Fire in my bones sparks when my food is served in a beautiful tableware. Gastronomic ceramics can easily turn even a simple meal into a ritual, but it is at the great restaurants where their work shines like in a jewel box. The chefs’ taste in art is as diverse as the culinary interpretations they themselves represent. It is fascinating to see what kind of plates they chose for their creative food.
Artisanal magnificence has intrigued the fine chefs for millennia, but was limited to the royalty and upper class tables. Far more democratised today, the chef’s choices go beyond traditional luxury porcelain manufacturers. Often exploring regional talent in creative collaborations for their special restaurants. I dined at the world’s finest restaurants, and I would dare to classify three approaches to tableware:
- Sticking to the traditional fine, mostly in Europe-made porcelain
- Seeking rather minimalist, unassuming contemporary or rustic ware in the Japanese or Korean style
- Elevates local or one’s native talent into starry heights by their highly curated selections and collaborations
It is the last that intrigues me most. Organised by country, I share in separate articles my favourite plating treasures that I found along my gastronomic pilgrimages. In particular, when the ceramicist studio spins the potter’s wheel nearby. Most restaurateurs use a varied palette of serving plates not limited to one artisan only, so I am highlighting those potters whose handwork stroke me the most.
For my favorite gastronomic ceramics, we will travel from France through Spain, the UK, both coasts of the United States, and finally across the Pacific to Japan.
Creativity without limits where the visual, tactile and the gustatory senses meet sparks a wonder so memorable that … While dining and later shopping at their boutiques often attached to their own workshops, my experience of either was elevated into something more connected, meaningful and mutually supportive. Needless to add, all of these ceramics are works of art and must be handled with care so all that handwashing by the restaurant staff skyrockets my respect for their labor.
NOTE: I received no sponsorship for my selections. All of the ceramics were discovered during my self-paid meals at the restaurants that I love. I selected only those that most wowed me. I liked these outstanding handmade pieces so much that I either purchased my favorites or was given them on my birthday by the restaurant as they were nowhere for sale. The generosity of El Celler de Can Roca deserves an immense gratitude!