Chef Naomi Pomeroy Reminds Us How Lucky Are To Be Creatives

Naomi Pomeroy

I came across an interview with Naomi Pomeroy, renowned chef at Beast in Portland, who spoke with the Ace Hotel blog back in 2012. This year she won a James Beard Award and has been nominated almost every year for the past 4 years. This woman is damn talented.

In the interview they speak about Julia Child and the influence she had on Pomeroy, and this particular passage stuck out to me.

One thing about Julia Child is that she so clearly loved life. Do you think chefs are happier people?

I do think chefs are happier…usually. Sometimes we get too caught up in perfection and complexity though. I think that is why Julia makes such a great role model. She really showcased what is best about a GOOD chef. When something doesn’t go right, you just laugh, and turn to something else… It is a kitchen! We are COOKING and if we aren’t happy, we certainly SHOULD be. We are all so lucky to be doing what we love for work.

Replace “chef” with “designer” in all of those instances and I couldn’t agree more fully. Never lose sight of the fact that we have a pretty sweet gig, and however frustrating it can be, we’re lucky to do what we do.

Photo by Alicia J. Rose

Bobby Solomon

August 8, 2014 / By

Nora Luther Photographs Recipes As Dynamic, Floating Ingredients

Nora Luther Turns Recipes Into Flying Feasts

The earliest incarnations of the recipe come from 1600 BC in Babylonia, and since then, not a lot has changed (although we don’t use stone tablets anymore). A list of ingredients, a set of directions with cook times – this is really all you need. Berlin based photographer Nora Luther though has come up with a clever way of reimagining the recipe, by photographing all of the elements flying in mid-air.

Nora Luther Turns Recipes Into Flying Feasts

As she says in the project description, her intention is that “the look of the ready cooked dish is left to one`s own imagination.” The way she’s photographed the pieces of the whole are stunning, like a food ballet captured in mid leap.

Nora Luther Turns Recipes Into Flying Feasts

Nora Luther Photographs Recipes As Dynamic, Floating Ingredients

Bobby Solomon

August 8, 2014 / By

Highbrow, Lowbrow, Middlebrow – Who Cares?

Highbrow, Lowbrow, Middlebrow – Who Cares?

Writer Thomas Mallon has a great piece on the quickly accelerating landscape of art, specifically, the decaying differences between highbrow, middlebrow, and lowbrow art. I think his analysis nails the issue perfectly on the head.

On the whole, however, the sheer availability of so much art, its ubiquity in the wide, wireless world of the present, assures that more and more blends and mash-ups and integrations are bound to occur. To some extent, people used to settle on a brow for themselves and then pattern their reading and viewing and listening accordingly. Increasingly, art at all levels now comes to us, seizes our attention for a few digital moments before being elbowed aside by something else. More catholic tastes seem bound to result from more catholic exposure, our brows raising and lowering themselves like a spreadable iPhone photo. (Of course, Shakespeare’s audience never had trouble doing that in the course of a single evening, laughing at rustic horseplay and thrilling to lyrical declamations in the same production.)

Bobby Solomon

August 7, 2014 / By

An Animated Book Trailer for the Italian Release of Haruki Murakami’s Upcoming Novel

An Animated Book Trailer for the Italian Release of Haruki Murakami's Upcoming Novel

Following up on Nick’s fantastic piece on Haruki Murakami’s new novel Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, reader Fabio Valesini sent me a link to a trailer he animated for the Italian release of the book. It’s interesting to see such a different take on the material compared to the Knopf/Harvill Secker that Penguin Random House is putting out.

An Animated Book Trailer for the Italian Release of Haruki Murakami's Upcoming Novel

Though I haven’t read the book yet it feels like Fabio has certainly captured that ethereal, kinda weird Murakami feeling. When I read his work I always get this sense of alien mystery, that you’re never sure what might happen next, which is reflected in the trailer. Really nice work.

Bobby Solomon

August 7, 2014 / By

Artists Explore the Theme of Silence for Nobrow

Kali Ciessmier for Nobrow 9

“What does silence look like? How is it expressed? Can it be visual?” These are the questions Nobrow posed to over 40 international artists and illustrators for the ninth edition of their magazine. It’s a fascinating theme and one which has produced a wide-range of outcomes. Amongst its 128 pages you’ll find scenes of contentment, intimacy and the surreal as well as stories of the mundane, the morose and the amorous.

Owen Davey for Nobrow 9

As with previous editions, this version offers artists a limited 4 way color palette to bring their imagination to the page, and this restriction brings a wonderful unity to the magazine. The pink, orange and blue tones are a beautiful combination and it’s a joy to see how each artist plays with this restraint through their work.

Merijn Hos for Nobrow 9

One of the nicest things about Nobrow’s magazine is that it works as two magazines. On one side it contains large illustration work (as shown in the post), while the reverse is filled with stories by comic artists and visual storytellers.

Jun Cen for Noborw 9

If you’re in any way interested in contemporary illustration I can’t recommend this publication enough! With over 40 artists involved, it’s hard to imagine a more comprehensive magazine. For those interested in the work featured here, it includes (from the top) images by Kali Ciesemier, Owen Davey, Merijn Hos, Jun Cen and Ella Bailey.

Ella Bailey for Nobrow 9

Nobrow 9 is currently available to purchase from the Nobrow website.

Philip Kennedy

August 7, 2014 / By

An Interview with Joey Roth, Who Brings A Newly Refined Design to the Sorapot

Sorapot by Joey Roth

I’ve been a fan of industrial designer Joey Roth for over five years now, and his commitment to quality has always been one of the traits I admire most about him. Recently he released a newly refined version of his infamous Sorapot teapot which is a marvel of design. The upgrades he’s made have transformed the object into the true vision he had for the product all along. Curious about these refinements and his future plans, I asked Joey a few questions to get some background.

Your original version of the Sorapot was the first product you released, and I’m curious to know what spurred your desire to make a teapot in the first place?
I love brewing and drinking tea almost as much as coffee, but it’s interesting to me as a designer because of the ritual involved in its preparation and enjoyment. The slow reversion of steeping tea leaves from dry rolled up balls to the full, translucent forms that were picked from camellia bushes is a transformation worth emphasizing through design. The Sorapot is a frame for this process, each of its design gestures playing a supporting role rather than taking over.

Sorapot by Joey Roth

Some may not know that this is a “refined” version of the original design, could you describe some of the changes and improvements you’ve made?
Sorapot 2 is a realization of my original design intent, enabled by better investment casting technology and my growth as a designer. It’s 40% lighter, its geometry is held to tighter tolerances, and it uses about half the stainless steel of version 1. I also re-engineered the spout to eliminate dripping and simplified the opening and closing operation. I made these improvements to eliminate annoying experiences like dripping and enhance pleasurable experiences like the feeling of a slightly warm stainless steel handle, further reducing the friction between the user and the tea.

Sorapot by Joey Roth

These days we always seem to be so busy with our lives. Do you think there’s anything significant about the process of making tea? There is a bit of work that goes into it.
I optimized Sorapot’s design for richness of experience rather than efficiency. Efficiency is a great design goal for cars or medical devices, but efficient tea comes in a bag and brews in microwaved water. Tea encourages single-minded focus and patience, and rewards manual preparation. Sorapot is designed to be a precise but completely manual tool for making, appreciating and serving tea that requires significant user participation. That said, I optimized the individual steps, such as cleaning and pouring, for efficiency, in the service of a rich experience.

Do you feel like you’ve truly realized your vision for the Sorapot?
I’ve realized my vision as of now, but it is continually growing.

Any other food-related products on the horizon?
I’m working on a coffee maker in collaboration with a Bay Area roaster that will be launched later this year.

It’s clear that Joey as a designer truly cares about the experience of the objects that bear his name. Many people would have said “good enough” and moved on to the next thing. I love that he decided that he didn’t get it right the first time and did something about it.

You can preorder the Sorapot now by clicking here.

Bobby Solomon

August 6, 2014 / By

A Four-Story Home In Tokyo That Feels Like A Vertical Garden

Ryue Nishizawa Designed A Home That Doubles as a Vertical Garden

If there’s anything any home needs it’s an abundance of plant life. Studies show that plants help fight colds, clean the air, lower your blood pressure and make you happier overall. That said, could you imagine living in a multi-story concrete home that basically slender vertical garden? This is what architect and designer Ryue Nishizawa, one half of the design firm SANAA, has helped create.

Ryue Nishizawa Designed A Home That Doubles as a Vertical Garden

Tucked away in a tiny crack in Tokyo is this four-story home which mixes concrete and glass to create a series of terraces and balconies that blurs the line between interior and exterior. The home is united with a spiral staircase the punctuates the space from top to bottom yet still feels elegant, not consuming or overpowering the space.

It’s always fascinating to me to see how the Japanese utilize such unique spaces with such creative solutions. A space like this isn’t for everyone, though if you offered it to me I’d take it in a heart beat.

Ryue Nishizawa Designed A Home That Doubles as a Vertical Garden

Ryue Nishizawa Designed A Home That Doubles as a Vertical Garden

Ryue Nishizawa Designed A Home That Doubles as a Vertical Garden

Ryue Nishizawa Designed A Home That Doubles as a Vertical Garden

Ryue Nishizawa Designed A Home That Doubles as a Vertical Garden

Ryue Nishizawa Designed A Home That Doubles as a Vertical Garden

Ryue Nishizawa Designed A Home That Doubles as a Vertical Garden

Bobby Solomon

August 6, 2014 / By

The Manual Coffeemaker Brings Ritual and Lovely Aesthetics Back Into Coffee Making

Manual Coffeemaker

Manual Coffeemaker

The world of coffee makers seems to be a ripe field for new development. After decades of Mr. Coffee and the rising tide of K-Cups we’re starting to see a concerted effort to appreciate the time and effort it takes to create something of quality, specifically in this case, a cup of coffee. I’ve written about another “high-tech” coffee maker recently, namely the Ratio Eight, but the Manual Coffeemaker seen here is much more simple, more akin to the classic Chemex.

Manual Coffeemaker, or MCM, is a pour-over coffee maker that lives on the countertop in a home or office, like a low-tech appliance. Hot water is gradually poured through fresh ground coffee in a filter, and brewed coffee slowly drips into the carafe, or even directly into your mug.

MCM takes inspiration from manual coffee brewers of the past, but completely redesigns the experience with a new form. Other manual brewers have more in common with pitchers or kitchen funnels, while MCM is designed to be a beautiful freestanding appliance—an appliance you truly love to see on your kitchen counter day after day.

Personally, I find it hard to find time to enjoy such rituals though I appreciate what Manual is trying to do here. Plus it’s nice to bring more beauty into the kitchen. You can pre-order one for your own space by clicking here.

Bobby Solomon

August 6, 2014 / By

Google+