Several years ago, while on vacation in England, I bought my first Silverwood baking pan. I was intrigued by the clever removable bottom and pleased to learn that the heavy-gauge aluminum alloy was not merely a superb conductor of heat, but also coating-free yet nearly non-stick.
Indeed, my eight-inch square Eyecatcher brownie pan became a favorite vessel for baking anything that would fit, and last year I finally decided to replace all my bakeware with professional-grade Silverwood products.
I found a distributor willing to ship to Poland for a reasonable fee and I proceeded to order several baking sheets, a tarte tatin pan, three round cake pans of varying diameter and the ingenious square multisize cake pan with extra dividers (pictured below). The tatin pan arrived quickly and proved to be a phenomenal piece of engineering, perfect for any caramelized upside-down tart, but also ideal for the classic tortilla española. The rest of my order, however, never came.
My e-mails to the distributor went unanswered and my calls wouldn’t go through. Eventually, I had the idea to call the producer directly and ask for their assistance with my third-party order. To my surprise, I was soon on the phone with Mr. Simon Silverwood himself, who took an interest in my plight and suggested that he speak to the seller on my behalf. To my further surprise, I instantly received an actual follow-up e-mail from Mr. Silverwood in which he presented me with a very satisfactory solution that he devised in co-operation with the original seller. Thus, the Alan Silverwood company deemed my problem worthy of a senior executive’s time and claimed partial responsibility where most manufacturers I can think of would have probably cited no liability for the actions of independent distributors.
Within a week of this exchange, all the outstanding bakeware arrived. Since then, it has exceeded my already-high expectations, with all the pieces proving as durable as they are well designed. I recommend them heartily to anyone who loves to bake and values extraordinary craftsmanship and clever design. But what I recommend even more strongly—to bakers and non-bakers alike—is taking a page out of the Alan Silverwood professional playbook. In all our dealings may we strive for such courtesy and accountability. These days, whenever I’m baking, I get to feel proud not just of my taste in bakeware, but of having supported the right kind of company, too.
Despite this overwhelming optimism, I think I’ll end with some criticism: Why are there no sellers in Poland, a country of forty milion with no shortage of folks who love spending money on kitchen gadgetry? More specifically, why isn’t the well-suited Polish retailer Red Onion a distributor? (After all, many of my dinner guests don’t want to wait until the next time they’re in the UK to get their own Silverwood bakeware.)