Last summer, my friend Adam Ragusea, a long-time journalist and then-teaching professor at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, shared with me that he’d been making cooking videos on YouTube. It sounded really cool, so I began to check out his work. I, like much of America, was taken by his wit and willingness to experiment in the kitchen. He’s great on air and it’s always a blast to see him share his insights.
After working collaboratively with Adam last July, I gave him a skillet to thank him for his shared expertise – his session was a huge hit and actually ran long because it was so successful. Adam was genuinely pleased by the gift and ended up making a video with the BSR #8 that he’d been gifted. All of a sudden, I became flooded with emails and follows on IG and Facebook because of the shout out he gave in the comments.
I knew I needed to build a better online presence, but work kicked off and I found myself focused on restorations for friends. The holidays picked up and it was fun to gift some pieces I’d completed, but generally speaking, I was slowing down on things.
Fast forward to March and it seemed as though the world stopped due to COVID-19. Being cooped up in the house got me inspired to dig back into restorations and by the time June rolled around, I was able to reload the booth at Athens Antiques and Vintage at 4615 Atlanta Highway.
It felt good to stock up on the merchandise and with a new booth and better visibility, I felt excited about taking my work to market. I started ramping up the Facebook and IG presence again and then out of the blue, a text.
Adam followed up with me to take part in a video. We’d talked about it last summer, but I more or less put it out of mind at the time because of work starting up.
As we exchanged messages, I immediately began backpedaling, “Oh, it’s just a hobby…” or “C’mon, man, I’m not an expert!” Fortunately, Adam is an understanding guy and having gone through his own learning curve becoming a YouTuber, he worked to allay my fears. We set a date to meet up in early July.
Between our text exchange and prior to a brief vacation and some quality picking, I finally put this website together. Spending some time researching and putting down my thoughts on cast iron was relatively cathartic, but I was still edgy about being potentially portrayed as something of an expert.
The day Adam stopped by had to be one of the hottest of the summer. Before I even walked out to greet him – I was grateful he honored the mask code – I was sweating up a storm. Whether it was nerves or the heat, I’m not totally sure, but it was sweat season.
We talked for a while about the plan for the shoot from visuals to topics of interest and we generally just spent time catching up. There’s little wonder that Adam was a success in the media game for years – he put me at ease, he listens and asks good questions. Beyond that, he’s just a fun guy to be around.
During his visit, Adam allowed me to showcase some pieces I’ve acquired that are up for restoration, some works in progress, and some of collectible pieces that I’m pretty happy with. I was impressed by the variety of shots he took, his own background and understanding of cast iron production, cooking and seasoning.
Spending an hour with Adam was a blast. Talking about some of my favorite restoration techniques, sharing tips and tricks I’d learned from mentors I’ve met since digging into the hobby, and just bouncing ideas about the best uses of the iron in the kitchen was a fulfilling experience.
After filming, I appreciated his follow up questions and the opportunity to vet the video before it aired today. Having watched the video several times now, I realized just how much I truly do know about the background of cast iron and, as Adam notes, there’s so much more to learn.
Adam, we really do need to commission a study.
Matty Matheson is a former professional chef, a frequent guest on Vice’s Munchies and former host of a pair of Viceland food shows. But more than anything, he is a very loud, very Canadian cook who likes the Grateful Dead. His most recent endeavor is his personal Youtube channel, Just a Dash, where he’s posted videos with names like “Drop Acid & Butter Baste Steaks” and “Larb is Goooood.” And it just so happens Matheson’s kitchen is absolutely stacked with some of the best cookware money can buy. From a grail-worthy handmade skillet to a world-famous knife, here’s a small selection of Matheson’s preferred cooking gear.
Gray Kunz Sauce Spoon
These spoons are the kitchen version of “if you know, you know.” They’re slightly longer and deeper than your standard spoon, so you’re able to hold more liquid from a few useful inches further away from hot sauces (or, in this case, butter). Get one and never look back.
Buy Now: $12
The single most ubiquitous product in kitchens was not made for cooks, but for carpenters. Fortunately for the folks behind the Microplane, its ability to grate cheese and zest fruits is unmatched.
Buy Now: $13
Peugeot Pepper Mill
One pepper mill to rule them all. Peugeot’s pepper mill can be found in chef’s kitchens and your grandma’s kitchen. It comes with a lifetime guarantee, it’s elegant and it just works. Yes, $46 is a lot to spend on a pepper mill, but this one’s worth it.
Buy Now: $46
Finex Cast-Iron Skillets
On the counter behind Matheson sits a stack of Finex’s strange but well-loved cast-iron skillets. They’re heavier than most modern cast-iron pans and sport a machhined smooth cooking surface, a unique octogonal shape and a spring coil handle. Even though the company is owned by the affordable cast iron makers at Lodge, they don’t come cheap.
Buy Now: $115+
Blanc Creatives Carbon Steel Skillet
This is a deep-cut of a deep-cut. It’s carbon steel, not cast iron, so it’s a little bit lighter but carries similar searing power and heat retention. But this one is made by hand by Blanc Creatives, and, sadly, you can’t buy one just like it anymore. The brand recently ceased hand-hammered cookware production in favor of a more mechanized process. Its original pans can be found under the Heritage collection on their site, but they’re all sold out. Its new line is available for (slightly) lower prices.
Buy Now: $240+
Bob Kramer x Zwilling Carbon Steel Knife
By all accounts, Bob Kramer is America’s greatest living bladesmith. He designed these knives with Zwilling in the same shape and style of the bespoke blades he sells for tens of thousands of dollars at auction. Even at $300, these are the most affordable Kramer-designed knives on the market.
Buy Now: $300
Mauviel Copper Cookware
I can’t be 100 percent certain those are Mauviel pots, but knowing all the other outrageously nice gear in the kitchen, it’s likely. Copper cookware is, bar-none, the most expensive cookware you can buy. The material is expensive and its ability to heat up and cool down extremely fast is unique and useful to chefs and home cooks who know what they’re doing. Mauviel’s copper pots are cookware flexes.
Buy Now: $70+
Will PriceAssistant Editor, Home and DesignWill Price is Gear Patrol’s home and drinks editor.
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NOT NOT TACOS - In San Diego’s Little Italy Food Hall are NOT the tacos you’re thinking. There’s no carne asada, no pollo and definitely no corn tortillas. But there is pastrami, Korean short rib, smokey pork & mac and insanely delicious custom flour tortillas.
GRAZE - about 40 feet away serves flatbreads, charcuterie boards and shareable fun food in a living room kind of setting.
SAMBURGERS - In the Little Italy Food Hall along with Not Not and also at Seaport Village, our burgers are what dreams are made of - ok, they’re actually made of really delicious ingredients, but you know what we mean.
Kent rollins youtube
Iron cooking cast youtube
Feels a woman's hand, everything is removed. Regardless of everything, there is order everywhere. Doradia bones have disappeared somewhere, a bucket full of water stands aside, no branches or leaves. I watch you through half-closed eyes.Awesome Cast Iron Recipes
" and again strained to squeeze out another portion of feces.Mmm. eh. prrr. bunch, bunch.
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