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Kadai Firebowls - The Introduction

The Story Begins

India, the year 2004, Christo Mckinnon-Wood is on an adventure. Basking in the Indian sun-set on a rooftop garden in the home of some friends, he makes the discovery, and the Kadai Firebowl is born.

Christo’s love affair with India began in 1989, exploring this great continent on his Enfield motorbike, soaking up the sights, smells and magic of this colourful land. Christo, who has a successful reputation in Antiques, spotted opportunities for creativity that appeared to have been overlooked in the past.

He began by importing beautiful pieces of furniture and developing carved sandstone to sell here at home. Along with these pieces were a few Kadai’s for Christo’s personal use.

Chelsea Flower Show; The first of many that Christo would attend over the following years. A stunning water feature is created using copper urli’s and Kadai bowls as planters. The first of the many uses for the Kadai bowl.

2004 – Another year goes by and another trip to India finds Christo sitting on the rooftop, the scene is set, the drinks are flowing, but a sudden dip in temperature threatens to bring the evening to an early end. A Kadai is located and an idea develops; old pieces of furniture are sacrificed and soon there is a blazing fire, contained within the bowl, and the warmth and ambiance draw the evening out into the early hours.

Awaking with a fuzzy head, Christo reflects on the evening and what a fantastic evening it had turned out to be, for one over-riding reason. The Kadai Firebowl.

Developing his vision further he decided to test the versatility of the Kadai bowl, by transforming it into a BBQ (with the addition of the grills on top), Christo soon found that the Kadai offered everything that a conventional BBQ simply cannot, it was visually stunning, sociable, and a pleasure to cook on. Combined with the ability to use as a firepit straight after cooking, Christo knew this product was too brilliant not to share with the rest of the World!

What is Kadai?

The word Kadai simply refers to “A bowl-shaped frying pan with two handles used in Indian cookery, chiefly for balti dishes.”

These Kadai bowls have been used throughout India for hundreds of years, to cook food on a grand scale, imagine creating a bowl large enough to cook for 10,000 people, then you will have an idea of how iconic these bowls really are!

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(Photo taken by Christo on his recent trip to India)

The concept of the Kadai Firebowl is a very simple one, instead of the bowl being placed over fire to cook in, we’ve reversed the process and put the fire IN the bowl, brilliant right?

With the fire going strong, simply place the grills in the bowl and hey presto, you have a fully functioning BBQ. And believe me, it works well, many a delicious meal has been cooked in my household on our bowl, my garden wouldn’t be the same without it. Many a night i’ve woken in a cold sweat fearful of what would happen to my social life if i ever lost my bowl, thus is the attachment that is formed when you become a Kadai Firebowl lover!

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People often ask us, “what does it do” and “where does it come from“? Well, allow me to shed some more light on these queries:

  • The Kadai Firebowl is handmade in India:
    • The original Kadai Firebowls are aged anywhere between 50 – 200 years and have been used throughout India as cooking bowls for centuries. Can you imagine the history and culture you would be buying into? Each Original bowl is unique and beautifully aged. 
    • The Recycled Kadai Firebowls are made new, by our fantastic partners in India. Using recycled materials such as oil drums, they are crafted in the traditional way by the ‘Kadai Makers’, a group of individuals who have inherited certain trade skills passed down through the generations.
  • The Kadai Firebowl is a fully versatile BBQ and Firebowl in one!

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Who we are and what we do:

Hopefully i have managed to shed some light on this award winning product and highlighted some of the reasons why every garden should have one. It’s a love affair that is timeless, Summer or Winter there is no limitation to the Kadai Firebowl’s uses.

This blog will tell our story, following the Kadai teams both here and in India. I hope to introduce you to our staff, tell their story, follow the success of Kadai and bring you all along with us for the ride. Come with us on a journey and fall in love with outdoor living.

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