TOP OF THE TABLE
FROM RUSTIC POTTERY TO MULTI-FUNCTIONAL NOVELTIES
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