isn't much into reviews of restaurants unless they have some tie-back to the tabletop, but this Emirates Woman
review of SAFFRON
Asian restaurant in Dubai's Atlantis Hotel
caught our eye.
First of all, SAFFRON's
decor was designed by Adam Tihany
, which is always a reason for us to give it a more thorough lookover. With a design from Adam, we're not surprised the reviewer used words like "dining drama"
or described the "20 live theatrical cooking stations".
Pretty standard as any Tihany design is about more than just the good food and drink. Adam designs consider the entire experience. Adam's experience as a restaurateur himself insures that the practical operational issues are all completely addressed, as well.
But, what also caught our eye was the reviewer's description of the music of SAFFRON
:"Not only do the Saffron spin-doctors play the best music we’ve ever heard during a brunch, but they play the best we’ve ever heard in Dubai, full stop! Classic soul, funk and 1980s tunes ensure the party is constantly in full flow."
Talk about differentiating
the dining experience.
We always knew Adam was a party guy.
You can read the entire SAFFRON
review by going here:http://emirateswoman.com/2013/05/01/the-review-saffron-brunch-at-mall-of-the-emirates/#.UYFL5rWsiSo
photo by Francesco Tonelli
is not your typical eclectic and busy artist. He's a man who is also focused on a mission to improve the tabletop landscape and the sensory experience called restaurant dining.
Cutting-edge in his designs, Jono Pandolfi's
work reflects a delicate balance between bold, spontaneous design and meticulous craftsmanship - both counter-balanced with an understanding of the practical world of restaurant dining and the need to provide a unique culinary experience to the dining guest.Pandolfi
is known for his high-profile dinnerware collaborations with chefs like Daniel Humm
(Eleven Madison Park
), Matt Lightner
), and Wylie Dufresne wd~50
), as well as his custom tabletop and lighting products for restaurant design firms like AvroKo
and Parts and Labor Design
also designs and manufactures for retail clients like Calvin Klein Collection, Anthropologie, and Crate & Barrel.
Maintaining his studio and production facility in Union City, New Jersey, Jono Pandolfi
is a faculty member in the Product Design department of the Parsons the New School for Design
We visited with Jono recently and had the opportunity to ask him about his dinnerware for restaurants and his overall vision for tabletop:
How did you get started in the ceramic dinnerware business for restaurants?
It goes back to 2004 when the MoMA was renovated. A close friend, Will Guidara, was working on terrace 5 and cafe 2, two of the resto's there operated by Danny Meyer. I had recently landed in the city and was working at a ceramics studio in chelsea. Sensing an opportunity, I offered to provide some bud vases or small porcelain pieces to the restaurant, free of charge. They of course paid me but in the end I got what I wanted- my pieces in the MoMA.
Making dinnerware and serving pieces for restaurants is tough. Usually, artisans are ok with supplying a few pieces here and there….how do you supply whole restaurants?
I have truly worked my way up in terms of growing my production capacity slowly, and in different ways. Some production is done here in my studio, and I also work with some larger plants here in the US for bigger projects. It's really been a matter of looking at how I produce ware, and really streamlining that as much as possible. Looking at it not only from the side of the potter, but also the side of the product designer.
With a smooth white glaze inside and a textured brown glaze on the outside, Jono Pandolfi's dinnerware collection helps elevate the sensory dining experience at Eleven Madison Park in New York City.
You’ve made such creative, custom dinnerware and serving pieces for some of New York’s best restaurants – Eleven Madison Park, Nomad….how can other restaurants outside of the NYC area buy your dinnerware?
What I am really excited about for 2013 is a new collection that I am developing for a broader range of customers. It will be centered around a few basic shapes- dinner plate, salad plate, a couple sizes of bowl, good versatile pieces. From there I can add in a few custom accent pieces whether it be the coffee and espresso cup, a special charger of some kind, you get the idea. By keeping the staples in stock in bisque form, I can make a custom, accented dinnerware line in my customer's choice of clay body and glaze, in a relatively short turnaround time and with lower minimum quantities. When that is ready to go we will definitely be looking to expand beyond the NYC market.
Your pieces are very creative – either through their shape design or the textured glazes that you use. How well do your pieces hold up to the rigors of a hospitality dining setting?
So far the NoMad hotel has been very very happy with the durability of the product. That's a really good thing. I am always focused on making dinnerware that not only heightens a customer's experience, but also serves all the other needs of the restaurant, such as holding up under daily use. I am always looking for ways to improve what I have already figured out, as well.
What can hospitality customers expect next from Jono Pandolfi?
Well, I am really excited about launching my new studio collection and taking that to a wider audience while maintaining the quality and feel of what I have done for NoMad and Eleven Madison Park. Today's whole emphasis on local ingredients, and farm-to-table cuisine makes it, I think, a really appealing option for restauranteurs. My whole aesthetic is based around simplicity and letting the beauty of the materials speak for themselves, much in the same way that many chefs work. I call it rustic-modern. It's definitely a subtle yet enduring style.
| |Ok…now the important stuff. You told us that not long ago you were in a rock band. What was that like and how does that influence your dinnerware designs?
Well, that's actually how I met Will Guidara
(of EMP and NoMad), so you could argue that if it weren't for that summer, things could have turned out differently for NoMad
and Eleven Madison Park's
dinnerware. But for the record, that was a Ska band, one of a few rock bands I played with back during my college years. These days I am much more into bluegrass. It's always a treat to play music with my brother Christopher
around the holidays, he's in a touring band - The Infamous Stringdusters
- they are complete source of inspiration to me.
Jono Pandolfi's "Ceramic Pillow" is one of several signature items produced by the artist.
Keep a watch on Jono Pandolfi and his designs. He may very well be changing the landscape and the restaurant dining experience at a restaurant near you.
| || |
From the blog of Manresa
in Los Gatos, California comes this post: This fall, David Kinch will debut a collection of plateware with Steelite International, a world-leading manufacturer and supplier of award-winning tabletop collections. Named the “Koto Collection,” the line is inspired by ancient Japanese Tenmoku glazes and was created in collaboration with Steelite’s Head of Design, Andrew Klimecki. The collection will make its official debut at the StarChefs.com “International Chefs Congress” later this month. Stay tuned for more details. Manresa is the showcase for the inventive cuisine of Chef-Proprietor David Kinch. Chef Kinch and the Manresa team find inspiration from European traditions and refinement, American ingenuity and the vast bounty that California has to offer.
Impressive when your customers are excited about debuting your newest dinnerware line. Well Done.
To learn more about Manresa, go here:
....at the James Beard House
in New York.
Table setting for a 6 course meal, including Oneida
Libra flatware and Stolzle
Today....in a small town in northern Italy, a small restaurant will set its 11 tables to serve its guests. It's modest size belies it's stature. Peoples from all corners will trek to savor the dining experience that is Osteria Francescana
Here is a video produced by Destination Food
for the 2012 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
of owner Massimo Bottura
with him describing what it is that he does and why he does it:
THE AGE FROM MELBOURNE GOOD FOOD GUIDE WINNERSCHEF OF THE YEAR
Michael Ryan, ProvenanceRESTAURANT OF THE YEAR
Vue de MondeBEST NEW RESTAURANT
Pei ModernREGIONAL RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR
Provenance (Beechworth)BEST NEW REGIONAL RESTAURANT
Gladioli (Inverleigh)THE AGE YOUNG CHEF OF THE YEAR
Mark Briggs, Sharing HouseWINE LIST OF THE YEAR
CodaBEST SHORT WINE LIST
Casa CiuccioREGIONAL WINE LIST OF THE YEAR
Ten Minutes By Tractor (Main Ridge)SOMMELIER OF THE YEAR
Travis Howe, CodaSERVICE EXCELLENCE AWARD
Ainslie Lubbock, Pei ModernLEGEND AWARD
Alla Wolf-TaskerTHREE-HAT RESTAURANTS
Attica, Jacques Reymond, Vue de Monde and Royal Mail Hotel
Congratulations to all the winners!
To read the entire article go here: http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/restaurants-and-bars/and-the-winner-is--20120827-24wao.html#ixzz24kDRpNXH
off the presses (yes, they still do use presses
), The Australian
published a list of the Hot 50 Restaurants in Australia
which, to us, was interesting as we always love to see who's "hot"
and why they are considered to be that way.
But included also was a commenary on trends and issues facing the Australian restaurant industry which we found even more fascinating. As the world we live continues to shrink, whether you live in Europe....America....Asia...Middle East....or even Australia, often the issues confronting us sound incredibly similar. We thought you would enjoy reading:
PIG'S EARS, AND OTHER EMERGING TRENDS
* Times are hard. A significant number of high-end restaurants/groups have taken a tumble over the past 12 months, particularly in Sydney. Others are either struggling to put bums on seats, or scrambling to reinvent themselves. Restaurateurs are losing the will, and the means, to maintain traditional-style high-end restaurants.
* People are still going out - perhaps even more than ever - but they're spending less. So the restaurants that are canny about how their prices are perceived - and parlayed on the social media grapevine - are thriving.
* Part of the industry's struggle to keep its head above water is the no-bookings phenomenon. At the more casual end of the market, it simply makes more business sense for the restaurant to manage demand this way and as long as the public plays the game, it won't change.
* The digital world is changing the way some restaurants operate. Chefs are now plugged in before plating up, reaching out in cyberspace to let people know about new dishes, special dinners and discount deals. More diners are booking tables online, and the web is awash with meal deal sites offering incentives such as midweek discounts, which are changing the way diners "shop" for restaurants.
*The line between formal and informal is being blurred. Some of the best restaurant food in Australia is served at bare tables with a rock'n'roll soundtrack. Cooking creatively is a young person's game and that's being reflected in the dining rooms they run.
* The tricky economics behind small, chef-run dining rooms has ushered in a renewed impetus for degustation-style dining. Set menus save money.
* Wood is the word: whether it be cooking over charcoal or coal, smoking all kinds of ingredients or indeed adding smoke to dishes for the big "reveal" at the table, wood and its smoke are hot, smouldering even.
* The Mugaritz-Noma effect: Spain and Denmark have replaced Paris and London as the Mt Olympus of the 21st century, for chefs anyway.
At the pointy end of dining, the pervasiveness of food gods Andoni Aduriz and Rene Redzepi has been phenomenal in Australia. From Hobart to Brisbane, Perth to Sydney and many points in between, you'll find great Australian chefs inspired to forage, plant kitchen gardens, discover edible flowers and generally celebrate the virtues of naturalist cuisine.
* And what have we seen on our plates? A litter of pig's ears; a Babel of tongues; a school of mackerel; a bed of Rottnest scallops; ovens of housemade bread; herds of hanger steak, rump cap and a whole lot of secondary cuts your butcher has never heard of (Wagyu has jumped the shark); and salt mines of saline caramel. Oh, and chicken that tastes like real chicken (because it is).
* The importance of correct lighting is being reinforced by its absence: too many restaurants are confusing one-dimensional low lighting with mood, leaving too many of us in the dark.
* The Scandinavian aesthetic has jumped off the plate and into the dining room as never before: we're seeing lots of blond wood, Danish-designed furniture and an overall look of Nordic reserve.
* And what are we drinking? Less, but more frequently: the trend towards smaller by-the-glass pours mirrors the smaller-portion trend on the menu. It helps soften sticker shock, and diners can cast their drinking net a little wider. Those by-the-glass lists are getting longer, while the bottle lists get shorter; a great idea in principle, provided what they're selling is kept fresh. We're drinking more "natural" wines, more sake, cider and small-brewery beers.
* And who is serving us? Sometimes, it's the chefs themselves (another trend out of Denmark) but too often it's a generation of fairly clueless, undertrained waitstaff. Australia's pool of first-class waiter talent stays within the inner circle of elite restaurants and restaurateurs: for the rest, it's slim pickings.
Any of this sound familiar?
The cups and saucers designed & handmade by local ceramicist Ingrid Tufts for Common Galaxia & Dead Man Espresso make the coffee experience anything but common.
has written before about the great coffee houses of Melbourne and about Dead Man Espresso
, in particular. Well, the Dead Man Espresso
folks have just opened another outpost for their caffeine creativity – Common Galaxia
- named after a fish in a local river.
Besides the fact that they have a kick-ass reputation for great coffee and food, both Dead Man Espresso
and, now, Common Galaxia
have further differentiated their coffee experience by have cups and saucers designed for them by local potter Ingrid Tufts
Whether its Dead Man Espresso
or Common Galaxia
, seems like it’s about so much more than coffee
Here’s what Melbourne’s The Age
newspaper has to say about Dead Man Espresso
:“….it manages to pull off the elusive cafe quinella — a cool interior, notably good coffee, a team that seem excited about what they are doing, interesting, well-executed food and a rapidly growing local following that creates the sense that Dead Man Espresso is somewhere you, too, would like to become a regular.”Broadsheet Melbourne
has an equally impressive opening review of Common Galaxia
Whether its Dead Man Espresso
or Common Galaxia
, seems like it’s about so much more than coffee.
Much nicer than white plates.
From Sydney's Grab Your Fork blog
....a photo from an article on Sydney restaurant Umi Kaiten-Zushi. Grab Your Fork
is a great site.....if you never been, definitely check it out!
But....yes, these are much
nicer than white plates. Someone was thoughtful about the tabletop, for sure.
Giving tabletop it's rightful respect, New York's Caffe Storico
at the New York Historical Society
not only showcases dinnerware on their tables, but on the walls, as well!The restaurant features dishes inspired by classic cicchetti, or small plates, as well as handmade artisanal pastas. Award-winning chef, Jim Burke, brings an approachable, refined style to the menu with a deep sense of authentic Italian cuisine developed during his time in Italy. An all-Italian wine list with over fifty labels, twenty of which are available by the glass, accompanies a full bar.
And, completing the authenticity we are told, is the dinnerware of Richard-Ginori.