If you're a foodie, we've got a doozie of a news alert for you: Venerable French cookware brand Le Creuset just dropped a new colorway dubbed "truffle."
The cozy, mocha-brownish hue is perfectly in line with not only the fall season, but also all those white-and-black, farmhouse-inspired kitchens in favor right now, which we're sure Le Creuset is well aware of. After all, if you own one of the brand's cult-favorite pieces, like the round Dutch oven, for example, then you're likely proudly displaying it stovetop 24/7 (just as you would a fancy tchotchke on your coffee table), and you want it to match its surroundings.
Le Creuset's new color drops have become a bit of the "thing" over the past couple of decades, with the brand's innumerable devotees clamoring to have the latest hue in their own kitchens. Arriving just once or twice a year, the new shades are essentially the culinary world's version of Pantone's color of the year announcement.
For this latest release, Le Creuset director of marketing communications Nate Collier told us, "Truffle's warmer rich tones evoke the shoulder season into fall where we return to relaxed roots of gathering together and enjoying a seasonal harvest. It is updated with an elegant touch of a stainless-steel knob, reminiscent of brushed metal fixtures." Read: It will go perfectly with all those brushed metal details in your kitchen.
Confused as to why you should even be familiar with this brand? We got you. A brief history: Le Creuset first introduced its iconic colored enameled cast iron cookware all the way back in 1925, and the brand immediately gained international street cred for the products' durability, performance and, of course, inimitable design. Today, each Le Creuset product is touched by the hands of 15 craftsmen before landing in a box on your front step. Now, that is some quality!
For more insight, we talked to longtime culinary guru Albert Gonzalez, owner/chef at the soon-to-open craft-driven American restaurant Provision in Austin, Texas, about his lifelong devotion to Le Creuset — and why chefs are total fans of the brand.
"The heat retention and even distribution of that heat are second to none and those qualities help ensure great searing and even cooking, which is paramount in our field," he explained, adding, "Chefs spend tons of money on aprons and jackets and knife rolls because we are visual creatures, we like things to be beautiful, and that doesn't stop at cookware."
And Gonzalez is not only using it in the workplace — it's his preference at home, too. "Nearly all of my cookware at home is Le Creuset," he said. "My oldest piece is over 18 years old and yet it looks brand new. The durability makes this a one-time lifetime purchase. It has become my go-to for virtually any meal because of its versatility. And my wife and I love that the color options allow us to keep our cookware in line with the aesthetic of our home."
Ready to jump on the Le Creuset bandwagon? Come on, everyone's doing it! Below are the brand's cast iron best-sellers, plus Gonzales' beloved French press, which he says everyone needs because, "It's for all the same reasons I love the brand in general — great heat retention, durability and nothing looks better on a table." Signed, sealed, delivered.
The Round Dutch Oven ($150-$560, lecreuset.com)
Perfect for simmering everything from stews to risottos, and Gonzalez uses it chiefly for bread-making. The round Dutch oven 5.5-quart is the brand's top-selling item, while the 7.25-quart size is America's Test Kitchen No. 1 recommended dutch oven. (Craving homemade bread all of a sudden? Gonzalez suggests preheating the Dutch oven in the oven, so that when you add raw dough a searing effect occurs, mimicking using a hearth!)
The Signature Skillet ($100-$200, lecreuset.com)
Whether you're transferring a frittata from stovetop to oven or just making an ooey-gooey grilled cheese, owning this cast iron skillet is about to change your cooking game.
The Braiser ($200-$350, lecreuset.com)
The braiser's wide base makes it perfect for searing meats or fish in a single layer, and finishing the dishes off — slowly, with the lid on — with a delicious sauce. We've made Epicurious' red wine-braised short ribs many a time in our own braiser, with much success. (Seriously though, this is the easiest, fanciest recipe ever.)
The Signature Roaster ($210-$275, lecreuset.com)
Lasagnas, egg casseroles, oven-roasted chicken — you name it, this beauty of a roaster can handle it.
The Signature Saucepan ($185-$280, lecreuset.com)
Whether you're concocting a béarnaise sauce from scratch or whipping up Kraft Mac & Cheese, this classic saucepan, with its curved interior and no-slide lid, is a must-have in everyone's kitchen cupboard.
The French Press ($50-70, lecreuset.com)
Gonzalez's go-to coffee device marries form and function.
Want to score a deal? Wayfair is offering a Le Creuset bundle deal right now, where if you buy three eligible items (among 92 products, including most of the above must-haves) you get 20% off your total.
Note: The prices above reflect the retailer's listed prices at the time of publication.