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Set in Stone: Grif Cookware’s Legacy of Sustainability & Style

The brand’s track record of pristine quality and intricate sustainability landed it on many dining tables, including Shark Tank’s.

Layla Raik

Set in Stone: Grif Cookware’s Legacy of Sustainability & Style

One night, as newlywed cooking-expert couple Linda and Youssef Al Ryan stood in their kitchen on one of their at-home fine dining ventures, they experienced a hunger of a different form: a hunger for eloquent cookware.

Tired of the virulence of most non-stick cookware, they wistfully dreamt of a set of cast iron skillets that could sufficiently house their elusive ravioli and delicately topped pizzas - and found no choice but to seek imported products, which, even then, were a scarce, out-of-reach investment. This was when Youssef Al Ryan asked himself, “Why not make it ourselves, here in Egypt?” and the story of Grif turned its first page.Youssef, along with co-founders Linda El Sayyad and Heidi El Abd, began scouring for a manufacturer willing to take on their mission at its embryonic beginnings. Soon they began to create prototype after prototype to perfect the Grif we now see.

“In the early days, it got to a point where I had to sell my car to fund Grif. And I did,” Co-Founder and CEO, Youssef Al Ryan, tells CairoScene.With everything they had at stake, Grif braved our Shark Tank screens in January 2023, successfully enchanting the show’s judges into giving the brand a EGP 2 million grant. It was then that Grif was able to really spread its wings and soar.

Named and branded after the Egyptian god Horus, in the shape of the eternally wise gryphon, Grif represents an ode to beauty and power. Each of the brand’s skillets, pots, pans or leather accessories is crafted with intricate attention to every detail. From the entirely organic, sustainably sourced cast iron and copper, to the engraved leather handles accompanying skillet by skillet, to the lids’ handcrafted brass knobs - Grif leaves no leaf unturned in the making of premium quality cookware that brings joy to the cook. The delicate beauty of each of the brand’s pieces enables them for use in both the cooking and display processes.More than just a pretty face, Grif’s products are entirely, down to the wooden utensils, sourced locally. In other words, your Grif Dutch oven doesn’t just elegantly braise your meat, it also provides jobs for hundreds of workers across foundries, carpentries, leather stores and more.As Al Ryan puts it, “It’s my dream for the whole MENA region to be familiar with sustainable and healthy cookware, specifically cast iron.” When it comes down to it, Grif’s mission lies primarily in clearing the MENA region’s diet by providing a well-versed collection of premium cookware that allows food to reach its fullest potential in terms of flavour, nutritional value, and sustainability.