Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Taste (the food fair I went to last week) wasn’t just about things tasting good, it was also about good taste. As in elegant, fashionable and cool. Yes, there was incredible food, but the entire fair was one of the most ‘tasteful’ (sorry, I know) of these types of events I’ve ever attended. Located in the abandoned-then-restored turn-of-the-century Stazione Leopoldo, the backdrop was urban artifact, complete with exposed brick, intricate iron work and soaring spaces.
And whoever designed fair itself should get some sort of award. (Thank you Pitti Imagine for doing this so well.) It never felt crowded, the stands were solid and well thought out and - this is my favorite part - the lighting (which is usually atrocious at these things) made both food and people (including me) look perky and beautiful (which is not an easy thing after wandering for six hours sampling beer, pork and chocolate).
Even though I spent most of the time stuffing my face, one of my favorite parts of Taste was actually the section that was non-food. Here are some of my discoveries:
Believe it or not, these plates and glasses are plastic. This is the new line by Marioluca Giusti, who have been turning style into plastic for the last few years. I kept picking up the plates and glasses, tapping them against each other, to make sure they really weren’t glass and ceramic. Love love love the colors. But couldn’t decide if I liked the rustic ceramic looking ones better, or wanted to go with the more glamorous fuchsia. Then I went to their site, and realized that they have a huge line, and all can be delivered. Uh oh.
Who doesn’t like gorgeous tablecloths? (ok, maybe it’s a girl thing) Amblekodi, with their understated naturally dyed hemp fabrics yelled out to me from across the show. Their natural fibers are used to create patterns that are woven into the fabrics, rather than just printed. This gives them an extraordinary tactility and richness, that paired perfectly with their muted hues.
But for something completely un-muted, Tablecloths.it brought on a rainbow full of color. My fave was their line of place mats, I Pantoni. (Again, dangerously, they seem to have an online store that works only too well)
Most chefs say they don’t care how they look while working in the kitchen. Chef’s whites, clogs that are comfortable and that’s that. But I’m guessing they haven’t come across Gandini Foodwear, that puts fashion behind the burners. While their deconstructed aprons may have been a bit much, I think every chef I know should buy one of their pinwheel toques. (Yes, I know you are reading this, and this means you.)