Artisan Rochelle Cheri Chavez uses her training in theatrical set design to create marble and granite tabletop pieces.

By Christine Quinlan
Updated May 23, 2017
© Con Poulos

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

“I am proud that I’m working with marble and granite, materials that are difficult to chisel and that have traditionally been used by men,” says Rochelle Cheri Chavez of Primitive Reserve. The L.A.-based artist uses her training in theatrical set design to create tabletop pieces. She especially loves challenging shapes like a rectangular board with rounded corners, which she calls a “stone skateboard.” “Straight lines are easy to cut with a saw,” she says. “But when I’m cutting rounded shapes I have to use a hand grinder. Sparks are flying. It’s awesome.” A big part of her work involves scouring local marble yards for interesting remnants. “Someone probably made a beautiful countertop out of that pink slab, and I was lucky enough to get a piece of it.” From $120;

Recipe Inspiration: Fennel, Apple and Avocado Crudo
“Rochelle Cheri Chavez’s pink marble slab reminded me of pink Himalayan sea salt,” says Kay Chun. “So I decided to flavor salt with pink peppercorns and capers to pick up on the flecks of color in the board.”

Grilled Snapper with Pink Chile Salt
“The subtle stripes on this marble board remind me of grill marks, and the ombré color is like the skin of a snapper,” says Justin Chapple.