The Abalone Bowl (Kostow-Mahon)

The Abalone Bowl

I love the story of this bowl created in collaboration between Chef Christopher Kostow and artist Lynn Mahon. Here is the Bon Appetit article about the design of this dish that aims to look “like the bottom of the sea.”

Why veer away from the pristine  clarity of white porcelain that highlights the textures and colors of the crafted culinary delight? These collaborations between container and contained marks an investment in the emotive and atmospheric mood of eating. This design philosophy does not limit food to taste alone, like functional design. Instead it aspires to invoke a particular feeling, like art. In the case of the Abalone bowl, a sense of textured and fluid oceanic discovery.  It doesn’t flatly present the “geoduck course” (what is geoduck?) but becomes a participant, as the bowl’s clay has melted geoduck shells. For a better explanation, read the very short article by Belle Cushing.

It certainly makes me rethink the slow, artisanal, atmospheric, emotive and narrative role of updated “arts and crafts” tableware that invites collaboration between diner, ceramicist and chef.

Image from the Bon Appetit article:


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