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entertaining globally // issue three

THE SWEET LIFE A look at the world of artisanal candy

POLISH POTTERY The evolution of a craft in Lower Silesia

MOCHI BALLS The next great dessert to serve guests


from the editor

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rom an alpine lodge in the Tirol region of Austria, I am looking out the window of a contemporary-wood and antler accented living room and notice the signs of spring are slowly revealing themselves on the mountain. After a long and somewhat gloomy winter, the environment yawns away its dull greys and whites in exchange for colour. Inspired by the newness of the season, the third issue of Countlan Magazine is all about awakening the senses, but not in the clichéd sense. Awakening the senses, according to Countlan, means to consider the unconsidered, to learn about something new, to refresh how you entertain or to adopt a tradition from another culture and make it your own. When I entertain at home, I like to surprise guests with something unexpected on the table, say an uncommon dessert, or conversation piece with an interesting story. Have you considered plating a batch of pastel Japanese mochi balls, displaying a cake stand of Portuguese egg tarts or serving a slice of Taiwanese brick toast at your next gathering? Keeping in line with satisfying a sweet tooth, how about looking to the colourful world of artisanal candy as the next source of inspiration? There is a new wave of entrepreneurs championing the industry that are revisiting traditional recipes and taking ingredient combinations to new heights. A few sucks on a rock candy from Barcelona’s burgeoning candy lab, Papa Bubble, or a treat from Happy Pill’s ‘medicine chest ‘might be just the conversation piece you’ve been missing. In our design section, we uncover the world of crystalware, its roots in the Czech Republic and the role it plays in our life as meal times become increasingly less formal. It would be a shame to reduce crystalware to the fate of a dust collector, living out its life as shelf-candy. A handful of Czech designers are modernizing crystal and glassware collections to fit into our modern lifestyles. Just across the Czech border, a small town in the Lower Silesia region of Poland continues to churn out traditional style stoneware that it has been producing for several hundred years. Their famed peacock and floral patterns are favourites of mine. EDITOR: Finally, if you are in need of a refresh, CountSarah Lambersky (Copenhagen) lan looks at a new Swedish e-commerce store ART DIRECTOR: launched by Leila Lindholm, Sweden’s doyenne of the kitchen and reads about how to incorpoStuart Woods (Prague) rate colour in our home from Charlotte Hedeman ILLUSTRATION: Gueniau, Denmark’s doyenne of colour, in her new Alina Kotova (Prague) book, Happy Home.

PHOTOGRAPHER: Adam Goodman (Copenhagen) CONTRIBUTORS: Mike Drach (Toronto) Mia Kristensen (Copenhagen) Ana Sofia Pelaez (Brooklyn, NY) Jessica Fechtor (Cambridge, MA) CORRESPONDENTS: Kathryn Sussman (Toronto) Anna Proskova (Prague) Natalia Kratsmar-Smogrovicova (Prague) Daniela Cabakova (Prague) Nikki Wright (London)

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If you are discovering Countlan Magazine for the first time, we invite you to join our exploration of the world through the lens of entertaining at home. If you are returning to these pages as a regular reader, welcome back. We are testing out a new section called “Made In…” where we examine the country of origin of a variety of objects by some up and coming designers and some trusted favourites. Do let us know what you think. As always, you are welcome to contact us with your questions, comments or suggestions at sarah@ countlan.com. Likewise, if you feel inspired to join the dialogue, drop us a line on one of our social networks. Entertaining is always more fun with friends. Thank You, Sarah Lambersky


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contents entertaining globally

THIS SPRING FOOD

DESIGN

04 What the mochi? 08 What’s Cooking? Rose rice pudding 10 The world of artisanal candy 20 A matter of dessert: Why tarts, toast and bread pudding are the next great desserts to serve guests 28 Cultural roots: Open face sandwiches 40 What’s Cooking? Cream of Asparagus Soup 62 What’s Cooking? Malt Pizza with Bacon and Herbs

30 Retro inspired e-commerce from Sweden’s doyenne of the kitchen 32 Glassware: Happiness or disaster? 33 Artel Glass: Breathing new life into crystal 35 Czech glass designers making their mark 36 The evolution of a craft in Lower Silesia: Polish Pottery 38 Colour your home with Rice 42 The white trend 44 Made-In: A new section that the country of origin of a select group of objects

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ENTERTAINING RESOURCES: 06 New cookbooks for spring 60 Take Stock: Copenhagen

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WHAT THE MOCHI?

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he literal translation of daifuku is “great luck”; it is also the formal name for the more commonly used Mochi Balls – a Japanese treat served with tea. Daifuku are made of pounded glutinous rice cakes (mochi) and stuffed with a filling or paste. There are four basic components to daifuku: Sweet rice flour (mochiko), sugar, water plus a filling of your choice. Traditional mochi balls are stuffed with red (adzuki) bean or Japanese mugwort (yomogi), but these days, it seems the variety of shapes, colours and flavours have exploded; some mochi balls are even filled with ice cream. From a texture perspective, these palmsized balls are delicate, soft, and have a marshmallow-like, chewiness. Mochi tends to be a bit sticky. To prevent them from sticking to each other, the balls are rolled or dusted with a powder or seed such as potato starch, green tea (matcha) powder, confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder or sesame seeds Try serving mochi balls on a cake stand, a decorative platter or in little ceramic dishes next time you have guests over. Just remember, they are quite filling so all you need is two or three per person. MOCHITSUKI: An all day, labourious Japanese New Year tradition, where friends and family gather to transform sweet glutinous rice and pound it into mochi. WAGASHI: The name of the major category of traditional Japanese confectionery which is served with tea. Wagashi date back to the Edo period in Japan and are linked to Kyoto, the city where they got their start. They are made from plant based ingredients, and can be seasonally driven by flavour and appearance. Wagashi are intricately designed to evoke the five senses and are open to artistic manipulation due to the malleability of mochi (think of wagashi as the equivalent of marzipan). Daifuku is a type of wagashi. MOCHI: Glutinous rice that has been pounded into a glutinous rice cake. MOCHIKO: A type of sweet rice flour.

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//Cookbooks

Fill Your

Gretchen McCarthy - culinarialibris.com

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As a young girl growing up in Lincoln, Nebraska (US), Gretchen learned early on about the accuracy of measurements and concise instructions thanks to her job typing recipes for her mother, the home editor of Nebraska Farmer magazine. In 2009, Gretchen, a Corporate Librarian by day, launched Culinaria Libris, at the suggestion of a colleague. Her blog has evolved into a prolific catalogue of cookbook reviews and commentary, and it happens to be one of our favourite go-to sites to learn about new and interesting books on the market. Would you call yourself a cookbook collector? @CulinariaLibris: I never consciously became a cookbook collector; it’s just that I’ve never been able to part with a cookbook and now my bookshelves overflow with them. I still have my original 4-H cookbook where I learned to bake cookies. (4-H is a children’s organization in the US where you learn practical skills and leadership skills). What makes a good cookbook? First and foremost, is there something to learn from it? My goal with a cookbook has always been to learn something new and expand my horizons. Cookbooks aren’t just about recipes. You can learn about history, culture, and customs which all interplay with the recipes. I also look for authority and passion. If an author has lots of experience or passion in a particular food area, you get more interesting recipes and techniques.

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Finally, I look for inspiration in the unusual whether it be in the ingredients or presentation. How many cookbooks do you own? Too many to count! Cookbooks for me aren’t about the numbers. They’re about interactions and memories. Whenever I glance at one of my cookbooks, I instantly think of what I learned from the book, where I got it, or what I made from the book. Cookbooks with pictures or words- what is your preference? Pictures are great if they are used as a visual aide or show the unusual, but I don’t think every recipe needs a picture. I would rather have a well-written book that boosts my confidence in baking and cooking. Do you have a favourite cookbook? My ideal cookbook would be a combination of Betty Crocker, James Beard and Ann Seranne - Betty Crocker (circa 1951) for techniques (before convenience food took hold), James Beard for real American cooking (no canned soup recipes) and Ann Seranne for her baking recipes which are simply divine. What is your take on cookbook trends? Baking books are still at the forefront with a focus on cake. It makes sense because in these recessionary times, cakes are comforting and value for money. They can be made from scratch without costing a fortune in fancy ingredients.


//Cookbooks

01 The Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook published by Quercus, Feb 2012, £20/$26.26

02 The Bowler’s Meatball Cookbook published by Mitchell Beazley, Feb 2013, £16.99/$19.21

03 Brighton Bakes published by Book Guild Publishing, March 2013, £19.99 (n/a)

Clandestine Cake Clubs are popping up all around the UK. These are recipes contributed by the founder and members of the clubs. Don’t look for cupcakes or brownies here because cake is the star of the show.

The humble meatball gets a fantastic makeover at the hands of Jez Felwick in his London food truck, the Lawn Ranger. Meatballs are a welcome addition to the spring menu when you’re ready to give your stomach a rest from the heavy foods of winter.

Every bit as fun and funky as Brighton itself, Jessica Haggerty’s book captures the spirit of her hometown in photos and recipes. Brighton has its own personality and you will find it affectionately reflected in its food.

To p 5 C ookbooks f or Spr ing 2013

04 Skinny Weeks & Weekend Feasts published by Quadrille, March 2013, £19.99 (n/a) Forget the carrot sticks and cottage cheese. Gizzi Erskine is back to show us that reducing our intake doesn’t have to be a bore or a chore. The world is her larder for her low-cal recipes for six days of the week and wicked recipes for the one-day weekend feast. It’s sensible and sensational.

05 The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook Published by Square Peg, March 2013 UK (released October 2012 in North America), £20/$35.00 It’s been released in the US, but not in the UK as I write this, so I haven’t seen it but the buzz is unmistakable. Deb Perelman writes the perennially popular Smitten Kitchen blog and is now a cookbook author. Her cookbook is a highly anticipated publishing event in the UK. Deb is a home cook who can make even a bowl of vegetable soup into something special

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ARROZ CON LECHE Y AGUA DE ROSAS (Rose Rice Pudding)

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//What’s Cooking?

RECIPE: This is similar to a Persian dessert called sheer berenj, seasoned with cardamom and chopped pistachios.  I’ve included them as optional toppings.   1 cup medium or short grain white rice, well rinsed. 2 cups water ¼ cup dried rosebuds 4 cups of whole milk Grated zest of one lemon ¾ cups of sugar ¼ teaspoon ground anise 1-2 tablespoons rose water (optional) OPTIONAL TOPPINGS: Chopped pistachios Toasted almonds Roasted chestnuts Honey Ground cinnamon Ground cardamon Wrap dried rosebuds in small square of cheese cloth tightly gathered and tied together with kitchen twine (alternately use a sachet or tea strainer).  Add to large sauce pan with water and rice.  Bring to a high simmer over medium heat.  Stir occasionally until most of the water is evaporated, about 5-8 minutes. Carefully remove the rosebuds and add the milk and lemon zest.  Return to a high simmer, stirring constantly.  Stir in the sugar.  Reduce heat to medium low.  Watch closely, stirring occasionally so that the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pan.  Continue to cook until the rice is tender, 20-30 minutes.* When the rice reaches the desired consistency, remove from heat.  Pour into a large mixing or serving bowl and stir in the ground anise and additional rose water if using.  Set aside to cool, serve warm or chilled with toasted nuts, honey, cinnamon or cardamom. NOTES: *The arroz con leche will thicken slightly as it cools.  Remove it soon if you prefer a looser pudding.  If it gets too thick, stir in a little more milk at the end to reach the desired consistency. **If storing for later consumption, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to prevent a skin from forming.

www.hungrysofia.com What is you blog, Hungry Sophia about? My name is Ana Sofia Pelaez and my blog, Hungry Sofia, (hungrysofia.com) covers a spectrum of Latin American and Caribbean cuisines.  I grew up in Miami where, apart from Cuban food, which I learned from my family, the city’s culinary landscape included an array of food traditions like Argentinean, Brazilian, Peruvian and Colombian cuisine.  Now that I live in Brooklyn, these are the recipes I seek out and recreate in my kitchen. If someone were to visit Brooklyn, what three things should they try food wise? Brooklyn has incredible food neighborhoods to get lost in.  In Red Hook, there are food vendors who set-up along the ballfields selling pupusas, tacos al pastor, and agua frescas in the summer. (www.redhookfoodvendors.com).  The Italian restaurants, markets, and butcher shops in Carroll Gardens are amazing - including Lucali which makes near perfect pizza.  I also love hitting the Mexican grocery stores in Sunset Park to stock up on hard to find ingredients and pick up pan dulce from the bakeries. How would you describe your entertaining style? I love the intimacy of small dinner parties at home where you have time to linger over a meal and have a great conversation.  I try to do as much as possible in advance so I’m not too frazzled when guests arrive. But still, I can be a little (too) ambitious.  For a weekday dinner or weekend brunch, I’ll keep it small and plan a meal that will keep me at the table with guests and not in the kitchen putting out fires.   What are some of your entertaining customs or traditions at home? I end every meal with a pot of Cuban espresso, beaten with a little bit of sugar to give it a thick layer of caramel and served in the tiny ceramic espresso cups I inherited from my grandmother.  It’s a small but powerful dose. What is significant about arroz con leche? Arroz con leche is a very traditional, homey dessert. I like to brighten it with a little bit of rose water.   As winter winds down, I’m literally ravenous for any sign of spring and love cooking with flowers - whether it’s dried rosebuds I find in a nearby Middle Eastern market, lavender from the tea shop, or fresh flowers from the market tossed into a salad.

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//Artisanal Candy

CUBERDONS {Brussels}

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Artisanal candy comes in all shapes and sizes, but none is as unique as the bright purple, cone shaped, cuberdon; a candy native to Belgium. Doesn’t ring a bell? It is a typical sweet from Flanders with an outer shell and sweet syrup in the centre. The cuberdon was invented in the 19th century by a clergy in Flanders near Bruges. The candy was essentially the result of an error made by a priest who had trouble getting his candy to completely dry out. The result: the centre of the cuberdon stayed incredibly smooth and soft, while the outside formed a shell. It is here, so the story goes, that the ‘bon bon’ (candy) gained its ‘priest’s bonnet’ nickname. “ We asked Jérôme Stéfanski, owner of Cuberdons Leopold, to share his passion for the conical candy. What does a cuberdon taste like and how do you eat it? Raspberry is the original flavour used to prepare cuberdon. However, you don’t necessarily taste ‘raspberry’ because it is blended with several flavours in a special way to create the one and only flavour of cuberdon; an original taste in and of itself. The flavour can be described as a combination of the perfume of raspberries combined with red, jammy fruits. Some people say it’s like violet or barbe à papa (cotton candy) but you can’t describe it! Texturally, it has a delicate outer layer crust that melts in your mouth and releases a refined, sweet syrup. The taste of the cuberdon is unique. As a sweet, cuberdons can be eaten as a snack or for dessert. They go well with tea and champagne. Cuberdons juice can also be used as flavouring in different recipes such as macarons, milkshakes, ice-cream, and also on foie gras! When and why did you launch Cuberdons Leopold? We officially launched the brand on February 9th, 2012. I remember the exact date because it is the date we received our very first order: 150 boxes for Valentine’s Day for Club Med. One day, several years ago, I read a reportage dedicated to cuberdons in a business magazine. This article was about the handmade process of the true cuberdon and the difficulty to find skilled craftsmen to create this candy. I immediately thought, “Waouhhh that is incredible.” I didn’t know it was so noble to produce cuberdons. With guidance from an experienced producer, we learned to make cuberdons. It takes seven days to produce one cuberdon because the sweet has to sleep in a warm and dry room at 55°C. My idea was to create a new, luxury brand of cuberdon, based on the original recipe, but with new ingredients and improvements like only using 100% natural ingredients. How many cuberdons do you produce a day? Approximately 1500

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SOMA CHOCOLATEMAKER Kathryn Sussman {Toronto} Experiential artisanal candy appears to be a growing in popularity the world over. A welcomed change from standing behind closed doors, the new artisanal experience is where customers are granted a direct window to candy makers in action. In Toronto, there is SOMA Chocolatemaker, a micro-chocolate factory with two locations on either end of the city. Owners David Castellan, a former executive pastry chef and partner Cynthia Leung started the small and intimate urban boutique ten years ago after deciding they wanted to make chocolate from scratch. As a bean to bar producer, a visit to SOMA means you get to taste test original, fair trade and organic creations while peering through the viewing windows at their vintage-looking cocoa bean lab. “We wanted to go one step further and source cocoa beans. Our concept came from far back in history when the Mayans would take cocoa beans and grind them up with spices. That’s what we were trying to achieve,” Cynthia explains. Favourite Chocolate: The caramel feuilletine – a concentrated little bite of delectable sweet and salty caramel enrobed in dark chocolate and rolled in crunchy flakes. Most Popular In-Store Chocolate: The classic and Mayan shots of tantalizingly hot and thick chocolate, and classic English toffees offered in dark and milk chocolate versions, but also in seasonal flavours such as gingerbread and the soon to be released lemon pistachio.

PARLANS CARAMELS {Stockholm} Who knew dancing and caramels go hand in hand? In the hip streets of Södermalm, a former gritty, working class neighbourhood in Central Stockholm, is a sweetshop producing fragrant batches of hand-made caramels that give a nod to the candy’s popularity in Sweden in the 1930s and 40s. Owner, Lisa and her friends came together as Lindy Hop dancers (a dance popular in the 30s and 40s) and share a mutual interest in the fashion, design, and music of the ear. Traditionally, caramels were cooked at home over Christmas, but Lisa launched her business so people with a craving for the buttery treat and an appreciation for artisanal candy, could enjoy a piece (or five) all year round. Although she has a background in food science and product development, Lisa’s training in caramel making was self-taught. It wasn’t until a trip to Japan, when she was inspired by the beautiful packaging and sweets that she decided to put her idea into action along with the help of a few friends. Parlans launched in 2010 just before the holiday season and quickly gained momentum, or a “flying start” as Lisa says, by selling a variety of caramel flavours such as Vanilla + Sea Salt, Salty Liquorice, Chocolate + Cocoa Nibs, Peppermint, French Roses, Lemon + Vanilla, Arrack + Chocolate and Candied Ginger. Parlans caramels are hand cut, hand wrapped and are made from organic fresh cream, real butter, sugar and glucose in copper pots. In addition to their sweet shop, Parlans caramels are sold in 30 to 40 retailers and deli shops throughout the country.

Arrack is a distilled alcoholic drink made from palm sap that is used to make Swedish Punsch or is used as flavouring in baking. The Swedish East India Company started importing arrack from Indonesia to Gothenburg (Sweden) in the 18th century.

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Photo credit: Soma

Photo credits: Parlans

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//Artisanal Candy

TURNING HEADS with

HARD CANDY One of the earlier design forward, experiential candy shop concepts, Papabubble now has 19 stores around the world across four continents. Launched in 2004 in Barcelona, Papabubble was created to breathe new life into artisanal handmade candies. Stepping into one of their stores is like having a front row seat to a performance featuring sugar, glucose and imagination. We spoke with Fiona Ryan, one of the owners of Papabubble New York, to learn more about its unique candies.

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What type of candy is your specialty?

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Hard candy. Depending on where you are in the world, some call it ‘rock’ candy or ‘lollies’. What is the basis for new candy flavours? We develop our flavours based on inspiration from food, drinks and culture. For example, we did a spin on the mango chili candies from Mexico, and fruit and herbal blends like grapefruit + basil from a cocktail. We are constantly trying new things and introducing flavours as we see fit. Papabubble is known for its nontraditional interior designs. Can you

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comment on the interior of the New York store? The focus was on being a lab while also being a fully functional and easy to clean factory. We had great help from our friends who started the company and we worked a combination of modern and salvaged New York materials into the space like an old library ladder, reclaimed old factory floors, and new subway tiles and actual lab equipment. We had a ton of stuff custom made as well such as tables, cabinets and shelving. How long does it take to make a Papabubble candy from start to finish? Anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours.


//cookbooks

What does the name “Papabubble” mean?

What is the most popular flavour of Papabubble candy?

The name comes from blowing sugar; (like you can blow glass).

It’s hard to say. Some people love liquorice, some like mango + chili, while some just like the fruit mix. Our ‘regulars’ each have their own favorites. There are lots of tastes for diverse palates.

How many different types of candies do you have in-store? Anywhere from 30-40 different varieties. What is the most interesting request you have ever received for candy? Oh boy! So many including candy encased diamonds, erotic tongues, portraits, claws, head pieces, ‘loving’ animals, shoes, mobiles, and tandem bicycles.

The focus {of the interior design} was on being a lab while also being a fully functional and easy to clean factory.

Do you have a personal favourite flavour? Soda filled! Fizzy grapefruit, guava, passion fruit and mango.

How many pieces of candy do you make a day? We produce anywhere from 4,000 to 40,000 per day if we are making the small candies, but sometimes a single sculpture can take half a day.

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//Artisanal Candy

WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED If you have ever visited Barcelona, you might be familiar with Happy Pills, a clever, medicinal themed candy store with six locations in the city (soon launching in Madrid). The Happy Pills motto is both quirky and catchy suggesting candy is “the radical solution to all of life’s woes.” Love sick? Work problems? Friendship damaged? Step into a Happy Pills shop for a bottle, pill dispenser or emergency kit filled with self-selected, brightly coloured candy to ail your woes. Launched in 2007, the clean, white design of the Happy Pills’ store is far from medical, a brand allusion seen throughout its identity and packaging. Rather, its interior offers shoppers a dose of humour as they assemble their “remedy” of choice. When asked why people love candy so much, Imma Duenas, Creative Director of Happy Pills shares “It’s the fact that people associate candy with childhood, and for an adult, eating candy is like being a bit naughty.”

THE CANDY STORE SF Candy connoisseurs in need of variety can uncover 500 types of hard-to-find artisanal confections from around the world at The Candy Store SF. Located in San Francisco’s Russian Hill neighbourhood and inspired by the design of old pharmacies (with a modern twist, of course), Dianne Campbell launched her business in 2007 resulting from a lifelong love of candy and a childhood desire to run her own store. The most popular candies include sour gummies and black liquorice. Once, Dianne received a request for candy to match someone’s sofa. Personal Favourite: I love salty-sweet candy like Dutch liquorice and caramels. Number of Liquorice Varieties: We sell 25 types of liquorice. Salty liquorice is one of our best sellers. How Do You Store Candy At Home? We keep it in small ceramic jars or just out on the kitchen table for easy access.

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//Artisanal Candy

CARTOON CANDY STANDS OUT

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usiness partners, Leonie Schweitzer and Cristina Velardo, opened their shop, The Candy Room, selling overseas and local confectionery and chocolate in Melbourne, Australia on December 1st, 2010. After six years running a successful confectionery wholesale business (Sweet Enough) importing sugar free candy products to Australia, and two years of planning, Leonie and Cristina followed their passion into the retail market and launched The Candy Room. Knowing the goal of their new venture was not simply to be a shop, they approached RED Design Group to help them create a destination that was edgy, trendy, clean, humorous and uniquely charismatic in order to deliver the right customer experience. The result, “is an interior design that toys with the concept of illusion and draws the inner child out of the customer using a strong connection with childhood, fantasy, fiction, and of course, sweets,” Leonie comments. The Candy Room’s unique design allows the candy to jump into the limelight and decorate the space. “By themselves, the candy is vibrant and colourful, so (our) designers had to take care that the store environment did not compete with, but rather accentuated the product. They deliberately decided to make the space almost entirely white, in order to allow the multi-coloured treats to stand out.” The hand drawn black sketches used throughout the space, pop against the white backdrop and give the sense that you are walking onto the set of a life-sized comic book. When asked whether they often hear the phrase “I feel like a kid in a candy store,” Leonie replies, “This is the most rewarding time when we are in store. You can see when adults first walk into The Candy Room; there is a look of excitement on their faces that screams- “I am a kid in a candy store.” Our slogan for the shop comes from this saying, except we put a little twist to it “Discover your inner child at The Candy Room.” All of us have that inner child and many of our customers are heard saying- “I haven’t seen this type of candy since I was a kid!” With products ranging from smiley faced lollipops to giant gumballs in paint tins, it’s no wonder The Candy Room has developed a loyal following in Melbourne. Most Popular Candy In-Store: Anything to do with peanut butter. Chocolate coated, candy coated- our customers just love it! Most Interesting Request: At Christmas, we often are asked whether our window display props are edible. Our display consists of Santas, Christmas trees and lollipops- all props are made of what looks like fairy floss!!! Personal Favourite Candy: Cristina, my business partner is the lover of liquorice and I am the chocolate queen- so we balance when it comes to product selection.


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//Food

TARTS I used to live in Hong Kong, and one of my earlier memories of this incredible, food-obsessed city was my first experience tasting an egg tart. I would trudge up the hilly streets of the Mid-Levels neighbourhood to Tai Cheong Bakery on Lyndhurst Terrace in Central. Bite after bite, the flaky, light golden tart crust made way for mouthfuls of creamy, mousse-like egg custard. It was heaven on Lyndhurst. It was this first bite, the first of many during my time in Hong Kong that piqued my curiosity and fascination with egg tarts. It made me wonder why they haven’t made their way into mainstream entertaining. Egg tarts seem relegated to dim sum restaurants and Portuguese bakeries, but served to guests at home? Maybe I’m hanging out in the wrong circles, but I have yet to see or read about it. And so, I am making the argument in favour of egg tarts to join the ranks of cupcakes, cookies, and cakes as a part of entertaining at home. If you think about it, the egg tart embodies all the key qualities of a perfect dessert for guests: it’s an easy two-bite treat, its savoury TOAST and sweet elements go well with coffee or tea, and you even get the This brings me to my second culinary novelty of two desserts-in-one (part tart, part crème brûlée). Like memory of living in Hong Kong: brick a trifle (cake + pudding) or an ice cream sandwich (cookies + ice toast. Brick toast is not from Hong Kong; cream), it’s a double win. it’s a Taiwanese export often found on the The background of these crispy, creamy pastries also makes for menus of bubble tea houses. From my great coffee talk. Egg tarts are found in cuisines from three counpoint of view, it’s an underappreciated tries whose pasts are intertwined: Portugal, England, and Hong dessert that can be easily incorporated Kong. Portuguese egg tart history dates back to the 19th century, into entertaining at home, for something where it was reputed that someone from the Jerónimos Monasa little interactive and different. tery in Belem (Lisbon) started making Pastéis de Belém to earn Brick toast can range from simple to income after the monastery was closed following a revolution in complex in its assembly. In its simplest 1820. As it happened, the monastery was located next to a sugform, it is no more than a toasted slice of arcane refinery and a small general store, which meant easy acthick white bread from an Asian bakery — cess to ingredients and distribution. The monastery and was also it is typically sweeter than regular white a tourist draw to the area, which led to an increased demand and bread — and covered in a layer of conpalate for these Pastéis. densed milk. You can skip the condensed Next in historical egg tart travels, we turn to Macau, the ex-Pormilk in favour of such toppings as fruit, tuguese colony (granted independence in 1974, becoming a Special peanut butter, jam, butter, ice cream, Administrative Region of China in 1999) known as a culinary melting chocolate hazelnut spread, chocolate pot. Due to colonial and culinary ties, it is likely that the Portuguese sauce, syrups, and whipped cream. The introduced egg tarts to Macau. The Pastéis de Nata in Macau have bread is toasted to a crisp exterior that evolved into a major food attraction for the island, thanks in particuwill stand up to gooey toppings, while the lar to bakeries such as Lord Stow (launched in the late 1980s), who middle remains soft. experimented with the recipe and added an English touch. My first taste of brick toast was the The custard tart, a traditional English pastry made with a simiclassic variety: slathered in condensed lar list of ingredients to those made in Portugal and Macau (eggs, milk, with a side of milk tea. Today some cream and sugar), gained popularity in Hong Kong, a former British cafés are taking brick toast to tasty new colony in the 1940s. The tea halls (cha chaan teng), dim sum resheights, literally: creating artful sculptaurants, and bakeries produced their own version of the egg tart, tures, stacking multiple layers of toast or but without the same crispy brulée you see atop the Portuguese hollowing out the inside of the “brick” and version. There is still debate as to whether the Hong Kong dan ta filling it with fruit and ice cream. Brick was influenced by the British or Portuguese (by way of Macau), but toast can easily be assembled at home either way, it could never diminish my fond enjoyment of eating a with guests, allowing each to customize warm egg tart outside in the Mid-Levels — a pleasure I revisit every their own simple yet satisfying creation. time I bring egg tarts home for my guests.

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//food

TART DOMINATION In an excerpt from Tabacaria by Álvaro de Campos, written by the famous Portuguese poet and writer, Fernando Pessoa maintains “Believe me, all the religions together do not teach more than confectionery.” If this is true, a lot can be learned from the pride and excitement around pastel de nata (the Portuguese egg tart). The most enthusiasm, I have seen to date comes from Lisbon based NATA Lisboa.

Pastel de nata can be eaten as a dessert but the major consumption goes to breakfast and snacking moments, due to the fact that this is a complex product to be produced at home.

Launched in 2012, the world is about to get a lot more pastel de nata, by the time NATA Lisboa is done expanding. The idea behind their egg tart shop is one part cultural export and one part fulfilling need to have good quality Portuguese egg tarts available outside of Lisbon. Their NATA recipe came from a team of pastry professionals that won over nine of 12 members on a judging panel for a blind taste test competition.

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Countlan speaks to NATA Lisboa to learn about their craze about egg tarts and the egg tart craze. Why are pastel de nata so popular?

We are talking about a very tasty product, with almost two centuries of history and, last but not the least; it is the sweet with the lowest calorie level. When are pastel de nata traditionally eaten? This is a very challenging question. Have you already noticed this is a product that is perfect for any moment? It seems strange, but we can find high consumption levels during all the day and in any occasion. Pastel de nata can be eaten as a dessert but the major consumption goes to breakfast and snacking moments, due to the fact that this is a complex product to be produced at home. Should an egg tart be eaten warm or cold? The preference goes to eat a warm pastel de nata. Let´s make a correction; the preference goes to eating two warm pastéis de nata!

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What is the difference between a Portuguese pastel de nata and the egg tarts from Hong Kong? I tasted an egg tart in Macau several years ago and noticed a huge difference in comparison with the original pastel de nata. The Hong Kong egg tarts are a derivation of the pastel de nata recipe and in the production process, the ingredients are quite different. For example, in some egg tarts the usage of butter (typical from pastel de nata) is replaced by lard which changes the nature of the tart pastry. As a result, I prefer the original recipe! Where will you be expanding your egg tarts to? Portugal is our base. We opened three stores in 2012 (Lisbon and Oporto) and we plan to have six more stores in Portugal in the coming months. Outside of Portugal, the first NATA Lisboa will occur in Europe this year but we are not able yet to announce the sequence of expansion. However we can say our first store will be in the southern European area.

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BREAD PUDDING Whoever said bread pudding should be reserved for entertaining during the colder months of the year was speaking pure nonsense! Bread pudding is fabulous and versatile as a way to end a meal or as an excuse to invite friends over for a catchup during the day. That’s why we chose this underappreciated sweet as the focal point of our photo shoot. The great thing about bread pudding is how easily the recipe can be scaled up or down depending on how many guests you are having over. The recipe itself, as you will read from our interview with Crème Caramel LA, is amenable to all sorts of flavour combinations and toppings. Plus, serving in ramekins makes presentation simple and clean up even easier.

sauce, caramel, nuts, chocolate chips, ice cream, candy, or crushed up (ginger) cookies.

We decided to contrast our vanilla lemon bread pudding with a bright, colourful, spring themed table. We bought fresh tulips in two colours and divided them among ceramic and glass vases. We opted for a “serve yourself” set up and arranged various toppings (chocolate chips, nuts, crumbled up cookies) in small white ceramic containers. We also set out a jar of colourful melamine spoons, a bowl of candied ginger and grapes for noshing.

unusual like bread pudding, don’t be afraid to add conversation pieces and brightly coloured tableware to your tablescape. Colourful items will help your white ramekins stand out.

Next, we pulled out the loudest tableware we owned to make our white ramekins pop. Despite the family style set up, we thought it would be nice to set the table with white placemats, fun napkins, a china tea cup, and wooden heart “chargers.” All in all, our guests left full and happy. We can’t wait for someone to dream up the next excuse to host a bread pudding party.

PHOTO SHOOT TAKE-AWAYS

➢ Any bread pudding recipe will do. Potential bread pudding toppings include: ➢ Cut up fresh fruit, jam, icing sugar, chocolate Have fun with tableware. Spring is about ➢ bright colours and when serving something

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Kristine de la Cruz is the owner of Crème Caramel LA, a Los Angeles based dessert company specializing in custard based desserts. Kristine shares her thoughts with us on launching her business, how to make good bread pudding and the importance of a good custard recipe as a base. 26

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Why did you launch Crème Caramel LA?

I always wanted to own a bakery or a restaurant. Unofficially, the spark started when my siblings and I would play ‘store and restaurant’ at home.  Officially, it started when I was in college. During my last two years of school, I worked as counter help for a popular local bakery in a college town. It was the kind of bakery where customers lined up in the morning before we opened. I found it gratifying to see happy customers enjoying the bakery’s yummy pastries.   After college, I worked in marketing and promotions, but four years ago I decided to stop thinking and wishing and start doing.  I made a promise to myself to work on a business plan or product for at least one hour a day for a whole year.  Eight months later, we were ready to sell our first dessert through Crème Caramel LA.  To be honest, I'm a sucker for affirmations and seeing our customers enjoy our treats or taste test a sample drives me to keep this business moving forward. What is your attraction to bread pudding? Our mother custard recipe is based on a family recipe of leche flan, a Filipino custard similar to crème caramel.  My aunt and uncle adapted the recipe to be more ‘crème caramel’ in texture, which they have successfully sold through wholesale accounts in San Francisco.  With their consent, I adapted their recipe and began experimenting with different flavor profiles.  Custard is like ice cream in that it's a great base for other desserts.  Bread pudding was a nice addition since this dessert allowed me to serve warm desserts and experiment with other flavors. How do you develop new flavours of bread pudding? Ice Cream flavors are influential, however inspiration for new flavours often come from the things I love; like bacon. We created a Caramelized Bacon Bread Pudding, which continues to be a hit with customers. Other times, I'll meet a vendor with a product that I could see working in one of our desserts and brainstorm how to incorporate it. Occasionally, new flavours come from suggestions.  For example, one of our employees knows that I love Dirty Chai Lattes (a chai latte with an espresso shot) so she suggested a crème caramel flavor with a chai/espresso flavor base.  

Photo Credits: John Gill (bread pudding) Michael Nigm (crème caramel)

Do you have advice for novice bread pudding makers? My advice is to start with a good custard recipe that can hold up on its own. If you can enjoy the custard by itself, then add fresh baked egg bread.  While most bread pudding recipes suggest using day old bread, I find that fresh baked egg bread is the best for our bread pudding.  We use challah and brioche for our desserts. What are Crème Caramel LA’s most popular bread pudding flavours? We have a rotating menu of flavors each week, sometimes each day. Our Original Vanilla Bread Pudding is always on the menu and continues to be the most popular.  This past year our customers embraced some of our more exotic flavors like Purple Yam (ube) and Buko Pandan (coconut pandan). Is bread pudding a breakfast item or a dessert? Would it be cheating to say any time of the day is a good time to eat bread pudding?  French toast is basically bread pudding in sliced form and fried on a griddle.  We also have a savory bread pudding that pairs well with a nice salad for lunch.  That being said, I think ‘Bread Pudding Time’ should be 12am11:59pm. :)

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THE SPECTRUM OF

OPEN FACE

Sandwiches Photo Source: Royal Cafe “Smushi”, Copenhagen

Anna Proskova The open face sandwich has evolved from a farmer’s lunch to a sought after item in mainstream society. In some parts of the world, a sandwich is two or more slices of bread filled with several ingredients. However, not all sandwiches are created equal. The open face sandwich dates back to the Middle Ages, and has deep roots in a number of European countries. Open faced sandwich are held as both a culinary and cultural tradition, with some countries championing best practices on how to make them. In Denmark, for example, there are culinary degrees devoted to training Smørrebrødsjomfru (which translates to sandwich virgins/maids- see the sidebar) and a creative energy driving locals to push the open face sandwich bar of innovation further and further. In Copenhagen, just look at Chef Adam Aamanns’ (Aaamans) innovative interpretation of the smørrebrød -Sausage with kale, apple and pickled shallots. The Royal Café’s (locations in Asia and soon, North America) smushi transforms smørrebrød into bite sized sushi , and includes fan favorites like the

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smoked salmon with egg and chives. It is important to mention that the Royal CafĂŠ has a database of over 500 smushi recipes; some of which you can test out in their beautiful cookbook. In other countries, open face sandwiches are a beloved part of the culinary fabric of a city. Take Trzesniewski in Vienna, Austria. Trzesniewski, offers 21 different kinds of sandwiches with spreads (mostly egg based) and 18 of the original 21 spreads are from when this culinary institution was opened by Francisek Trzesniewski in 1902. Trzesniewski proves that a simple cucumber with egg will do just fine. Finally, in the Netherlands, sandwiches play an important role in food. You can find both two slice and one sliced versions. However, we were most impressed by a relative newcomer that specializes in sourdough bread, Vlaamsch Broodhuys, a bakery that opened in 1996 (locations throughout the country). Their prized bread is used as the foundation for fresh open faced sandwich concoctions such as their fresh goat cheese with honey and fig. This is no joking matter! Open face sandwich composition is not as simple as removing the top slice of bread. Even though the geographic landscape of the open face sandwich is diverse, there are some similarities that exist. Firstly, bread is used as the plate! That is a given. Next, most open face sandwiches typically involve the use of a spread as a ‘sticking agent’ such as butter, mayonnaise or mustard. The spread helps the protein or vegetable stick to the bread so it does not slide off. It is the combinations and permutations of toppings that are open to the imagination and might vary from country to country. From fish and seafood, to meat, eggs, cheese or vegetables; the elaborate positioning and layering of ingredients is what makes open face sandwiches retain their popularity and satisfaction.

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LEILA’S

GENERAL STORE We discovered Leila Lindholm’s online store last summer and could not wait to share her refreshing kitchen and tableware aesthetic; a nod to her simple, rustic entertaining style. It was only natural for Leila Lindholm, Sweden’s answer to Martha Stuart and Nigela Lawson, to open her own general store. Always interested in creating beautiful things, the idea of launching her own line of products was planted in 2004 and took several years to develop. Leila is quite busy with her websites, cookbooks, TV shows, blog and guide books. We particularly like her guidebook entitled, “How to create a not so desperate housewife or houseman” with tips and tricks for the kitchen. Leila’s General Store was launched in March 2012 as an e-commerce site and there is a retail store in the works in Stockholm by the end of 2013. The general store features a mix of Leila’s kitchen and tableware designs as well as a handful of carefully curated products that she likes. This doyenne of the kitchen continuously releases products that reflect her own style, which she describes as a mix between French vintage, meets retropastel. For example, the textile items which include aprons, dishtowels and napkins are of patterns dating back to the 1920s. Likewise, her ‘American style’ retro glassware in soft pinks and greens, scream grandmother’s (hip) kitchen. They remind her of the time she spent in New York as a chef back in her 20s. Leila is particularly happy with her silicon spatulas, which she comments are “amazing.” She is also content with the result of her pastel coloured enamelware, which is produced by a 9th generation specialist in Austria. During this past year, Leila’s store has developed quite the following; you might be able to tell by its almost 13,000 Facebook fans. This is a positive sign that Leila and her General Store are off to the races and in the right direction. If you were wondering, yes, she ships internationally! www.leilasgeneralstore.com

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Glassware: HAPPINESS OR DISASTER?

Photo credit: Artěl


How to Care for Your Crystal:

Product care should be followed to ensure that ➢ your glass retains its quality for many years and generations to come. Crystal is not recommended for the dishwasher. Hand wash immediately after use with a soft sponge, mild soap and warm water.

➢ ➢

immediately with a soft cloth to avoid spots. ➢ Dry Do not soak, even in plan water, or leave un➢ washed overnight. Avoid any detergent or mild soap with lemon or ➢ other acidic agents. Do not use abrasive cleaners, steel wool or ➢ scouring pads as that can scratch the glass.

Natália Krätsmar-Šmogrovičová

BREATHING NEW LIFE INTO CRYSTAL: ARTĚL

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hen you hear the word ‘shard’, images of shattered glass might come to mind. How many dinner party guests have offered to wash glassware and accidently it break in the soapy suds? In the Czech Republic, the word "shard" has a special meaning: ‘Shard’ means happiness and that is exactly what I imagine, because glassware has always been a part of a cozy home atmosphere and family parties. The exact date of when and where glass was discovered is not entirely clear. However, according to architectural glass company, Miloslav Kos, the oldest evidence of glass was discovered 5000 years ago in the Thebes (Egypt). There is a story about Phoenician sailors who discovered glass one night when they were trying to make food and used a sodium stone underneath their caldron. After cooking their meal in the desert (on sand), small pieces of glass appeared. It was the reaction of sodium, fire and sand that made the first glass come into existence. Here in the Czech Republic, glass making is a part of our tradition and heritage. Although glass design and production has been around since the 14th century, the glass industry received a “public relations” boost under the rein of Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor (he moved the Hapsburg Empire from Vienna to Prague). Rudolf was known for his passion of art and science in the 17th century which helped Prague become a cultural and intellectual hot-spot in Europe. Bohemian crystal and its talented designers garnered much attention thanks to the Emperor and demand for beautiful crystal grew. Today, the debate for using crystal (trendy or old-fashion) continues. In my life, crystal is a family treasure. It is an item that is inherited generation after generation and brings back memories of the time we spend together as a family. Our vases remind me of beautiful flowers, our glassware of great drinks and our tableware of delicious food. Thinking about crystal, I could not imagine an affair without it on the table or around the house. There is no need to take a stance on the debate because the use of crystal is personal. As a bonus, if you break glass, don’t worry. Remember what people say, ‘shards’ mean happiness.

hen it comes to tableware, crystal can be a polarizing material. On the one hand, its pristine beauty brings to a table a sparkling prestige like no other. On the other hand, crystal is associated with formal dining: a style of entertaining that is not necessarily compatible with our increasingly busy and more casual lifestyles. Its delicate nature also invites fears that it will be mishandled and broken. As a result, crystal pieces more often end up gathering dust in cabinets rather than on the modern dining table. However, crystalmakers and lovers alike believe its use can be contemporized — not to demonstrate formality, but rather to elevate and add luxury to the daily experience. At the forefront of this revitalized perspective on tradition is Karen Feldman, the woman behind Artěl Glass and a handful of other Czech crystal producers and designers. “My fascination with glass started with my grandmother’s crystal collection — I was always so enamoured with her cut barware,” says Artěl’s founder and director, whose love for glassware was reawakened upon moving to the Czech Republic. “It was everywhere! And soon, I decided it interested me far more then shampoo, which was the industry I was working in at the time.” Originally from New York, Karen launched Artěl in Prague in 1998 with $2,500 in savings and zero experience in the glass industry. Today, Artěl is known for its handmade luxury crystal glassware coveted by collectors and design connoisseurs around the globe, with a client roster that includes Rolls-Royce, Asprey, Manolo Blahnik, Bergdorf Goodman, and Gucci.

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When talking about crystal, it is impor­tant to make the distinction between it and glass. In the past, crystal contained lead to provide its signature sparkle. To­day, however, the classification of “crys­ tal” is based on clarity.

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//glass ARTĚL (Continued) The Czech Republic’s long history in crystal production developed in the northern region of the country around the forests of the Lusatian Mountains, a range shared with the southeastern border of Germany. Easy access to wood, which is both fuel and a raw material for melting glass, spurred the industry. The first glass company officially documented was located in Chřibská, near Děčín, and dates back to 1414. A few other countries share in the legacy of glass production, including England (although not anymore), Germany, France, and most famously, Italy. When talking about crystal, it is important to make the distinction between it and glass. In the past, crystal contained lead to provide its signature sparkle. Today, however, the classification of “crystal” is based on clarity. For Artěl, Karen explains, “the product we produce is actually a lead-free crystal but we are considered crystal as our clarity is so high. Actually it is higher than most leaded glass.” Glassware, in contrast, is more affordable in price and its clarity is not as high. Although entertaining habits of the 21st century take on a less formal air than those of past generations, crystal on the table has not disappeared. In fact, “crystal is used as something ornamental and functional,” observes Karen. “Although people are entertaining less and less, what we find is that in their everyday existence they now allow themselves to indulge in enjoying their good crystal or good china. It really is a lifestyle improvement.” Of course it is up to personal preference how crystalware is used at home. Be it glassware, barware, or ornamental, thanks to new technologies and designers working with this craft, crystal has taken on a new life and no longer has to be relegated to dusty cabinets. When asked how she personally incorporates crystal into her life, Karen responds, “I drink out of luxury crystal every day and I sincerely enjoy it every day — it just makes the day and the drink a bit more special and memorable.” Who can disagree with that?

MAKING THEIR MARK Daniela Cabkova A survey of old and new Czech brands are making their mark in the crystal and glass world: Moser: Opened in 1857 by Ludwig Moser, a glass engraver and manufacturer in Karlovy Vary. Ludwig’s crystal developed quite a reputation with the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and the brand reputation spread. Their products are lead-free crystal. We Like: Bubbles 3211 hand cut underlay vase, Drinking Set Gaudi 30040, Drinking Set Culbuto 16520 Material: Material is known for its crystal chandeliers and other tableware items designed and produced by the owner, Tomáš Kysela. We Like: Light and Shadow Soda Pitcher, Grape wine glass (low-lead) and Drunken Sailor Verrum: A young Czech contemporary glassware manufacturer who recently joined forces with Gaia + Gino in Istanbul in January 2013 (see Made In feature). Verrum was created to showcase modern glassware designs from Czech designers. We Like: Fjodor, Wave, Mirror Qubus: Opened in 2002 in Prague by Jakub Berdych and Maxim Velčovským as a design studio and shop to showcase contemporary Czech and international designers. We Like: Saturn Set, Matroska Set Glass, Milk Uran and Flowerpot. CZECH DESIGNERS TO WATCH Olgoj Chorchoj: Olgoy Chorchoj was founded in 1990 in Prague and is a design and architecture team of nine individuals headed by Michal Froněk and Jan Němeček. We Like: Corrugated Vase, Bone, TP Collection and Look. Rony Plesl Studio: Designer, sculptor and lecturer, Rony Plesl, formed the Rony Plesl design studio in 2002 in Prague and has worked with brands such as Moser, Sahm, Lasvit and Verrum. We Like: Iceberg, Finland, Pyramid and Plecnik Martin Zampach: Martin launched his own design studio in 2008 after graduating from the industrial design program at the Tomáš Baťa University in Zlín in 2006. He is also the founder and editor of design blog, Designeast.eu. Check out Hruska. Christina Pojerová (Krikri): Christina is a student at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design (AAAD) in Prague. Her work was nominated in the Czech Grand Design award in the Newcomer category in 2011. Check out `Sponge`. De-sign Studio: A graphic design and product design studio, physical store and online shop that produces a range of limited edition, everyday use glassware. Check out Paar 2012.

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POLISH

Pottery N

Unlike ceramic, Polish pottery is a stoneware, meaning it is nonporous and does not need to be glazed in order to be used.

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ot a drop of shelf space was visible on the factory-shop floor of one of Boleslawiec’s famed Polish pottery stores. From floor to ceiling, every inch was filled with stacks and stacks of bright blue and white plates, pretty patterned casserole dishes and mugs, polka dot platters, floral teapots, vases with hearts and baking pans with stars. Thankfully, we arrived early because by noon, you could barely navigate through the shop’s narrow aisles due to the number of customers filing in. Since the 12th century, the town of Boleslawiec, located in the Lower Silesia region of Poland, has been involved in the production of stoneware. Despite its numerous rulers, border changes, destruction and rebuild, Polish pottery from the Boleslawiec region has rose to fame thanks to its geographic position along the Bobr River where the town has benefitted from seams of kaolin, the fine grain white clay essential to making ceramics. A key turning point for the town was in 1897, when a professional ceramics school was established in the city formerly known as Bunzlau. The new school greatly contributed to advancing the craft,


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ceramic production and design. While a significant portion of the potteries were destroyed during WW2, the local industry was revived again in 1946 by Professor Tadeusz Szafran. Unlike ceramic, Polish pottery is a stoneware, meaning it is non-porous and does not need to be glazed in order to be used. The pottery is known for its traditional colours of white with blue, green and yellow as well as its intricate patterns. To the unassuming eye, Polish pottery looks hand painted. It’s not. The patterns come from a special sponging technique where artisans use a hand cut sponge to transfer the pattern onto the clay surface. The most well known pattern is the

“peacock eye” motif. However, equally popular patterns include stamped dots, florals and botanicals. To complement the classic patterns, new designs are continuously introduced, tested and invented. On our recent trip to Boleslawiec, heart and star motifs looked quite popular with buyers. Demand for Polish pottery used to be concentrated to collectors and everyday users who lived in and around the Lower Silesia region. Today its reach has extended to all corners of the globe including Japan, the US, the UK and Australia.

pottery@countlan.com

To the unassuming eye, Polish pottery looks hand painted. It’s not. The patterns come from a special sponging technique where artisans use a hand cut sponge to transfer the pattern onto the clay surface.

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RICE D

anish design, like that of its other Scandinavian counterparts, is often associated with natural tones and functional, uncomplicated interiors. This minimalist aesthetic can invoke a calming, simple beauty. But what if you love this style but prefer a lot of colour in your life? Charlotte Hedeman Gueniau, founder of the ethical Danish homeware company RICE, thinks there is more than enough room for colour and pattern in Danish design. In fact, she views them as key elements in the enjoyment of informal living. RICE is known for its playful melamine kitchenware, and has also added a line of Italian- and Portuguese-inspired ceramics. No more than two steps into Charlotte’s home will reveal her love affair with colour, the subject of her new book, Happy Home. Despite the house’s white exterior, which today blends right into the mini snowstorm sweeping Odense, Denmark, the interior is brimming with brightness. Colour is incorporated in furniture, in accessories, on the walls, and in her extensive collection of RICE homewares (of course)! It is no surprise that a few of Charlotte’s colour influences include interior designer, Tricia Guild and fashion maven, Kate Spade. While some people shy away from bold colours, Charlotte makes having a colour-filled home look effortless among a few natural-toned Danish design elements. Chatting with Charlotte about her latest book over a cup of tea in her living room, she offered a few valuable tips on bringing warmth into the home. She underlined the importance of decorating in a personal and authentic way, explained what it means to create a welcoming table, and charmingly tipped her hat to her two previously authored cookbooks (Funky Favourites: Happy Food for Everyday Guests, and Funky Style Cooking). As part of creating that personal touch, Charlotte recommends starting collections of low-investment items, such as bowls, plates, or cups. Happy Home teaches how to use colour by example, and is photographed in Charlotte’s home as well as the homes of her friends and RICE employees. The book, whose forward is written by another familiar name, Holly Becker of Decor8 design blog, is an eclectic collection of inspiration, vivid photography, and practical tips on how to experiment with colour and pattern. Published by Jacqui Small. Available on Amazon.

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As part of creating that personal touch, Charlotte recommends starting collections of low-investment items, such as bowls, plates, or cups.

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CREAM OF

ASPARAGUS SOUP

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RECIPE

// What’s Cooking?

Fresh-squeezed lemon juice adds a nice bright spot to this soup. The original recipe calls for just ¼ teaspoon for the entire pot, but I like to add more than that – a teaspoon, at least. If you’re going to make this soup in advance, add the last tablespoon of butter and the lemon juice after reheating, just before serving. 2 pounds asparagus stalks 1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 5-6 cups vegetable broth ½ cup heavy cream Fresh lemon juice, to taste (see note, above) Sea salt and black pepper Remove any tough ends from the asparagus stalks and discard. Cut the tips from 8 of the stalks and reserve for garnish. (If that feels too fussy, skip it.) Slice all but the reserved tips into ½-inch pieces. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a 4-quart heavy pot over medium-low heat until it just begins to foam. Add the asparagus pieces, some sea salt and black pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the 5 cups of vegetable broth and simmer, covered, until the asparagus is very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. While the soup simmers, cook the reserved asparagus tips in boiling salted water until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and set aside. Purée the soup in batches in a stand blender, or use an immersion blender to purée it in the pot. Be very careful if using a stand blender to purée hot soup; fill only about half way with each batch. Return the puréed soup to the pot, stir in the cream, then add more broth, if necessary, to thin the soup. Taste, and season with more salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil and whisk in the remaining tablespoon of butter. Add the lemon juice just before serving and garnish each bowl with two asparagus tips.

www.sweetamandine.com

Who are you? I’m Jessica Fechtor. I live in Cambridge, Massachusetts and write the blog, Sweet Amandine (www.sweetamandine.com). I’m a PhD candidate in Jewish Literature, and currently working on my first book, a memoir with recipes. Where is the best place to eat in Cambridge, MA? In Cambridge, I’d start with toast at Hi-Rise Bread Co. and grab an almond macaroon or apricot brioche for the road. My favorite dinner in town is the vegetarian tasting menu at Oleana, an Eastern Mediterranean restaurant in Inman Square. Across the river in Brookline, don’t miss the morning buns at Clear Flour Bakery. Get the kind with walnuts. And pick up fish tacos at Dorado a few blocks away. How would you describe your entertaining style? I like to host casual weeknight meals – a pot of soup, bread, cheese, and odds and ends from the fridge. Olives, maybe, marinated anchovies, if we’re lucky. Whatever we have on hand. If there’s a partial loaf of banana bread or snacking cake on the counter, we’ll finish it off, with tea, for dessert. Are there any entertaining customs you have at home? On New Year’s Eve, friends come over on the earlier side and we make a night out of the cooking as well as the eating. Instead of putting together the entire meal at once, we prepare one course at a time, gathering around the table to eat whenever the next round is up. I guard the task of dessert for myself. Why did you choose asparagus soup for spring? I love soup. I eat it year-round, and I’m always excited to find a good one for the spring or summer months. When I make this soup, I think of my first apartment, my first time living alone after college. My (now) in-laws came to visit, and I served this soup with a savory tart.

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THE WHITE The abundance of all-white has caught the fashion world’s eye this season. With white gracing the catwalks, it seems fitting to replicate this fresh and chic look in your home too. Dressing a table in all-white shouldn’t be daunting. Not only does it look elegant and crisp, but it is so easy to create an inviting look for your guests. There is no need to worry about matching colour tones or patterns, instead put together a simple yet stylish look in top-to-bottom white! ELEGANT JUG This white jug is such an elegant shape and ideal as a water jug for your guests.

P! TO P T I r k l i ng a ers e sp In t e r s p w a r e t o g l ass r g e ou s o g a e t c re a ok. final lo

WHITE VASES A vase centerpiece is a great focal point for your table and this white ceramic vase will look beautiful full of white blooms. You can also add some pop with a colourful floral bouquet.

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TREND

NIKK By I WR IGH

T

GLASS PILLAR CANDLE HOLDER This chunky style glass candle holder will sparkle with understated elegance on your table.

NAPKIN RING A crisp white linen napkin looks so classic, and these stunning sparkling napkin rings really give the wow factor to the table.

WHITE & WOODEN CANDLESTICK This gorgeous candlestick will break up the head-to-toe ‘whiteness’ of the table but will still hold firmly to the trend. A pre-requisite to any Butterfly Lane table is candlelight, and this will really warm up an all-white display. WHITE MUGS An after dinner tea or coffee is a must, and these elegant white mugs are simple, but the beaded handles give them a design twist.

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Photo Source: Large Breakfast Board, Herriott Grace; Nikole Herriott (Toronto)

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MADE-IN Country of origin can have a profound affect on a product’s success and usage rate. It is not uncommon to judge the attractiveness of an object based on what we know (or do not know) about the country in which it is produced. Go on, test out our theory! We play this game all the time by asking our friends, “Where is the best X from?” and following up with “Why wouldn’t you buy X from Y country?” The answer? Country of origin influences perception. In this new section titled “Made In”, we seek to break down the mental barriers of country of origin, and discover an array of objects we would gladly use on our tables. At the same time, we learn about how and why the object was created and where it comes from. countlan

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BREAD SPOONS With Niels Datema {Eindhoven}

STUDENT PROFILE Design Academy Eindhoven Why did you create a set of bread spoons? I started this project by experimenting with porcelain since this is one of my favorite materials to work with. After much deliberation, I decided on the shape of a spoon but still didn’t know what to do with it; I had made a lot of “spoon-ish” porcelain shapes. I’ve always had a big interest in baking bread; one evening I started making some bread and immediately made the connection between the porcelain spoon-formed shapes and baking a good loaf of bread. The idea of the Bread Spoons was born. Is it difficult to design a bread spoon? While I was experimenting, I made the first moulds out of balloon filed with water to get that nice ‘spoon-ish’ shape. Then I transferred the five samples that I liked the most into the computer to give every spoon the perfect volume for each ingredient. I subsequently made a 3D print and ended up with five good models. This enabled me to make the moulds for casting the porcelain. The spoons are made of bone china porcelain, which gives them that beautiful white color.   Are the Bread Spoons decorative or functional? Most people who fall in love with the bread spoons like their appearance, the aesthetic form and the combination of porcelain and wood. When people discover the spoons actually have functionality for baking bread, they are more enthusiastic. This is exactly what I want to achieve with my products. I’m interested in functional designs and useful products made in a beautiful way. These spoons are a perfect example: A beautiful, sensitive design with the additional functionality for baking bread.

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Where are you based? At this moment I’m still based in the Netherlands, in Eindhoven, finishing my studies at the Design Academy. After graduating, I don’t think I’ll stay in Eindhoven but I don’t know where I’ll go. Maybe I’ll stay in the Netherlands but there is also a good possibility I’ll move abroad to some other place in this world. However one thing is certain: wherever I go, I’ll keep designing.   Are your spoons on the market? Regrettably, my Bread Spoons are not for sale. I’m


searching for a company to produce them. I get a lot of questions about the spoons from people or from shops who want to purchase them. I only produced 50 sets by myself for a 2 star Michelin restaurant: Sergio Herman’s Oud Sluis. He uses them for presenting his dishes, so you can see them there.   Do you use your Bread Spoons at home? Of course I use the spoons for baking bread. But I always bake bread in different ways. I think bread is a beautiful product made of very simple ingredients, yet the variations in bread are endless. This

is also why I chose to do one of my two graduation projects again on baking bread. So more is coming this summer…              As a bread maker, do you have a favourite type of bread? For me, the perfect bread is a beautifully baked country bread that is still a bit warm from the oven with a brown crunchy crust. Eat it with just some butter and it’s already delicious!

www.nielsdatema.nl

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Photo Credit: Caroline Gomez

NUAGE

by Caroline Gomez {Bordeaux} http://carolinegomez.com Caroline Gomez loves creating small objects that can be used in everyday life. Take her wooden snack boards for example which have gained a following in New York, London, Hong Kong and Australia. This series was developed as part of her ‘Fournitures pour Paysages Domestiques’ collection. The idea was to use create a landscape on the table using silhouettes of houses, factories, castles and clouds. Her most popular design, Nuage (cloud) in beech wood, can be used as a snack board, a hot pad, a cutting board or as decoration. Caroline personally uses her clouds at home to plate snacks for her daughter or beneath a cup of tea in her workshop.

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BONE CHINA SPOONS by Caroline Swift {Barcelona} www.carolineswift.com

Photo Credit: Caroline Swift

The thought of putting bone china in the dishwasher might be some people’s idea of a nightmare. For ceramic designer, Caroline Swift, she maintains the opposite. “I always put my bone china in the dishwasher and everything comes out beautifully white. (Bone china) is very precious but it’s also very strong, so I have no fear!” Her Bone China Spoons, are cast in plaster moulds and then cut, bent and formed by hand. Since the spoons are unglazed, each piece is given a lot of attention in the sanding and polishing process resulting in a significant amount of production time. The spoons are a part of a series called ‘Too Good to Put in the Cupboard’. It’s no coincidence Caroline created these decorative and functional spoons. “I suppose, I have always loved cutlery without even really being particularly aware of that. I am a bit of a magpie when it comes to metal and metal trinkets. I tend to seek out things like cutlery, jewellery, keys, or ironmongery items, rusty or shiny, at antique markets”. It also turns out a decorative spoon was one of the very first pieces she made in ceramics once she could find someone to teach her how to make the mould.

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HEART PARTS WITH FATIMA FAZAL {NEW YORK}

What is a Heart Part? Growing up in an Indian household, mealtimes were always about sitting around a dining table sharing food and conversation together. We would tear apart a chappati, and use it as a utensil to scoop up our food using our hands.  Eating with my hands was a really intimate way to enjoy food.  When I moved to New York, it was very typical to order food for delivery, eating on the go, or eating at my desk.  I wanted to inject the romance and emotion associated with mealtimes, into the "convenient" way we were eating, so I created the Heart Part.  A utensil that invites you to think about all the things you love before you eat. By physically breaking open the Heart Part, you are forced to consider the notion of "sharing" before you eat.  I think that is how we ought to begin our meals, with intention and consideration.  Why biodegradable plastic? I worked with some UK based researchers who developed a new additive that I put into regular polystyrene which renders it biodegradable.   Most plastic cutlery is not produced this way, because it is more expensive. Disposables are typically designed to be thrown away, so they are meant to be designed as cheap as possible.   The Heart Parts are made with 66% less plastic than a regular cutlery kit, and they are dishwasher safe.  They also happen to be 'flat' flatware, so they are very easy to travel with or eat with 'on-the-go'.   I tried to create something that people would treasure, keep, and reuse as many times as they can. How do you use Heart Parts at home? It’s funny because I carved a little compartment out in my cutlery drawer for them.  I unashamedly use them every day, from spreading cream cheese on my (sesame seed) bagel at breakfast, to scooping up a bowl of couscous or to sharing a cupcake at teatime.  I also end up using them to open up my mail and packages too just because they are a neat multifunctional tool that fits perfectly in your hand.  Obviously, they are more fun to eat with! :)  What’s next? The Heart Part was my first product.  It has been in my

mind for over 11 years, but I was working on gaining all the right experiences and resources to help me bring it in to the world with the best intention, expertise and team. I started off launching the ‘to-go’ boxes, and have now extended the line to include 'couple-packs' (where you can keep one and give one to someone you heart). I also have a range of catering boxes for people who use utensils in wholesale quantities.  We have been working on this over the past year, and I have a few more extensions of the Heart Parts that I will be releasing periodically over the next few years.  Once Heart parts are comfortably sitting in homes and handbags around the world, I have two other ideas that I’m working on and really excited about. They are very different products to the Heart Parts, but are in the same family of thought- Like second cousins.  I’m looking forward to finding more time to dedicate to those projects and hope to release the beginnings of one of them in the early part of next year. So watch this space! :)  Can you share something unique related to your background and entertaining? Having an open heart and an open home is a mantra that I grew up with.  When I was growing up, I don’t remember one night where we wouldn't have a guest sitting with us at our dining table.  Indians traditionally have big families, so accommodating for an extra mouth to feed was never an inconvenience.  In fact, feeding each other is seen as a responsibility, and also as a blessing.   When we have people over for dinner, it is customary to take off our shoes, sit on the floor, eat with our hands, and begin our meals with gratitude and remembrance for anyone who is not lucky enough to be digging into a plate of food.  That is why I donate a percentage of my profits to organizations that work on feeding the hungry.  As you eat with one side of the Heart Part, you know that you are in essence feeding someone with the other side of the Heart Part.  This is particularly practiced during the month of Ramadan, where you fast for 30 days from dawn till dusk.  Every time the sun sets, you open your fast with your loved ones and reflect.  

https://iheart-this.com

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CROWN JARS

by heyday design {Vancouver} www.heydaydesign.ca A vintage canning jar purchase in a thrift shop plus a surprise family antique collection, led Claire Madill, owner of heyday design, to create her porcelain vintage Crown jars. She envisioned the jars to be both functional as well as a piece of art (esteemed Toronto restaurant, Canoe ordered over 100 beaver jars for an art display in 2011). Each piece is made from a plaster mould of the original jar. “The trick to releasing the porcelain jar from the mould and finishing the seams is PATIENCE. I never used to have much until I started working with this material” says Claire. Since she started making porcelain Crown jars, Claire discovered people’s attachment to specific brands of vintage canning jars. “Sometimes this (the brand attachment) has to do with someone’s family history with the jar, like it was used by their grandmother, or the brand was popular in a certain area of the country.” Up next, Claire is working on some new, larger pieces for a collaborative exhibition in Vancouver in June with Ana Isabel, a silk weaver.

Photo Credits: Claire Madill, Laurie Gail Hamelin, Mark Burstyn

PIATTI TIPICI

By Marta Carboni and Ambra Zeni {Milan} www.m-l-c.eu

Photo Credit: Ambra Zeni

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Italian designer, Marta Lavinia Carboni, together with photographer, Ambra Zeni, explore the connection between food and culture in a series of plates called piatti tipici. The duo spent a year researching 11 different ethnic groups living in Milan and how each group prepares typical dishes based on the ingredients available in the Italian fashion capital. The dishes were then assigned a colour combination which was later transformed into a decal and applied onto a hand crafted plate. The result of producing 11 fascinating conversation pieces, Marta and Ambra conclude “regardless of cultural background, we all approach food and eating in a similar way, however colour is the true common language between us.”


MADE in BRABANT TABLEWARE SERIES by Daan Brandenburg {Eindhoven} www.daanbrandenburg.com

Just because clogs went out of fashion, does not mean the process cannot be repurposed into something else. In het groene woud (the green forest), an area near Eindhoven in the Netherlands, there is an abundant supply of poplar trees. These are the trees that were originally used to make wooden clogs in the country. However, the craft of making clogs has since declined due to a lack of demand (no one is wearing clogs anymore). Enter Daan Brandenbrug, a designer and a builder with a curiosity for traditional techniques and objects. In Eindhoven, Daan thought it would be interesting to give new purpose to this less popular craft, so he applied the clog making process to food; since clogs were typically used in the farming industry. The Made in Brabant Tableware Series consists of four unique tableware items: A potato bowl, a flower vase, and a salt and pepper set. They are made using traditional clog-making techniques and poplar wood. Daan has plans to continue exploring the clog making process and its application to tableware in future projects.

Where are you based? I have my own studio in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. I’m part of a collective called Collaboration-O. What is your brand about? I mostly design and make things out of wood, or a combination of wood and steel, and sometimes ceramics. I like natural materials and the local production aspect is very important to me. I’m a builder so I design with my hands. I’m also a traditional guy, so old techniques and objects really fascinate me. What is your favourite piece? I’m very happy with the series of wooden products I created, but I also like the machine that I made to make these products. Making the machine alone was a blast!

Photo Credit: Ronald Smit

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Photo Credit: iittala

MARISKOOLI BOWL by iittala {Finland} www.iittala.com

What is the significance of the Mariskooli design? “Mariskooli is one of the loved (iittala) classics”, especially for us Finns shares Siru Nori of Fiskars Home in Helsinki. The Mariskooli design has been decorating homes and table settings since the 1960s. Its decorative, classical form is quite different to typical Scandinavian design. The design’s colour range makes it multifunctional for serving, as well as a lovely interior object. I think its popularity also lies in the memories it carries; a lot of Finnish people have had it in their homes and it brings back memories from childhood. When was the Mari(skooli)bowl designed? The shape of the Maribowl has roots that date back to 19th century Germany. The shape with its moulds apparently came to Finland with German glass makers. In the 1960s, Armi Ratia, the founder of Marimekko made the bowl known to larger audience. Armi held lovely parties at the Bökars summer villa, and Mariskoolis were often seen on the tables. The Maribowl has since been made in the Nuutajärvi (160 km from Helsinki) and Iittala glass factories.

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How often are new colours launched? The Iittala glass colours are spiced up yearly. This year new colours are Forest Green and Salmon Pink. The new colours that are introduced are meant to complement the basic colour range. The colours are not only seen in Maribowl but also in the Vitriini boxes, Kartio glasses and Aalto collection. How is the Mari(skooli)bowl used? The bowl is meant to be multifunctional. They make a nice serving bowl for candies, nuts, or berries; the only limit is your imagination. Maribowl also works nicely as dessert bowl, especially the smaller version; it is also fit for storing small household items. Personally, I keep my keys in my Maribowl. How many years has Iittala been around? The Iittala brand is over 130 years old. The company’s roots date back to 1881, when the glass factory was established in Iittala village in Southern Finland. Iittala is now part of the Fiskars group, which has an even longer history dating back to 1649. There is a lot of industrial history and knowhow that has been part of our company and brand for generations. We want to cherish the brands and the long heritage we have and make sure the history lives on to the next generation.


SLOW (TEAPOT)

by Mingshuo Zhang {Eindhoven} www.mingdesign.nl To maximize the tea drinking experience, it is best to warm your cup before sipping. That is the philosophy Eindhoven based designer, Ming takes towards the SLOW teapot. Fascinated by the difference between Chinese and Western tea drinking habits, SLOW simplifies the process of warming a tea set and makes it more accessible to those who were not brought up with the tradition. While tea lights are commonly used as a warming feature in certain tea pot designs, the drawback is that only the pot stays warm. SLOW improves on this design by allowing the user to keep the cup and the pot warm. The cup and pot were designed to stack together which means, if you need to walk away from your brewed tea, you can put your tea cup back on top of the pot so your beverage stays warm.

Photo Credit: Mingshuo Zhang

EMBROIDERED POT HOLDERS by Karen Barbé Textileria {Santiago, Chile} http://www.karenbarbe.com

Photo Credit: Karen Barbé

Karen Barbé started her brand, Karen Barbé Textileria, in December 2009. Since its launch, her small run, handmade textile products have been gaining a reputation. Karen’s nostalgic looking potholders are made of 100% wool for the embroidery and 100% screen printed organic cotton for the backing. She designs her products to be both a beautiful piece of embroidery as well as something that could be treasured and useful. Karen does all the embroidery herself and shares with us, when she has an order, “I turn on the radio, sit on a comfortable chair, put my feet over a stool and begin embroidering. I make them (her products) on demand so I like to think and imagine about the place they are going when I’m working on them.” Karen trained as a designer at school but she has been creating things with her hands and thinking of beautiful objects her whole life. The potholders certainly have a homey and cozy feel to their design. “It’s definitely about the warm emotions that these potholders can bring into your kitchen: Coziness, peacefulness, wellbeing and the memories of old and recent gatherings lived at your place.”

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Photo Credit: Ladies & Gentlemen Studio

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TRAY

by Ladies + Gentlemen Studio {Seattle} www.ladiesandgentlemenstudio.com Trays are not only for serving breakfast in bed- if anyone still does that anymore. If you live in an open concept space, like the designers of Ladies + Gentlemen Studio, a tray can add functionality and an extra “helping hand” when it comes to entertaining. “A tray invites people to take greater care in what they’re serving and presenting. It’s essentially a platform that creates a defined space to arrange in,” shares Jean Lee of Ladies + Gentlemen Studio. This is coming from two people who often use trays as an integral component of entertaining. With an open concept kitchen and living room, trays are an important tool to serve appetizers and beverages to guests. The same goes when hosting a brunch or a barbecue. “We usually stage a tray with a Chemex coffee pot, sugar bowl & creamer, cups, and biscotti or stroop waffles! Likewise, in the summer, we use our trays for setting up a backyard picnic or barbecue.” The tray in question is a collage of different materials Jean and Dylan love. “We saw each of the (material) swatches individually in our studio (a piece of wood, a marble tile, an aluminum angle) and it sort of just clicked,” Jean reminisces about the design process. The materials were combined to create a simple, versatile serving tray. “We personally like trays that can be partitioned in different ways because it makes people take the added step of considering how each ingredient is composed.”

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FLOWER TOWER

Photo Credit: Karl-Oskar Bjurensted

by Ponpon – {Sweden} http://ponponexploringdesign.com Stina Ericson, product designer for recently launched Swedish brand, Ponpon, was inspired by old fashioned perfume bottles and wine carafes when she created the Flower Tower vase. The playful or interactive element of Flower Tower is its four stackable components. “Getting people to interact and participate with the vase according to a user’s mood or need is what led me down the path of developing the four shapes of mouth blown glass”, comments Stina. Each shape fits into one another like building blocks, which means Flower Tower can either be used in full for one (or a few) long stemmed flowers, branches or tall feathers or it can be used with fewer tiers to fit bunches of flowers of various heights and sizes.

STAR VESSELS

by David Adjaye for GAIA & GINO {Istanbul} www.gaiagino.com

Photo Credit: Gaia & Gino

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Vases and tabletop vessels don’t always need to be made of porcelain or glass to have a standout effect. Sometimes metal and sparkle will do the trick. Such is the case of David Adjaye for Gaia&Gino’s Star Collection. The chosen material for the geometric trio of vessels is copper covered in tiny, sand-like black crystals (Crystal Fabric Dorado) from the Swarovski Elements assortment. Drawing on his skills and profession as an architect, David Adjaye cleverly designed the Star vessels to look like stars when you view them from the top down. These shiny stars are both pieces of art as well as functional to hold flowers or fruit. This is the first industrial design product from David and were created in a limited edition of 25 sets.


Photo and Item Source: ‘Giants’ Double Herkimer Candle Holder Collection designed by Arik Levy for Gaia & Gino

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T

he affable, self-proclaimed ‘food geek’, Mia Kristensen, is the owner of CPH Good Food and a food science student in Copenhagen. She is building quite the reputation for her fun and accessible Nordic food classes (she also offers six classes in London, UK) as well as her homemade fluffy bearnaise-butter and a lemon/thyme soda that can really “take the crowd to heaven.” In her kitchen, a residence dorm (although not for long, she is moving) there is a number of labelled jars and containers to keep track of her experiments for her degree and for her own curiosity and clients. Mia, who makes everything from scratch, was happy to share some tips on where to find the best entertaining ingredients and accessories in Copenhagen. 1. Where is the best place to buy baking chocolate? I always buy my chocolate in the bottom of the department store, Magasin. They have the widest selection of high quality, good artisanal chocolate. Try the Danish producer, Mikkel Friis Holm, he makes the most amazing chocolate! www.magasin.dk 2. Where is the best place to buy spices? I buy them from my spice-pusher, ASA, in Torvehallerne food market. Julian has travelled the world looking for the best organic spices - he’s got it all and they ground it while you wait. http://www. asatrading.dk/ 3. Where is the best place to buy fish? Amager Fiskehus is not in the center of CPH, but I’m willing to drive a long way to get fresh fish and gorgeous traditional smoked eel, salmon and original pickled herring from Bornholm.   http:// amagerfiskehus.dk/ 4. Where is the best place to buy desserts? Oh no! Do I have to pick one place?  Strangas Dessert Boutique has the most impressive sweet creations, but it is also quite expensive, so save up for a nice trip in this dessert heaven. Sometimes Nikolaos Strangas even hosts fancy dessert-dinners and macaron baking classes. Go for it, if you get the chance! http://strangas.dk/ La Glace is the oldest “konditori” in Copenhagen and to me, this is still one of the best places - prices are OK (consider skipping the coffee though). Choose one of the beautiful layered cakes!  http:// laglace.dk/ Tante T on Viktoriagade is almost the essence of Danish “hygge”. It is stocked with grandma’s furniture, and serves delicious cakes from Mette marie’s mother’s recipes. http://tante-t.dk/information/ thesalonen-4/ 5. Where is the best place to buy meat? “Slagteren ved Kultorvet” only sells organic meat - it’s really expensive I must admit, but you can’t believe how much value for money they give you! I’m in love with all their unusual cuts, their homemade beef jerky and their properly matured beef. http://www.slagterenvedkultorvet.dk/

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Frederiksberg C

Bispegardens

COPENHAGEN


TAKE STOCK:

COPENHAGEN

6. Where is the best place to buy flowers for your table? Isblomsten, at Islands Brygge, is a small local flowers shop, but the selection, quality and presentation is just unique! http://isblomsten.dk/ 7. Where is the best place to buy wine or beer? I love buying "geeky" wine at "Ved stranden 10" - which is both a shop and a wine bar, situated in an old, beautiful apartment just next to Christiansborg. If you get the chance, try of the upcoming Danish wines they have. http://www.vedstranden10.dk/ As we're a beer-drinking country it's important to try some of the incredible microbreweries - I tend to buy speciality beers in Ølbutikken at Istedgade (http://www.olbutikken.dk/), but also 360Nord in Torvehallerne have one of my personal favorites The Bøgedal Brewery.  

Pilestraedes

Nikolajs Gammel Strand

Christianshavn

8. Where is the best place to buy table accessories? Notre Dame in Nørregade has everything for the table, their things are affordable and within a broad range of styles - but if I'm out looking mostly for Danish Design Illums Bolighus is of course the place to go. http://notredame.dk/ 9. Where is the best place to buy bread? I have a couple of places in city where I buy my bread, but it's very dependent on the variety of bread I'm after.  Rye bread I buy at Foodshop no.26, they only have one choice of rye bread, but to me it's the best I've ever tried. It is filled with seeds and grains (poppy seeds are their secret ingredient). It's also a really good place for breakfast/lunch - the malt buns and sandwiches are great!! http://www.foodshop26.dk/   Wheat bread and danishes, I buy from Meyers Bakery. His Ølands breads are just so moist with an amazing grain flavour. I also love the sour note from the use of his special starter (which can be bought in store). This bread is something I would travel a long way for!  http://www.clausmeyer.dk/da/meyers_ bageri.html 10. Where is the best place to buy cheese? "Osten ved Kultorvet" is owned by the same people that run "Slagteren ved Kultorvet" - their products are super high quality and they always have something interesting and challenging to try. I would recommend tasting a cheese from their grand collection of Danish cheeses :) http://www.ostenvedkultorvet.dk/

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// What’s Cooking?

MALTPIZZA WITH BACON AND HERBS By Mia Kristensen RECIPE

2 pizzas, 4 persons Pizza dough 500ml dark beer or water (room temperature) 15g fresh yeast 3 tbsp. oil, preferable nut oil 1 tbsp. malt flour ~750 g strong bread flour 14 g fine salt Topping 100 g cured and smoked bacon 200 g soft (e.g. brie) or grated semi-hard cheese (e.g. Danish Vesterhavsost) 2 medium-sized potatoes, boiled 6-8 sprigs thyme to sprinkle A little oil to sprinkle Salt flakes to sprinkle Dressing 200 g sour cream ½ tsp. sugar ½ tsp. salt 2 tsp. apple vinegar 75 g fresh herbs, chopped (e.g. cress, chervil, dill, sorrel or sea rocket)

Dough: Mix the beer and the yeast in a kneading bowl and stir until the yeast has dissolved. Add the two flours, oil and knead the dough for 5 minutes (by hand or machine). Add the salt and keep kneading the dough an additional 5 minutes until the texture in similar to chewed gum. Cover the dough and leave it to rest in a warm place for 1½-2 hours (or alternatively 8-12 hours in the fridge) Preheat the oven at 275-300C degrees (or as high as it goes). Topping: Slice and fry the bacon on a pan over high heat for two minutes on each side, until just cooked NOT browned. Then roll out the dough until it reaches 5 mm thickness. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the dough and cover with thin slices of the boiled potatoes and bacon. Chop the thyme roughly and sprinkle that over, together with a little salt and oil. Bake the pizza in the middle of the oven for approx. 5-15 minutes until crisp and golden around the edges. (Use a baking stone if you have one). Dressing: Whisk the sour cream with the salt, sugar and vinegar. Sprinkle the dressing over the pizza along with fresh herbs - then serve, while it is still warm.

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Issue 04: July 2013 visit us at www.countlan.com

Countlan Issue 03  

Countlan is a quarterly magazine dedicated to exploring how people around the world entertain at home.