The Le Creuset dishes I’ve accumulated over the years get a lot of love in my kitchen, from the classic 5 qt. oven to my treasured tarte tatin pan. So when I was invited to visit the Le Creuset foundry, in Fresnoy-le-Grand, France, the birthplace of this iconic cookware, where all of the company’s cast iron products have been produced since 1925, I jumped at the chance!
Paul Van Zuydam, the Chairman of the company, bought Le Creuset in 1987 at a time when it was unclear whether or not the company would survive. Not only did he bring it back to life, he managed to turn it into one of the most prestigious cookware companies in the world.
After a 2 hour drive north out of Paris (and a lovely lunch with Paul Van Zuydam of quiche, salad, cured meats and local cheeses), we entered the lobby, complete with a mini museum with some classic pieces since retired, like these yellow beauties from 1945-1955.
Frédéric Sallé, the most affable plant manager, gave us the tour of the foundry, which recently expanded just in time for the company’s 90th anniversary. I was so impressed by how he warmly interacted with the workers like they were family.
Our first sight upon entry to the factory was bins full of Dutch Ovens and skillets. Be still my heart! We were all a bit floored when we found out they were seconds, soon be melted down and re-cast.
“There was so much to love about my journey in Morocco: The food was scrumptious, the people were friendly and I even got to ride a camel! I brought my camera everywhere I went so I could share my favorite family memories with you,” Rachael Ray.
“In my family, we celebrate milestone birthdays with a shared experience. It makes the most memorable gift, whether you’re on a shoestring budget or have limitless money to spend. When my sister Maria’s 50th birthday was approaching, there was no question about where we’d go: Morocco. That’s me and my sister, Maria. To me, riding a camel felt like riding a bumpy sofa!”
”You can find some beautiful things at wonderful prices, like these handmade metal lamps.”
“My photo tip? Don’t center your travel buddy (yup, that’s John!) or a landmark. It’s a more interesting shot if it’s a bit off-kilter.”
If you’ve known and loved a BBQ trail in your day, or vineyard-hopped with the best of them, we’ve got your next great trips right here: five food routes so tempting, we apologize to your driveway for the impending skid marks. Immediate departure not an option? Stay tuned and get an edible preview as we share exclusive regional recipes!