ANAORI kakugama Is The Stylish, All-In-One Kitchen Tool You’ve Been Dreaming Of

The mysterious looking ANAORI kakugama.  Image courtesy of ANAORI.
Image courtesy of ANAORI.
The sleek, all-black cookware is carved from a single block of carbon graphite, and takes cues from the traditional Japanese “hagama” cast iron pot. Image courtesy of ANAORI.
Image courtesy of ANAORI.
The material’s excellent thermal and electrical conductivity means more efficient cooking, and better retention of the natural flavours and texture of ingredients. Image courtesy of ANAORI and Louise.
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CoBo Social Market News Reports

ANAORI kakugama, the newest cookware by Japanese carbon graphite product manufacturer ANAORI Inc., is a culinary powerhouse that boasts a sleek, understated design. As part of its launch in Hong Kong, the brand has teamed up with the city’s stylish French eatery, Louise, on a limited-time, special menu to demonstrate the versatility of this groundbreaking product.

TEXT: Denise Tsui
IMAGES: Courtesy of ANAORI

 

The mysterious looking ANAORI kakugama.  Image courtesy of ANAORI.

 

I love to eat. Even more so, I love to cook. Like admiring a pair of killer stiletto heels, there is an irresistible appeal about a glistening new piece of cookware in all its aesthetic perfection that, I will shamelessly admit, can pique my interest more than a painting or a sculpture, and most certainly more than any NFT ever could. Those who like to get down and dirty in the kitchen will probably agree; a well-designed tool that has smart functionality and appealing looks is—*drum roll* for the cliché—a work of art to be admired. I could hold down a conversation on the structural integrity a good frying pan should have, or how a knife should feel in your hand, as much as I could tell you about the abstract painting that is mind-boggling you right now. So, when the offer to take a look at—and taste food cooked from—the mysterious looking ANAORI kakugama, I simply couldn’t resist. So, indulge me just once as I swap the art market for culinary mastery.

 

Image courtesy of ANAORI.
The sleek, all-black cookware is carved from a single block of carbon graphite, and takes cues from the traditional Japanese “hagama” cast iron pot. Image courtesy of ANAORI.

 

Designed by ANAORI Inc., a company best known for expertise in carbon graphite technology, ANAORI kakugama is in essence a multifunctional cooking tool, boasting the ability to simmer, poach, braise, fry, grill—and even cook rice. Get a little creative and it can likely serve even more purposes. Externally it looks like a sleek, black cube shouting Japanese minimalist aesthetics. For the science nerds, or those like me with way too much curiosity for the know-how of everything, ANAORI kakugama is intriguing because it is crafted out of carbon graphite. This is one probable reason behind its high price point for a piece of kitchenware (starting at US$2,490 for the smaller 3.4L capacity). Carbon graphite, in chemistry terms, is one of three forms of elemental carbon—the other two being coal and diamond. Carbon graphite is known for its thermal and electrical conductivity, and its resistance to heat, thermal shock and wear. From an atomic level, carbon graphite has a hexagonal structure—one of the strongest shapes next to a circle and triangle, and prevalent in nature for its high efficiency and perfect tessellation—making it a very robust raw material.

Applied to culinary use and these facts simply tell us that ANAORI kakugama has excellent heat retention (for two hours I was told before the temperature starts to cool) and superior infrared emissivity—five times better than your average cast iron pot—which means more efficient cooking, or as ANAORI tells us, on a chemical level, the cellular breakdown of raw ingredients is reduced (meaning again, more natural flavour and texture retention in your food). While my culinary palette was far from refined enough to test this hypothesis in action, the dishes Executive Chef Franckelie Laloum served up at Michelin-starred French restaurant Louise, demonstrated the versatility of ANAORI kakugama—and was delicious to taste of course. There was also the giddy drama and wow factor as we all went from staring at the lonesome black cube on the chef table to oohing and ahhing at the sight of it with food inside. The three dishes cooked with the ANAORI kakugama—part of a special six-course menu available until 18 July—included a Minestrone style broth with vegetables from Laurent Berrurier, mint oil and black truffle; six-hour braised veal cheek; and duck foie gras seared on the lid of the ANAORI kakugama.

 

Image courtesy of ANAORI.
The material’s excellent thermal and electrical conductivity means more efficient cooking, and better retention of the natural flavours and texture of ingredients. Image courtesy of ANAORI and Louise.

 

Chef Laloum is one of 24 chefs taking part in a global six-month campaign to launch the ANAORI kakugama where ANAORI has selected some of the top names of the culinary world—either Michelin-starred or among World’s 50 Best Restaurants—from various cities including Shanghai, Bangkok, Singapore, Taipei, Melbourne, Sydney, Mumbai, Vienna, New York, and the list goes on. Dubbedd the ANAORI Naturality Tour, chefs are invited to experiment with the ANAORI kakugama to demonstrate its gastronomic potential.

While I can’t comment on the practicalities of using the ANAORI kakugama in a domestic setting having not cooked with it myself, what I can say is the simplicity of its design, paired with the seductive blackness of the carbon graphite, and the smoothness of its touch under your fingertips, is really just as alluring and sharp in real life as it is in photos. I am definitely no minimalist, especially not in the kitchen (I own more knives than I have fingers) but I can appreciate the Japanese philosophy of minimalism being brought to the kitchen—and ANAORI founder Eiichi Anaori’s childhood memory of sweet potatoes roasted on coal being the root inspiration adds an extra little intimate human touch to this very contemporary lifestyle-driven piece of culinary technology.

 

 

 
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