It was the week before lockdown that I realised I was a foodie. A foodie is a person who has an ardent or refined interest in food and who eats food not only out of hunger but due to their interest or hobby – according to Wikipedia. That just about sums me up, I love food and eating but also thoroughly enjoy cooking.
During the week before lockdown, rather than running around gathering toilet rolls and dried pasta, I was gathering fresh herbs, chopping chillies, and slicing lemons for the freezer. I have no idea how I was going to protect my family with frozen thyme, but I guess people didn’t know how they were going to protect theirs with toilet rolls or pasta. These were unprecedented times and we were all trying to prepare for them in our own way.
Cooking became my main focus in those early days of lockdown and maybe it was a coping mechanism that made me concentrate on sourcing the healthiest and freshest food. If I couldn’t do anything else to protect my family, I could at least feed them well.
While idly looking through Instagram, I started watching videos of cooking. A lot of videos of cooking. I find them soothing and entertaining. One evening while browsing, a video popped up of a pan. A griddle pan called The Whatever Pan. It immediately got my attention. Maybe it was the name, let’s be honest, who doesn’t want a Whatever Pan? Maybe it was the shape, it’s round. My griddle pans (oh yes, I have more than one) are square. This has a lid, mine doesn’t. It has a handles that can go into the oven, mine don’t. I was smitten. I wanted this pan with its ovenproof handles and glass lid, it’s non-stick surface and 27cm diameter.
But we were in lockdown. No one was earning any money and I was spending all of mine on food and helping charities feed people. We need food to live, right? Did I really need another griddle pan?
Well the universe has a funny way of working and about a week after lusting after The Whatever Pan, I got an email from a lovely PR, who is also a foodie, asking me if I would like to review The Whatever Pan from Jean Patrique. What are the chances of that? Maybe cosmic ordering does work, and I just happened to order The Whatever Pan. Obviously, I jumped at the chance.
The Whatever Pan arrived in minimal, recyclable packaging, that made me happy. I hate wasteful packaging. The cast aluminium construction of the pan means it weighs about 2kg, it’s heavy enough to be solid but still light enough to easily lift in and out of an oven. If you’ve ever struggled with a heavy cast iron pan, you’ll know how important weight is.
The first test I set The Whatever Pan was cooking marinated chicken breasts. Cote, the popular family restaurants started an ‘at home’ service and their butchery section has the most delicious cornfed chicken. The Whatever Pan cooked the chicken perfectly, 5 minutes each side and then another 5 minutes in the oven. Having never had a griddle that you can pop in the oven, this was a great novelty. No transferring to another pan and having even more washing up. I was sold.
We then cooked burgers, sausages, peppers and fish, we’ve griddled asparagus and halloumi, The Whatever Pan outperforms all my other pans and it’s far more versatile. And, it is not only me that loves it, my son has been using it and it’s now his go to pan every time.
I’ve been using The Whatever Pan on a gas hob, but you can use it on induction, ceramic or electric hobs as well. And when you put it in the oven, it can withstand temperatures up to 250˚C/482˚F.
I am conscious of not using too much oil or fat when I cook. The non-stick griddle lines mean that the food cooks evenly and with minimal oil, it also drains any fat from the meat easily. The extra deep 3.5cm sides also means that I don’t have to clean the kitchen floor every time I cook, there is considerably less splattering from The Whatever Pan.
Maybe this isn’t such a concern to you, but I like cooking utensils that are easy to clean. After use, just put some hot water and washing up liquid into the pan, allow it to soak for a few minutes and wash it clean. It really is that simple.
Jean Patrique produce The Whatever Pan. They are a company of food obsessed individuals, that was started by a French chef living in the UK who decided to make restaurant quality cookware for family and friends. That was twenty years ago, and they are still on a mission to get us all to cook healthy food from scratch, using the best possible equipment. Jean Patrique are so confident that you will be using your cookware well into the future, they even offer a 25 year warranty.
I am so impressed with The Whatever Pan that I have already purchased one for my daughter Charlotte, I know she is going to love it as much as I do. As I said, who doesn’t want a Whatever Pan.
The Whatever Pan was kindly supplied by Jean Patrique for this review