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“Tapas Micros” is a set of porcelain, restaurant serve-ware designed to accommodate a Micro Menu. The micro menu is a new trend in restaurants; restaurateurs are served several (sometimes 10 or more) courses of highly conceptual and sculptural food. The small bites, or “tastings” as they are sometimes called, accentuate textures of food and simple or complex flavor pairings. The difficulty with this new trend is that modern restaurant tableware has remained the same for decades and has yet to accommodate the uniquely sculptural aspects of the food presentation. “Tapas Micros” serves to fill that void and allow chefs to prepare and present sculptural food on sculptural objects.
The purpose of this project is to understand better how these objects actually function in restaurants. My current interest in restaurant ware stems from a desire to engage multiple users on multiple levels, i.e. chef, servers, and patrons.
The first interaction seems to be how the chef reacts to each piece with the food he or she creates. The objects are created to give freedom to atypical ideas and hopefully inspire new creations, or ways of showcasing the food. They are designed as sculptural yet blank surfaces without decoration so as not to compete with the chef’s presentation. I have focused the body of work on upward movement and away from the flatness of standard utilitarian wares. They serve as a visual contrast or compliment to the presentation.
The next interaction happens when the servers take the food from the kitchen and present it to the patrons. This is an important aspect in the understanding of the work; knowing if the food runners are or aren’t able to present the work to the patrons.
The final interaction happens when discovering how the patrons approach the food as it is presented to them on the objects. This is a purposeful point in the work that separates it from standard wares. The objects, hopefully, create an initial hesitation in the patron, which transforms the dining experience into a new and unnatural but pleasurable moment. They are no longer familiar or comfortable with the idea of eating off that which is presented to them and must think of a way around that initial hesitation.
My ceramic forms originate from standard functional objects like a spoon, or bowl, cup, or plate while seeking to challenge a preexisting understanding of that object and it’s function. I try to engage the user by creating a moment where they must stop and rethink how they will interact with the object.