Gracious hosts. Hospitable to the bone. Yes, you, dear home, but we're talking about another of our favorite places, the restaurant.
On our minds are many things these days. Among them, the livelihood of the restaurant industry and the people who make it their work to ensure we're full and happy—no easy feat. They're working hard to stay afloat. We can order takeout! Win/win.
How is it possible that we've gone months without dining out? Fending for ourselves in the kitchen has its rewards, but our beloved restaurants need us. To be honest, we need them, too—we sincerely miss the togetherness of a bustling eatery. But, we'll make do.
Without reservation, dear home, we're turning the tables, serving them for a change. On today's menu, delicious and diverse cuisines from Mister Jiu's in Chinatown SF, Hog Island Oyster Co. in Marshall, Sequoia Diner in Oakland, and Ava Gene's in Portland. They're offering takeout and we're offering to tell you about it.
Right this way, please. We have a few spots at our communal table...
Image: 1 / 4
Brandon Jew, Chef/Owner of Mr. Jiu's, tells us, "Always have a larger plate so you can consider negative space. Plating begins when you're curating your ingredients. As you decide how things are cut, the textures, and how they will play out, you should be building the sequence of how the dish will be plated. Refining your vision incrementally, while prepping, will prepare you for when all of your components are ready. It takes me at least 3 times to get a dish plated before it's ready for the menu."
Thank you. Such consideration!
Underserved and Underrepresented
It's a luxury to miss dining out, while many in our community struggle with the basics. Food insecurity is real. This list of resources in and around San Francisco is worth passing along. As well, outfits worthy of the spotlight: A list of Black-owned restaurants in the Bay and LA. La Cocina offers a list of businesses by low-income women with incredible talent, and the ultimate list of Black-owned farms and food gardens can be found at Shoppe Black. There's patronizing and there's volunteering—two very good ways to get fed.
Oi! for Oysters
Hog Island taught us when plating that, "Too much is too much, clean, simple, and bright allows the visual eating to match the physical!" And, we heard from a couple of chefs that their favorite Heath pieces to plate with is the 6x12 Platter and the Side Bowl.
Visual eating! Yes, that's what that is.
To Plate or Not to Plate
We asked whether we ought to be plating our takeout or devouring it from the box. From Sequoia, "So much of the Sequoia Diner experience was the in-person element of hospitality, and we are doing our best to translate that to the current times. We love seeing people plate their food at home, but there is also something really beautiful and satisfying about seeing it eaten right out of the box. Right now, we are grateful for both."
Designed in collaboration with Christina Kim and Alice Waters, this Side Bowl was created for Alice Waters' iconic Chez Panisse restaurant in 2006. Born out of a mutual appreciation for the beauty found in natural ingredients, this line takes cues from classic French porcelain restaurant ware, with a Heath twist. Perfect for pasta and salad. A portion of the proceeds are donated to the Edible Schoolyard Project, whose mission is to provide a free, sustainable school lunch for students K–12 in public schools throughout the country.
"By creating contrast, the food pops and looks extra delicious. I usually opt for a matte finish as we use a lot of olive oil, and I love to see the way the silky oil dances around the plate," says Sequoia of Sequoia Diner. Another perspective from Joshua of Ava Gene's Ava Gene's, "Compounding colors—browns with brown, greens with greens, I've always enjoyed that Heath glazes seem to be inspired by food."
Order takeout, plate accordingly.
Thank you, Brandon Jew, Ben de Vries, Sequoia Broderson, and Joshua McFadden for feeding us. Yours Truly, Heath Ceramics
Join our mailing list to stay updated on new product launches, promotions, and musings from our team in California.