Priscilla Tan  |  Singapore
Published 2014-11-11 11:00:54

Kickstarter Pick of the Week is Vulcan Post’s weekly series where we share some of the most noteworthy and creative projects that pose to make positive improvements in our lives. Come across anything interesting on crowdfunding websites? Let us know at team@vulcanpost.com!

I’m 21 and I can only cook one dish. If I’m in an exceptional mood, I have no problem whipping up a meal of vermicelli with sesame oil, ginger and Chinese wolf berries. The reason why I can cook this is because it takes ten minutes tops to make. I despise washing dishes and anything complex cooking techniques that require a huge chunk of my time. I can’t stand the heat and I have no patience. Even cracking the egg is a problem. “You donkey!” is something Gordon Ramsay would, no doubt, shriek at me. If I were a contestant on Hell’s Kitchen, I would be given the axe immediately. But I digress.

Ever wish you have some sort of a cooking utensil that effectively washes fruits and vegetables without wasting too much water? What if I told you that there is a Kickstarter product that not only does it reduces water use, but also doubles as an art piece? Introducing Anton, a strainer bowl where you can eat from it, serve pasta and eliminate chemical residues by tilting it in the sink.

The Problem:

– The produce we buy are covered with pesticides. Eliminating the pesticides and chemical residues is not easy. Fruit and vegetables need to be submerged in water for 30 minutes to allow most of these chemicals to be removed.

– Too much water is wasted every day.

Image Credit: Anton

The Idea:

– The Anton strainer bowl helps you to have a less intrusive impact on the environment by reducing 60% of the water needed to wash compared to previous methods and utensils.

– The handle allows you to drain the water on your own terms – in a sink, a cup or in a plant. Imagine that, a kitchen implement that allows you to be environmentally responsible twice.

– That’s two fewer devices cluttering the kitchen.

Anton is designed with a handle on its rounding bottom that allows the liquid to be trickled down with a tilt. It comes with a strainer (see that spiderweb-like add on?) that has a snap attachment. Made from food grade Polypropylene, it is BPA-free, dishwasher-, microwave-, and freezer-safe. This is by far my favourite feature of the Anton. The creators weren’t teasing when they say there’re fewer utensils scattered about in the kitchen. If you think about it, the Anton saves space, which is always an added bonus given that the kitchen is usually inhabited with food and cooking tools.

Modern Family’s Cameron made a solid point about cleaning up after cooking, “I don’t like to clean up. It’s smelly, it’s sticky, and after I eat, I’m tired, and I just want to lay down.” This is where the Anton comes in handy. Sure, we still have dishes to clean, but with this strainer bowl, we don’t have to use and clean all of them. For someone who likes multi-tasking and hates cleaning up, this sure sounds like a step closer to making my wish into a reality.

Image Credit: Anton

It wasn’t a smooth journey making Anton from vision to reality. Its first crowd funding campaign was unsuccessful, having only achieved 23% of its goal. Nonetheless, it came back stronger (with over 600%!), proving that second time’s the charm. Find out what product designer Ryann Aoukar has got to say in this interview!

I’m sure all homemakers and chefs will be thankful to have Anton as their cooking sidekick. How did the idea came about?

We had a number of dilemmas we wanted to solve. We wanted to do away with multiple kitchen implements for one process. We wanted to reduce water wastage. We wanted to improve health through the better function of a kitchen utensil. And we were also sick of seeing the same old multiple kitchen utensils required for the process of washing then draining produce. This led us to the basic design of a bowl that allows you to soak produce and then with a simple movement of the hand, pour the water without touching other dirty surfaces and exposing the now clean produce. For a finished result, priorities required the strainer bowl to be beautiful and individual to the owner; having as minimal an environmental footprint in manufacturing; and, requiring as little processing and tools for manufacture. Hence, the Anton Strainer Bowl is as simple and functional in the kitchen as it is a beautiful talking-point on the dining table.

Is there a story behind the name Anton?

My father’s name is Anton. He sacrificed a lot so that I could have the opportunity to study and work doing so many of the things I’m so thankful for. This is my small way of showing gratitude for his sacrifices culminating in the Anton Strainer Bowl.

Also read: Kickstarter Pick Of The Week: Sitpack, The Transformers-Like Foldable Chair

Image Credit: Anton

You’ve previously worked on design projects in the United States, Europe and the Middle East. It sure sounds like you did a lot of travelling! Were they all kitchen products?

I’ve been blessed with an eclectic background in design. Past projects include skyscrapers in China, interior spaces such as the Starwood W-hotels, furniture, task-lights, jewellery, and of course kitchenware.

I took a quick peek at your Kickstarter profile and found out that Anton had its first funding on January. I noticed that the goal between these two campaigns are different, too. The funding wasn’t successful, but hey, look at where you’re now! Could you share what was that like?

Without a doubt I’m confident the biggest reason this Kickstarter has met its goals within the first 24 hours is that we learnt the lessons we needed to from the first Kickstarter failure. The first Kickstarter launch was not successful. I was so sure of our Anton Strainer Bowl. There was no way I was going to give up. Rather than to throw in the towel, I had a hard look at the first launch. I considered the failure as feedback and learned some valuable lessons. The lessons I needed to learn were around the process of a Kickstarter project. We needed to communicate the Anton’s vision for minimising water waste and eating healthier. We also invested through family, friends and other backers to help us develop the mold and filled the first order through this Kickstarter project. We found that when people close to you recognise you’ve got so much riding on a commercial endeavour investing not only your own money but so much of your time, they increasingly trust you, believe in your cause and want to invest to make the project successful. Especially knowing that at its core this will make the world a better and healthier place.

Image Credit: Anton

I see that Caveman Factory (great name, by the way!) has a couple of future products. Any hints to what they’re about for Vulcan Post readers?

Hah. Thanks! We were having a lot of fun coming up with the name. We’re developing a number of products with the same vision for health, environment, function and beauty that inspired the Anton Strainer Bowl. We have a salad bowl in the pipeline intended to reduce water usage and the need for multiple utensils whilst still maintaining a focus in beautiful centre-piece design. Check out our link for more products in the future!

And since this is a cooking/kitchen product. If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would you choose? 

With a focus on beauty, health and the environment, it’s easy. I can’t even imagine what Andy Warhol would think of our design; I’d love to know what other ideas David Suzuki can help us in reducing the environmental footprint and Tim Ferris for his smarts around health and efficiency. I doubt there would be much eating though. We’d end up having Caveman Factory’s next ten products!

Fancy a cooking sidekick? You can back Anton here.

Also read: 11 Food Facts You Need To Know Before Heading To Italy

Subscribe to Vulcan Post Newsletter

Stay updated with our weekly curated news and updates.
Read more about our privacy policy here.