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The Finishing Touches

Words: Jenna Campbell

For hoteliers and restaurateurs seeking to deliver an outstanding dining experience, procuring the right cutlery can make all the difference.

When it comes to hospitality, the recurring theme – at least in the realm of procurement – is to focus attention on big-picture components, while the finer details like carefully selected cutlery can be all too easily overlooked. And yet, it is becoming increasingly evident that high-quality flatware makes all the difference when it comes to delivering an outstanding culinary journey. Done well, it adds to the ambiance, complements the surroundings, and enhances the overall response to the dining concept.

Playing an intrinsic role in how food is experienced, cutlery is often one of the first elements that a diner comes into contact with, setting the tone for the experience ahead. However, there are a number of important considerations when selecting suitable flatware, from style and weight to durability and price point. Equally, haptic qualities – how that knife and fork feel in the hand – can affect impressions of taste and quality. A study published in the Flavour Journal for example, found that the brain makes judgements on food before it is consumed, to the extent that when the cutlery’s weight corresponds to expectations, guests are more convinced of a dish’s quality; similarly, the size, shape and colour can impact on perceptions of flavour and value for money.

Beyond the multisensory factors, those in charge of procuring cutlery will most likely want to select a range befitting the cuisine and style of dining on show. Venues specialising in fine dining may require a design with a timeless elegance, such as an 18/10 lustrous stainless steel, while conference and banqueting functions might benefit from using a contemporary range of coloured or mattefinished items, featuring bright golds and copper two-tone contrasts. In recent years, the shift away from more ornate collections, towards adventurous iridescent palettes, alternative materials such as bamboo, or sculptured finishes using techniques such as sandblasting and planishing demonstrates the level of innovation and artistry that cutlery brands are employing in order to cater for modern tastes and discerning diners who covet experiences above all else.

While the Scandi-inspired minimalist designs popular with Nordic-style establishments are still in vogue, top cutlery designers are always looking for new ways to push the boundaries, incorporating materials such as wood and brass into their ranges, alongside cutting-edge methods of engineering to create quality-driven collections that can stand the test of time.

In what is an increasingly dynamic and forward-thinking sector, just as demand for versatile flatware options increases, so too does the variety of designs and styles on offer. In the following pages, we showcase some of our favourite cutlery brands, whose latest flatware collections effortlessly combine style and substance.

1. Serenade and Pearls

Siom Orfèvres

Designed with elegance, utility and practicality in mind, Siom Orfèvres – the largest producer of silverware in the Middle East – caters to all tastes and lifestyles, supplying premium restaurants, five-star hotels and luxury markets around the world. Two of their most coveted flatware ranges, Serenade and Pearls, are perfect examples of the brand’s excellent craftmanship and innovative design solutions. Both comprising 42 pieces, the former is silver-plated to create a mirrored finish, while the latter is engineered using stainless steel and caters to a broad variety of hospitality offerings.

www.siomorfevres.com

2. Skye

Robert Welch

Building on more than 6o years of expertise, Robert Welch’s latest collection draws inspiration from the traditional silversmithing technique of long-handled planishing. Boasting a slim and elegant profile, the textured finish of Skye gently fades away towards the tapering neck or blade, while smooth handling faces ensure additional comfort during use. The new range will be launched in February as part of the brand’s presence at international hospitality trade show Ambiente, and will sit alongside an exciting selection of other products, all of which feature a thoughtfully designed textured look.

www.robertwelch.com

3. Sitello

WMF Professional

The eye-catching new Sitello cutlery collection represents WMF Professional’s first design featuring a hammered finish, providing the ideal accompaniment for a host of culinary experiences. Comprising 21 pieces, restaurateurs can choose between highly polished 18/10 stainless steel or silver-plated items, both offering longevity due to the quality and thickness of the materials used. The delicately worked accents give each piece its own character without disrupting the balanced lines of the traditional rounded handles, while the gentle feathering of the contemporary finish establishes a connection between spoon and blade.

www.wmf-professional.com

4. Mulberry

Studio William

Inspired by the Asian tradition of using leaves as a tool for eating, the unique shapes and textures of Studio William’s latest Mulberry spoons add a new dimension to the diner’s culinary journey, allowing for greater experimentation. Now available in PVD finishes of champagne, gold and copper, the Leaf spoons collection challenges traditional cutlery design, with different shaped heads offering a variety of alternative uses and possibilities. Highlights include the Palm design, which has been crafted for drainage, whilst the Cocoa spoon has a special left bowl edge for spreading and rocking to cut.

www.studiowilliam.com

5. Pride

David Mellor

Pride was first crafted in 1953 and has been in continuous production ever since. Widely acknowledged as a modern classic, it can be found in numerous F&B venues around the world, and is heralded as a prime example of 20 th -century Modernist design. Renowned for both the simplicity of its form and flawless finish, the gently tapered hollow knife handles, delicate curves and refined proportions give Pride its exceptional beauty and understated elegance. Selected for many prestigious restaurants and hotels, the collection has been significantly expanded and is now also available in stainless steel and sterling silver.

www.davidmellordesign.co.uk

6. Aquila

Elia

A carefully considered addition to Elia’s dynamic flatware offering, the Aquila range – much like the brand’s numerous other high-quality cutlery collections – has been crafted to elevate the dining experience. Well-balanced and tapering gently from a robust triangular base to a defined curve, this range is crafted and manufactured to the highest exacting standards using premium-quality 18/10 stainless steel. A stylish and characterful addition to any table setting, every item which bears the Elia stamp has been thoughtfully designed and attentively produced, with the latest range being no exception to this rule.

www.elia.co.uk

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