Hospitality News Middle East - - FRONT PAGE -

While pre­sen­ta­tion has long been a key com­po­nent of the din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in good qual­ity restau­rants, the bowls and plates on which food was served in years gone by were rarely a talk­ing point them­selves.

Fast for­ward a few years, how­ever, and all that has changed, with to­day’s table­ware not only serv­ing its orig­i­nal, func­tional pur­pose, but now also of­ten mak­ing a state­ment in its own right.

From col­or­ful, rus­tic, earth­en­ware re­call­ing the kitchens of yes­ter­year to cut­ting edge, chrome cre­ations that pro­vide the per­fect plat­form for chefs to show­case their in­ge­nu­ity, table­ware in the new mil­len­nium is tak­ing cen­ter stage like never be­fore.

Ac­cord­ing to Kathryn Older­shaw, mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor at Utopia Table­ware, a lead­ing sup­plier to the hos­pi­tal­ity and branded glass­ware in­dus­try, “Re­cent re­search has high­lighted how ev­ery­thing from color to shape can im­pact upon the way we taste food and as such, it’s not some­thing that should be con­sid­ered an af­ter­thought.”

All about in­di­vid­u­al­ity

There are sev­eral fac­tors driv­ing the trend for cre­ative serv­ing op­tions, ac­cord­ing to in­dus­try play­ers, in­clud­ing a com­pet­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment, which is height­en­ing the need for venues to set them­selves apart from their ri­vals,

Danny Goodall, de­sign di­rec­tor at Dud­son, a Uk-based man­u­fac­turer of fine china, says the num­ber of re­quests for in­di­vid­u­ally de­signed, be­spoke table­ware is def­i­nitely on the rise. “Cus­tomers some­times want some­thing unique that re­flects their own brand iden­tity, which they may not find in our stan­dard ranges,” he com­ments.

Kitchen pro­fes­sion­als, it seems, have rec­og­nized the im­por­tance of seek­ing out un­usual and eye-catch­ing table­ware when open­ing a new restau­rant. Ri­cardo

Menta, a well-known in­dus­try per­son­al­ity and cur­rently head chef at Thanini, a con­cept which opened in Dubai in April, told HN that no restau­rant op­er­at­ing to­day wants to find iden­ti­cal crock­ery to theirs in an­other venue. “Table­ware is un­doubt­edly part of an es­tab­lish­ment’s iden­tity,” he said. “Be­ing unique is re­ally im­por­tant to me, so I re­search ex­ten­sively when the time comes to pur­chase my prod­ucts.”

Carla Faissal Sab­bagh, owner and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Boutic’ho­tel, a trendsetting name in the kitchen cook­ware and ta­ble con­cept busi­ness, agrees that lo­cally, as glob­ally, unique­ness is the cur­rent in­dus­try buzz­word.

“Le­banese own­ers al­ways have one thing in mind, which is to be dif­fer­ent, to in­tro­duce some­thing new, to be­come the talk of the town, the un­par­al­leled and the ini­tia­tor,” she notes. “We of­fer a wide choice of beau­ti­ful lines to­day that are still vir­gin and clients are happy to en­joy this.”

Part of the dé­cor

Op­er­a­tors are also tak­ing a more holis­tic and joined-up ap­proach to the din­ing out ex­pe­ri­ence, which in­volves en­sur­ing that table­ware com­ple­ments the broader feel of an es­tab­lish­ment.

Ni­co­las E. Cham­mas, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, INTHRA SARL, a cre­ator and provider of high qual­ity ho­tel and restau­rant sup­plies in the

Table­ware from Noma Mex­ico, René Redzepi's seven-week pop-up restau­rant in Tu­lum

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