Objects of Design #343: Complete Set of Kitchen Essentials (Part 1)

ultimate kitchen set the malle w trousseau
ultimate kitchen set the malle w trousseau

Yes, a large cardboard box. But this box, which costs (let’s get that bit over with right away) £2,900, contains 43 of the best, most beautiful and useful kitchen utensils from around the world. It was created by Isabelle Mathez and Frederic Winkle whose daughter left home and tried to make off with the contents of their kitchen.

“The objects we have found over the years are timeless and they soon became an integral part of our own household. So it is natural to ask us where the idea of grouping them together in a trunk came from? The answer is that when our daughter Dalva was leaving home, she asked us; ‘Can I take the Corsican knife and the chopping board that Jules made and…’ And that reminded us of the trousseau that our grandparents would receive when they got married.”

ultimate kitchen set by malle w trousseau
kitchen essentials; the best from around the world

And so the trousseau was born; the inventors called it the gift of a lifetime for a lifetime. The trunk contains three trays which cover the three C’s: CUT, COOK & CONTAINERS. Inside there are Japanese Shun Knives, Danish wooden spatulas, a Finnish cast iron casserole pot, Swedish oven gloves, American strengthened glass containers, French beech chopping boards, German Balloon whisks and much more.

The idea behind each piece was that it would last for ever. “Over the years we have made our selection based on a tool’s intrinsic integrity and practicality and on three fundamental criteria: the object must be well thought-out, well designed and well made.

kitchen essentials trousseau
the trousseau includes the Finnish Sarponeva pot

“Who hasn’t cursed the ‘good’ knife that won’t cut, the warped chopping board or the dishcloth that doesn’t dry? The objects presented in the trousseau are made by craftsmen with a genuine savoir-faire and love of their craft.”

There’s no need to completely panic about the price though. While Selfridges sell the full box for the afore-mentioned price (no I can’t repeat it) you can buy it layer by layer, or even piece by piece from Heals so if there’s just one thing you really fancy you can have it.

kitchen essentials malle w trousseau
There is even a set of dishclothes and an apron in the set

It’s such a wonderful idea and I wish I had one. I have to say if you did have it as a wedding present it’s probably not that expensive if you think about the value of the average wedding list. Anyway, if that all feels a little too much for you, come back tomorrow, we’re going to have a look at some stylish kitchen essentials which are a little more affordable.

And, if you want to know more about the individual pieces contained in the trousseau then visit the Moma Store who have done a complete breakdown of all 43 pieces with its manufacturer and history from the dishcloths to the spaghetti spoon.




Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.


  1. OhI love that trunk and everything else they do…it’s amazing, saw it a few seasons ago at the Maison et Objet…wish i could get married all over again, that would be the only thing on my list

  2. A timely piece as my daughter is moving out today – taking the Kitchen Aid (her graduation present) and the Ottolenghi recipe book. I may be bolting a few family favorites to the floor or maybe it’s just time to let go and go of on my travels. Especially as it’s still raining!

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