Legacy Kitchen

The Malle W. Trousseau collects culinary tools you’d be proud to hand down.

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Photos: Marie Pierre Morel and Ian Scigliuzzi/courtesy MoMA Design Store

Time and again, our itinerant lives require a molting process. When leaving home, changing jobs, and chasing our dreams, we are forced to shed our possessions in a series of yard sales and Craigslist ads. The objects we desperately cling to—the cooking pot, the paintings, the dinnerware set with a chipped plate—are the ones that carry our ideas of home in them. So when the French entrepreneur Isabelle Mathez’s 18-year-old daughter decided to move out, the soon-to-be empty nester discovered that she might end up with a bare kitchen as well. Her daughter wanted to take a treasured chopping board made by a friend of the family, a cast-iron casserole designed by Timo Sarpaneva in 1959, and a Corsican knife, among other things. “She wanted to carry with her the rituals that have been in her life since she was a child,” Mathez says.

That’s how Mathez ended up creating the Malle W. Trousseau, a set of 43 handpicked and custom-made tools to help modern nomads set up a world-class kitchen no matter where they go. Out of the objects she had collected over a lifetime for her two homes in Paris and the Alps, as well as the items she had noticed on her travels, Mathez and her business partner, Juliette Thevenin, packed a beautiful wood-and-cardboard trunk in three layers—containers, cooking utensils, and cutting tools.

1 Timo Sarpaneva’s 1959 Cast Iron Casserole is a Scandinavian icon. “It’s so nice, you can bring it directly to the table,” Mathez says.


2 This leather apron “was made by a saddler in the Alps. He usually makes bridles for horses and collars for cows.”


3 “Most chopping boards are glued, and I hate the idea of having glue in contact with food.” This walnut chopping board is carved from a single piece of wood.


4 Manufactured by Mauviel,“an old company supplying very famous chefs’ restaurants in France since the 1830s,” this sturdy frying pan is “indispensable. You only need one, in a large size, for a lifetime.”


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