When Marie Guerlain’s first child was born, she found herself spending more time in the kitchen cooking nutritious meals, but struggled to find cookware that was both non-toxic and aesthetically pleasing. ‘It is counterproductive to cook thoughtful, organic meals in badly made cookware,’ she says.
As a qualified nutritional health coach and student of functional medicine, Marie had always embraced holistic wellness and the nurturing and balancing of body and mind through delicious and nutritionally fulfilling food.
She felt so strongly that cooking tasty food should not mean compromising on nutritional quality that she started researching the best materials for avoiding toxicity in the kitchen. She landed on the highest grade 316Ti titanium and used it as the basis for launching a new professional cookware brand in 2018.
Combining artistic form with innovative function, Ondine cookware is designed to go straight from oven to table. Its healthy, non-toxic make-up protects both the taste and nutrients in your food, while being meticulously crafted to be used again and again, and passed down through the generations.
‘I translated my passion for health and nutrition into Ondine,’ explains Marie, ‘but it also represents my love of art and design. I believe oven-to-table cooking is both helpful for preparation and also a loving, bonding way to serve food. Ondine cookware is designed to take pride of place at the table.’
Although the brand is headquartered in the UK, it was Italy’s top artisans with whom Marie spent five years researching and developing her practical and beautiful cookware. Every detail, from the simplicity of the overall design to the hand-finished brass handles, was considered for its functionality and style. The finish is naturally non-stick, which means cooks can minimise the use of butter and cooking oils.
With people both cooking at home and focusing on their health in general during 2020, the brand had a really successful year. Ondine’s retail model was already established online which gave it a headstart, and the lockdown saw a big growth in both awareness and sales internationally. Much of this was organic, attributable to word of mouth and online recommendations. The film Dark Waters, about the toxic components of Teflon, was also a contributory factor in spreading the message about the value of non-toxic cookware.
Alongside a strong online performance, Ondine also became Harrods leading cookware retailer for part of 2020, and sales are still going strong there. The brand’s distinctive products and philosophy around healthy cooking and eating clearly plays well with the Harrods customer. It’s an achievement of which Ondine is rightly proud, and it does not rule out adding more products to the collection in future.
As a working mother with young children, Marie understands the challenges of finding time and space to come together as a family, as well as making time to nurture oneself. Through her Instagram channel she shares insights, tips and family-led recipes that celebrate the joy of food and life’s simple pleasures. As she sums up: ‘We will continue to promote healthy cooking and healthy cookware. In light of the pandemic, this approach has never been more important.’