Cooking Origin Stories: Lapis, Not Flame

Tommy Mulvoy
5 min readDec 4, 2019

When I die, I want to come back as an item from my wife’s kitchen, preferably her Flame colored Le Creuset Signature Cast Iron 1 ½-quart sauce pan. I certainly live a good life, but there is no doubt in my mind that Vicky’s Le Creuset cookware, her Wusthof classic (not gourmet) knives, and her Villeroy & Boch glasses live a safer and more comfortable life than me, or you, ever will.

Before I met Vicky, I had a simple relationship with my kitchen implements, most of which were hand me downs from my sisters and mother with additional items collected during my travels around the world-hand painted plates and bowls from Palestine and coffee cups from Japan are two of my most treasured and practical items. I used my kitchen utensils for their prescribed duties, sometimes more-opening cardboard boxes with a steak knife, for instance-and when they were done with their job cutting, holding water, or heating things, I would give them a quick wash and toss them into a cabinet or drawer. It was all pretty basic. My wife’s relationship with all things culinary is a bit more sophisticated.

In the months following our engagement, the bedroom of our Brooklyn apartment overflowed with all things kitchen. When I asked why these items couldn’t be stored in the dining room, a look of terror crossed my soon-to-be wife’s face. She exclaimed that Nimera, my cat, might tip over and shatter a box of champagne glasses. This seemed plausible, so I allowed the growing mountain of glassware to live in our bedroom, where my cat, for some unknown reason, is forbidden to enter. Though, when Le Creuset cookware took up residence in the bedroom, I was a bit perplexed; Nimera is quite strong and inquisitive, but I didn’t think she had the power to knock over and break a three-pound saucepan. And, it wasn’t just that the cookware lived in the bedroom, it was also unpacked and delicately placed around the bed like some sort of creepy shrine to Armand Desaegher and Octave Aubecq, Le Creuset’s founders. As our wedding date got closer, getting to bed often involved a game of hopscotch.

After our wedding, when Vicky finally allowed us to start using our new kitchen items, I quickly gained a better appreciation for the cookware. Vicky’s meals weren’t tastier than before, but her smile, which reached across the kitchen each time she cooked a favorite dish of her mothers, often a beef stew or roast chicken, made me truly understand Vicky’s love of fine cookware.