The most refreshing thing about Material is its intentionally small collection of gear. The direct-to-consumer company focuses only on cooking utensils you actually need, which is a refreshing change of pace from big-store brands that make a thousand single-use tools and gadgets (though there is occasionally a place for those tools). Material’s newest item is a $60 wood cutting board and, much like the other products around Material’s site, it’s not extraordinarily expensive, though it is thoughtfully-designed and looks quite nice.
According to Material cofounder Eunice Byun, the board’s features were mostly determined by chatting with people who would use it — different wood options (walnut or maple), juice grooves (the most-demanded feature, according to Byun) and two usable sides (one for cutting, one for serving). Byun and Material’s design team also cut back on the usual thickness and weight of wood cutting boards, shaping this one to have a hard-angled edge. According to Byun, the weight and angled edge are the two factors that differentiate Material’s board from the rest of ’em.
“When it comes to wood boards, thickness tends to convey premium quality, however, we found that boards that are overly heavy in weight are too hard to care for,” Byun said. “And we imagined [the angled edge] that really complemented our knives. It is a simple design twist that not only gives the board a sharp aesthetic, but it had a functional reason-for-being.”
The edge makes it easier to swipe chopped food off the board and into a hand or hot pan (much like how countertops used to be made but for some reason aren’t anymore).
“Our goal was to design an everyday board for newbie home cooks and seasoned chefs alike,” Byun said. “Loading too many features into one cutting board can be tempting, so we kept it simple.”
Material’s cutting board is available now online.
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