THERE ARE TEFLON stars and then there are Eydie Gorme and Steve Lawrence. In perhaps the strangest celebrity endorsement since Luciano Pavarotti slapped his name on toilet water, the time-defying husband-and-wife lounge act have cooked up a line of nonstick pots and pans.
''We're singers for whom pot means something else,'' said Gorme, 63, working the crowd at New York's Four Seasons Restaurant for a kickoff luncheon this month. ''We're from the old school,'' echoed Lawrence, 60. ''And we actually inhale,'' Gorme added, lifting the lid from one of the sample pots and getting a noseful of imaginary tomato sauce.
Part Vegas act, part sales pitch, part bar mitzvah, the unveiling was a media feeding frenzy. Well, Kitchenware News was there. With tinkling piano music in the background, we learned the $199 eight-piece Gorme Collection is made in America by Wearever (''Why schlepp it out?'' asked Gorme), can be cleaned like ''zipadeedoodah'' (''So you can have nails like mine and still cook,'' she added), is already used by the couple's celebrity friends, including Frank Sinatra (who, incidentally, does not like homemade pasta), and has ''dynamite'' rubberized handles. ''No, you've got the greatest handles,'' Lawrence reminded his wife.
But, the crowd wanted to know, why cookware? With her love of the kitchen, and a food-friendly name like Gorme, the singer wasn't about to endorse garbage bags. ''They're going to have to change the spelling of the other gourmet!'' exclaimed Eydie. In sum, Gorme said her pots and pans ''look gorgeous and cook great.''
Chimed in Lawrence: ''Just like my wife.''