. With their new ability to pigment the enamel glaze, Desaegher and Aubecq modeled their first color after the intense orange hue of molten cast iron inside a cauldron ("creuset" in French). It’s a very cool shade of orange.
Over the years, they have continually improved on their cast iron. In 1939, they launched the patented Doufeu, an oven containing the world's first patented basting spikes that allow condensation to drip back into the food during cooking. In 1957, Le Creuset purchased a competitor, Les Hauts Fourneaux de Cousances, and began producing items such as a grill model and a fondue set. To manufacture their cast iron cookware, the Le Creuset foundry uses standard sand casting methods. After hand finishing, items are sprayed with at least two coats of enamel. The enamel becomes resistant to damage during normal use. Currently, all Le Creuset cast iron cookware is still manufactured in the company's foundry where workers employ a 12 step finishing process implemented by 15 different pairs of hands to ensure that there are no flaws or imperfections in the final product. That is some serious quality control and if you wonder why these pans cost a little more, just take a look at the process.
Carlsbad store manager Lynette Lunceford has staffed her team with employees that are passionate about the products and always eager to give suggestions on what pans will suit your individual needs. is They offer a variety of colors, from bright to muted and besides the quality, the colors offer a shelf or rack appeal that will have you wanting these pans out on display. They add a splash of tasteful colors and styles that can liven up any kitchen. Glassware, serviceware, and tabletop items all in the timeless Le Creuset colors are also available.
If cooking is a passion or you just value quality and style, check out the Le Creuset store at Carlsbad Premium Outlets, 5600 Paseo del Norte, Carlsbad, 92008. Reach them at (760)931-6868 or at www.lecreuset.com.
Open Monday - Saturday: 10 -8 and Sunday: 10 - 6