I travel for two things: food and surf. Next on my must-visit list is Europe’s laid-back surf capital, Biarritz, France, which offers the best of both. The Basque city has been getting a ton of buzz this summer due to the recent opening of museum Cité de l'Océan et du Surf, which is dedicated to all things ocean-related, from environmental issues to surfing (it even features a wave tube where wannabe surfers can virtually surf). The radical design was dreamt up by famous architect (and surfer) Steven Holl who decided to place most of the museum underground to mimic the feel of being underwater. Outside, the curved plaza walls look like a half-pipe for skateboarders.
Most exciting is the food from Michel and Marie Cassou-Debat, who worked at France's legendary Troisgros and who own Biarritz’s stellar restaurant The Sissinou. The ground floor has a casual, cafeteria-style restaurant. Upstairs, the fine-dining restaurant, The Sin, overlooks both the Ilbarritz Castle and the sea, and it features a menu of just-caught seafood and excellent French wines.
© Erica Simone
The custom kitchen at Jay Kos.
New York City fashion designer Jay Kos finds shopping for clothes boring. "We all have what we need, but we shop because we love to express ourselves creatively. The experience should also be creative." To make the shopping experience at his new menswear store, which opens today on Mott Street, more fun for both him and his clients, he's installed a fabulous custom green-glass kitchen designed by Italian manufacturer GD Cucine. The food-obsessed fashion designer, known for his preppy haberdashery, is often inspired by the colors of produce in the green market. He will also use the farmers' market to inspire the dishes he cooks at the shop, though he says the signature dish will be an omelet with artichoke hearts, which he learned to make in Italy. A Russian baker friend will also be baking tarts starting next week.
The Sidebar Project: cabinet and cocktail glasses
Anna and Andrew Hellman of Teroforma
and Darin Montgomery and Trey Jones of Urbancase
had design-savvy home mixologists in mind when they dreamed up the Sidebar Project, a liquorcabinet with its own complementary barware set. Making its debut at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, the piece is the first in a new collaborative program, Crafted
. The idea behind Crafted is to have established design studios step out of their area of focus and work with Teroforma to create new concepts for the home. The Sidebar Project, was born from a conversation the four designers had about how tough it is to design when you don't know the context of where your piece will "live" as well as a mutual appreciation for a well made cocktail. For the collaboration, Urbancase designed the retro-style cabinet with a decorative motif that reappears as the cuts in Teroforma’s cut-crystal tumblers and cocktail glasses. At ICFF, the designers gave away drink recipes
specific to each Sidebar cocktail glass. Click here for more cocktail ideas
Designers Signe Bindslev Henriksen and Peter Bundgaard Rützou are the darlings of Copenhagen’s star chefs. The duo behind the firm Space Architecture & Interior Design has designed nearly every restaurant of note in the city, from René Redzepi’s famous Noma to Bocuse d’Or winner Rasmus Kofoed’s Geranium. While in NYC for International Contemporary Furniture Fair they dropped by to tell me about their most recent project, star chef Bo Bech’s newly opened restaurant, Geist.
“We work very closely with every chef,” says Rützou. “Geranium feels very James Bondish, and we reinvent Noma each summer, but it always reflects René’s vision of staying true to Denmark and local roots. With Geist, the design is a bit wild and flamboyant.” Geist is divided into two rooms, one with lounge chairs and tables, the other all bar stools. “Designing a bar stool comfortable enough to sit on for an entire meal was a challenge,” says Henriksen. The resulting stool is part of the new Spine Collection that SPACE debuted last month at Salone del Mobile in Milan; it will soon be available in the US here. The Spine lounge was used in Noma and the Spine high chair (above) in Geist. My favorite piece is the new double bar stool that seats two. “Bar eating always lacked that intimacy, so this is like our take on the dating chair for the bar,” says Henriksen.
© Donnie Miller
Chefs Chris Consentino, Marcus Samuelsson and Aarón Sánchez rock their new kicks.
I adore Mario Batali’s cooking, but still can’t bring myself to embrace Crocs. Finally, a more stylish line of shoes for the professional and home cook has launched. We gave a shout out to Mozo Chef Signature Shoes
in Food & Wine’s March Trendspotting column
. Last night, the chefs-turned-shoe-designers behind the new line were in NYC to give a sneak preview of their designs, which go on sale in May. The ever-so-stylish Marcus Samuelsson
of NYC’s Red Rooster named his shoe the Uptown. The copper detailing around the eyelet is a nod to America's diner culture, while the image of the Brooklyn Bridge on the heel is a shout out to NYC. Aarón Sánchez
of Centrico got a bit more edgy, recreating a Mexican sugar skull in red stitching on the top of his shoe. Chris Cosentino
, who was slicing killer charcuterie that he flew in from his restaurant Boccalone in San Francisco, wins the award for most outrageous design. The top of his shoe (named the Fifth Quarter) resembles honeycomb tripe, and he designed a pig on the footbed that duplicates a tattoo on his arm of a 16th-century butchery diagram. Perhaps the biggest news of the night was that Mozo would donate $10,000 in the chefs’ honor to the Careers Through Culinary Arts Program
Over the last few years, the generic hotel gift shop has been rethought into a super-curated retail experience. Now, hotel guests can buy Kelly Wearstler–designed pieces in the Viceroy Miami’s store, Opening Ceremony in the Ace New York and even surfboards at the new Waikiki Edition.
Now, the Surrey hotel on NYC’s Upper East Side has partnered with Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi to exclusively showcase her newest collection of jewelry. The Padma Collection’s Fall/Winter 2010 line was inspired by Padma’s global travels. Guests can purchase pieces, which are on display in a grand armoire in the lobby, directly through the hotel concierge through March 2011.
© Courtesy Claudia Pearson
I love flipping through my mother's recipes, handwritten on personalized card stock and kept in organized boxes. My own recipe binder, composed mainly of online printouts, seems quite sterile by comparison. Maybe that's why I love the new recipe greeting cards
from illustrator Claudia Pearson
, who has done drawings for Calvin Klein and The New Yorker
. The cards are all adorable recipe illustrations, with room for a personal note inside and the full recipe on the back. There are 12 of them categorized by season, such as a summer zucchini pasta
or a fall recipe for plum ketchup
© Stephen Scoble
White porcelain bowls at Jennifer Rubell's Art Basel installation.
While down in Miami for Art Basel
, F&W's creative director Stephen Scoble had a chance to experience artist Jennifer Rubell's
brilliant installation (pictured). To get to the project, visitors had to step through a hole that was punched through a wall of the building that houses the Rubell family's art collection. Once inside, they walked across a yard to a yellow house that was gutted. Each room in the house had a different installation: a stack of porcelain bowls; a pile of stainless steel spoons; crock pots of Rubell's secret oatmeal recipe; brown sugar packets; and an enormous pile of mini boxes of raisins. The final room that visitors entered—the home's former kitchen—had refrigerators stocked with milk. As visitors moved through the home, they created their own bowl of oatmeal.
© The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky (Austrian, 1897-2000). Frankfurt Kitchen from the Ginnheim-Höhenblick Housing Estate, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (reconstruction).
Despite the years I spent working in art museums, I often still wait until the closing weekend to make it out to see an exhibition—and then I invariably regret my procrastination. Lucky for me, though, recent out-of-town guests motivated me to visit Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen
at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC long before its March 14, 2011, closing date. Truthfully, I feared a dull history of kitchen appliances, but the show was a fascinating look at how cultural events shape our culinary environment—and vice versa. Long before Ikea came on the scene, for example, the post-WWI-era Frankfurt Kitchen was designed to maximize efficiency by using every inch of available storage space. After seeing all the amazing kitchenware in the galleries, I couldn’t resist hitting MOMA’s great gift shop. My favorite pieces at the store: a gorgeous Zucch Sugar Pourer
by Alessi and funky retro Margrethe Prep Bowls
by Acton Bjoern.
© Stephen Scoble
Designer Alber Elbaz's wild Art Basel installation.
Food & Wine's creative director, Stephen Scoble, spent the weekend party-hopping in Miami at Art Basel. One of the highlights: The wild food-and-fashion installation Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz created at the Rubell Family Collection.