Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Real Plates

Pottery in its various forms is surely one the great advances of human culture.
Why then do we get food served on tiles,  trays , wooden boards and of course, almost now a tradition, in baskets ?
It is true that this use of items normally associated with other trades breaks the hegemony of Villeroy and Boch   ( How could they invent a right-handed coffee cup all but unusable by left-handed people?) 
I recently had a splendid meal  . My mains fish course was served in a glass dish about 14 inches across  with a well in the centre for the food. So wide was the dish and so deep the well that I had to stand up to reach the food.
Later that week it was a steak served on  plank of wood marginally narrower than the steak, accompanied of course by a “bucket” of chips . Had to be a bucket as they would have fallen off the board.
Both of these were preceded by  first courses  pieces of slate . Slate is good tiling material , but not good for food. It was the wrong  colour and did not show off the sauces to good effect . Balancing the pickled onion meant that the waiters could  manage only one dish at a time and the weight of it made clearing several places at once impossible .  Surely it can can not be long before a chef is sued by his staff for causing irreperable damage to the waiters’ wrists.
Every dish has to have its own , well, dish . It seems that some food is best on square , some on oval dishes . Swirly , curly , deep or shallow . I admit the value of a soup bowl - for soup or even some stews and pasta . 
Form follows function is something that chefs have forgotten .

So please , simple dishes mainly round and made of pottery porcelain or similar.