The videos of gooey, delicious melted raclette being scraped from a wheel over potatoes, meat, bread, and even french fries almost always feature a restaurant in the background, like David Chang’s Majordomo. But raclette doesn’t have to be the exclusive purview of professionals. It’s just one of the foods that Cookut, a French kitchenware company new to the US market, is encouraging folks to prepare on their own at home.
Cookut’s tiny Lumi raclette set utilizes a tea candle to melt a hunk of cheese, which you then scrape over your side dish of choice with a wooden spatula. Home cooks can also use Cookut kits to try their hand at making whipped cream, crepes, milkshakes, and “fucking good fresh guacamole” (shortened to “FGFG” for American sensibilities).
These sorts of cute gimmicky products are nothing new in the kitchen goods space. But Cookut founder Gregory Maitre says Cookut is aiming for a specific customer — not an experienced home chef who’s already familiar with various techniques, but rather novice cooks who could use a nudge to try making something they’d otherwise buy ready-made at a store, like whipped cream or guac.
Not only is making your own food satisfying; using, say, a hand-held whipped cream maker can take just as little time as going to the store for some Reddi-Wip, according to Maitre. “It’s the same for our pizza stone or our new homemade pasta kit we’ve been working on,” he says. “Many people do not know that it’s faster to make [pizza] oneself than to have it delivered.”
It’s also more environmentally sustainable. Cooking at home with fresh ingredients means less plastic and cardboard waste from packaged foods. Plus Cookut’s tools are made with reusable materials, like mason jars, and require no electricity.
Will the cute little kits replace your traditional modes of cooking? Probably not. But are they fun new items to bring into the kitchen, especially as gifting season rolls around? The early five-star Amazon reviews for the raclette set would suggest so. Who doesn’t want a new way to melt cheese while wearing PJs?