For months we’ve been tracking what we’re calling the All-in-One Chef: chefs who not only preside over the kitchen but also design their restaurant interiors, arrange the flowers, and make their own soap for the guest WC. But we particularly like a small, singular new breed: the Chef Ceramicists, who see tableware as an important frame for their food, and take sourcing local ceramics to the next level by making it themselves. It makes sense: There are parallels to draw between clay and dough, the tactility of cooking and pottery. Ceramics, like cooking, combines a high level of detail (something chefs are famous for) with artfulness. Plus, when it comes to how tableware looks and functions, chefs can design exactly what they require, down to the last detail.
Take a look at the pioneering chefs and restaurateurs we’re noting—and their tableware.
Above: Alexa first noted the work of Cuban-born, New York–based chef/ceramicist/stylist Marité Acosta back in 2014, when she spotted a few vases of hers at an event (see Painterly Pottery by a New York City Chef). Acosta’s culinary and pastry training—as well as time spent in the fashion and textile industries—influences her simple ceramics, such as the Large Stoneware Bowl ($225) shown. For more ceramics that could (and do) appear on restaurant tabletops: