Ann Ladson's Delicate Tableware Inspired This Picnic-Perfect Rice Pilaf

© Con Poulos
Ann Ladson designs forks with slender handles and spoons with deep, shiny bowls, all with enough weight to feel good in the hand.

All week, F&W is introducing artisans who inspired the outstanding summer recipes from our August issue.

After years in high-intensity restaurant kitchens like Craft in New York City and Fig in Charleston, South Carolina, pastry chef Ann Ladson wanted a change. She began by making jewelry, but soon turned her attention to tableware, designing forks with slender handles and spoons with deep, shiny bowls, all with enough weight to feel good in the hand. She takes long walks to gather inspiration: “Maybe I’ll notice the way shadows connect when I’m crossing the bridge between downtown Charleston and Mount Pleasant, where I grew up, so I’ll sketch it out and start doing prototypes.” Now she works primarily with brass, a notoriously difficult metal. “Not many smiths forge with brass because it becomes very brittle,” she says. “But I like to see what I can get it to do.” $300; annladson.com.

Recipe Inspiration: Jeweled Rice Pilaf with Carrots
“I saw a link between the gold and silver jewelry that Ann Ladson makes and her delicate but sturdy brass utensils,” says Kay Chun about the inspiration for her “jeweled” rice pilaf. In this take on a traditional festive Persian dish, multihued carrots replace the usual dried fruits.

See More Artisan-Inspired Summer Recipes

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