Stanley Tucci Talks Italy, Instagram, and His New Cookware Line


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AD: The motto splashed throughout your new line is “Enjoy your life through food,” which is a sort of reprisal of the subhead of your 2021 book Taste: My Life Through Food. I’m curious how you landed on that phrasing and what it means to pose food as a lens or a path through which you live and find joy in life.

Stanley Tucci: Growing up in an Italian family, food is sort of everything. Food is such a huge part of Italian culture. And what’s interesting is that the majority of Italian food really came out of necessity as the mother of invention. It was a very poor country, invaded many times over thousands of years, but a very fertile country. They’re able to grow a lot from the south to the north, even though they’re completely different countries practically. And they brought all that food with them when they immigrated to wherever they immigrated. Food was a way for them obviously to sustain themselves, but also a way to communicate with each other, and it became very personal.

What did you feel was missing from the offerings on the market that you wanted to address with this line?

It’s very much my aesthetic; you like to see what you like to look at, and so I want those things around me all the time. A lot of the contemporary stuff would be really beautiful, but not necessarily great when it came to functionality, so I wanted to make that happen. I wanted something that wouldn’t be ridiculously expensive if you were to buy a set of it, or even if you were to buy an individual piece, it’s not crazily expensive like some cookware is. And it’s easy to clean, because I’m obsessed with cleaning.

“I love the negative space of the handles,” Tucci says. “Each handle is sized according to the size of the pan. Most manufacturers will make their products so that every pan will have the same size handle, no matter what size the pan. It just doesn’t really work. This was a really nice way of doing it.”

Photo: Matt Holyoak / Courtesy of Williams Sonoma

The actor shares that GreenPan first approached him a few years back about a collaboration. “At first, it was going to be something on a slightly bigger scale, but I really wanted to do something that was more intimate,” he says. “We came to an agreement and that was it. And then they said, ‘We’re going to team up with Williams Sonoma,’ which was incredible. I mean, Williams Sonoma is the pinnacle of kitchen cookware.”

Photo: Matt Holyoak / Courtesy of Williams Sonoma

Why was it crucial to produce the line in Italy?

For me, they needed to be made in Italy, because we make so many things overseas, we [import] so many things from China. Who’s benefiting from that? The manufacturers. Production in Europe and in America is suffering and has been for generations. So how can we make something really beautiful, functional, and that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? It has a higher price point, but it’s not insane, and it’s made in Europe with union laborers.

There’s this notion regarding celebrity brands, with any big star–big retailer partnership, that you put your name on something and keep going about your day. But you were very hands-on for this project and spent time in Italy at the factory. What was the nature of your involvement over there?

Oh yeah, I had a very specific idea of what I wanted these things to look like. We went to Italy, talked to the guys at the factory. They had sent over some images of what they were working on, and I liked a lot of it. Some of it wasn’t quite what I wanted. We looked at the prototypes and plastic models, and Jan, the designer, was just incredible. When he showed me the stuff he came up with, he said, “I studied you for months.” I was like, “What are you talking about?” He had watched my Instagram, looked at the stuff in my kitchen, what I cook with, the colors of my kitchen, my furniture, the way I dress and created the stuff with that in mind.

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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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