Housewares Design Awards

2007 Best in Category: Kitchen Hand Tools

Chef'n Corporation


Design is what Chef’n is all about, says Jessica Ahlering, the company’s marketing coordinator.

“For more than 25 years, Chef’n has focused on product design,” she said. “Most companies push with sales— we push with design.”

The team at Chef’n believes that cooking needs to be fun, not ordinary, Ahlering said.

“The best, most interesting way to [make cooking] fun is design,” she said. “Chef’n strives to push innovation and look at how we can make something new, innovative and functional.”

With the PalmPeeler, which earned Chef’n the distinction of 2007 Housewares Design Award winner for Kitchen Hand Tools, Chef’n’s aim was to make peeling easier, and to contour the peeler to the palm of the consumer’s hand, thus eliminating gripping and reducing stress.

“That’s the design philosophy at Chef’n,” said Ahlering. “We took a problem, fixed it, gave it a new look and created a solution.”

In the lab at Chef’n, John Prins works with the design team as the technical development manager.

“David [Holcomb, founder and CEO/Chef’n] wanted to take a new approach to how the typical peeler was designed and handled,” Prins said of the new PalmPeeler.

Holcomb thought the peeler should be an extension of the hand rather than a screwdriver-like apparatus that had to be gripped in an awkward way. He sold the designers on the idea, said Prins, and a senior designer changed the ergonomics and gave the peeler a “more polished look.”

Holcomb, who worked as a professional chef, has brought more than 50 products to the market.

“Being the loud leader in a sleepy market of kitchen housewares means having to take risks,” Holcomb noted in the past. “But the results of my creations prove that Chef’n is a relevant company in a crowded housewares market.”

When Holcomb’s first kitchen gadget invention, the Garlic Machine, was developed in 1982, Chef’n was born. By 2001, twenty years of innovation had brought the company over a hundred patents and trademarks and worldwide distribution.

Chef’n’s line of products includes the PepperBall; Salt Ball; Combo and Bistro Grinders; Switchit and SwitchitPRO dual-ended silicone spatulas and pastry brushes; the Grill’n line, which includes Hot Rod Mop Brush, Grilling Tongs, Turner and Fork; the Kitchzen Tools line; ZipFlip flexible turners and spreaders; and a full line of gadgets, including the DiscGo magnetic trivet, Tongo tongs, Flexicado Avocado Slicer, Grapefruiter Citrus Sectioning Tool, Juicester Citrus Juicer, Hightailer Shrimp Peeler and Deveiner, WiseCracker Crab Splitter, the SleekStor line of collapsible silicone products, the Garlic Machine, the EZ Squeeze One-Handed Can Opener, and the PalmBrush and award-winning PalmPeeler.

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