Treating Ourselves

Months before we’d even considered formally putting a registry together, Sylvia had gotten a phone call about some prize package that she’d won and that all we had to do was to head over to a presentation to claim it. We were both pretty skeptical as we knew that there was going to be some sort of sales element to the affair. About the most that we could figure out from the company name, Chef World, was that they sold home goods like pots/dishware/cutlery/etc. While hesitant to commit to seeing the presentation, we also realized that they didn’t have any of our financial info and we could always say no to whatever was going on. This was back in December too, so it was cold and any excuse to get out of the house was a good one. So the week before Christmas, we headed over to a hotel in Rosemont to see what was up and it was it’s own kind of adventure.

Once we’d made it there and gotten to where we needed to go, we met with a nice guy by the name of Robert who let us know that we were going to be the only couple at the presentation that day, which set off a few alarm bells in my head. I could tell Sylvia wasn’t too sure about it either, but we both kept our cool and listened to what he had to say. The package that we’d won was for a getaway at any of a branch of hotels for a few days; we would just have to get ourselves there. There was also a deal for a coupon kind of subscription for one free year and we could cancel at any time. He also had a voucher for about $600 toward a pair of carbon wedding bands. That was kind of cool because it was one of the first times I’d heard about carbon being a viable material for a wedding band. All of that was ours and he handed us the paperwork without any fuss at all.

Then it was time for the pitch itself. We were right as Chef World deals pretty much with china/dishware, pots/pans & cutlery and that’s what was on display. Thankfully he didn’t push too hard on trying to get us to buy a set of china as none of the designs really piqued our interest even though he did say that the company can replace any of the designs for free for up to 50 years is how I remember him saying it. While that would have been nice, the two of us hadn’t even thought about looking at dishware, much less china yet, so we passed on that. He showed us a range of knives that they sold in different packages and they looked pretty decent, but we already had a nice Global G-2 chef’s knife we’d bought a while ago that was handling anything we were throwing at it already. A set of expensive knives when we didn’t have a purpose for them didn’t make sense no matter how nice they looked.

The real pitch was for the pots and pans though and they were pretty nice. The one thing that was a bit weird to me is that they’re sold as a way to make cooking healthier as they’re supposed to be able to allow you reduce the amount of oil you cook with as well as allow you to cook things like vegetables without any water, which keeps more of the minerals intact. Looking at the construction of them, they seemed pretty solid. The lids to each of them have a built-in whistle for (I think) about 180 degrees, which we were told was the ideal for cooking vegetables in them. The construction of the pots and pans themselves looked interesting too as the bottom is layered with materials that they essentially charge and retain heat, as opposed to just passing it through, which is supposed to insure a more consistent heating area and eliminating cold spots. The handles are also spot welded on, which eliminates rivets that come through to the interior of the cookware. Another interesting thing about the design was that they nest and stack in such a way that they don’t take up nearly the room as a few pots and pans would otherwise. Listening and watching all of this, I was kind of starting to wonder what the catch was since they seemed pretty interesting and were lifetime guaranteed to be replaced if anything ever went wrong with anything. Robert even did a little demo showing that you could cook a batch of fruit and vegetables with no water or oil and in only a few minutes. When he set that on to do its thing, he had a demo video going where a guy showed you how to use a couple of the larger pots in conjunction to cook a roast at the bottom pot, while baking/steaming a cake in the top pot. Sylvia and I looked at each other thinking, “that’s pretty cool, but is it for real?”

After that was over and we got a chance to sample the veggies and fruit that Robert cooked up (pretty tasty by the way), it was down to what the actual cost was. The cookware wasn’t sold by individual piece, but in one of three sets and none of them were cheap at all. He did mention that he’d give a significant discount and throw in a set of knives if we put down a payment today, but that it was only good for that day. If we did end up going with them, the discount today would be a lifetime discount in case we decided to purchase anything additional from the company down the road. I asked if we could be left alone to talk about it, thinking that Svlvia would think that while they were really cool, they were too expensive since I was already thinking this was the case. Her first word was, “I think they’re pretty great and I kind of want to get them.” I was caught a bit off guard, but her rationale made sense as in her mind, they seemed pretty legit, they were lifetime guaranteed, you always want a good set of pots and pans that will last, and the good ones all tend to run in the higher priced range. We went back and for a bit more about it trying to confirm that we were both on board with making a big purchase outside of a wedding registry and that day. I did some numbers in my head and I figured that we’d easily be able to take the cost based on the minimum payments Robert was talking.

Robert came back in and I asked him why they only sold their cookware in presentations like this one as opposed to online or through retailers. I also asked him why the company didn’t have a higher profile online and his response said that it boiled down to overhead. Selling them through presentations like this one was the most solid way for them to make sure that the costs were as low as possible while also making sure that everyone who purchased from the company had met someone in person. With that response, Sylvia and I told him that we’d be interesting in purchasing one of the packages and we did all of the paperwork and chatted with him a bit more before heading home.

About a week or so later was when the pots and pans came in and I felt like Sylvia and I were adults and a legitimate couple because now we had a nice set of pots and pans that we’d be spending good money on and all in the name of starting to put together a household. We’ve talked about it a number of times since then and we’re still happy with making the purchase then for a couple of reasons. First, they’ve been pretty amazing to cook with and I think we’ve gotten a bit spoiled by how quickly they heat up and retain heat and how evenly they cook. Secondly, we’ve realized that when you’re getting married, there are times that you have to recognize that should make purchases together, even if they might also work on something like a registry. Even if someone would have bought us the pots and pans for the wedding as a gift, Sylvia and I actively committed to making a big decision and earning something that has given us a lot of usefulness. That’s a pretty rad thing as far as I’m concerned. It really just reinforces to me what a good team that we make.


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