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  1. I am sorry to hear you had an unpleasant experience while visiting the site. There is no 'sticky' element built into it and I believe your experience is an issue specific to your machine. However, if there are others experiencing similar problems, please PM me, including your OS/browser information, and we will do our best to resolve it. Martin Kastner
  2. Are you going in the winter or is it going to be early spring? There are several outdoor places worth visiting that open once it warms up a bit. Otherwise one thing I always have to have when I get back home is brewer's goulash with lard dumplings or stuffed potato pancakes at U Milosrdnych. And tripe soup in a bread bowl at Malostranska Pivnice Enjoy.
  3. The primary reasons to use paraffin are its translucency, tactile quality and mouth-feel, the way it interacts with the tabletop. The idea was to introduce a material which would offer a different tactile experience compared to porcelain, metal or glass. Plastics suitable for this purpose, offering similar visual and tactile qualities would have to be molded using industrial methods while paraffin bowls can be produced in small quantities as needed at the restaurant, using silicone molds.
  4. yellow truffle Yes, the work name of this piece is 'patch'. Essentially, we wanted to serve food nested on a bed of delicate young sprouts to introduce a new textural quality as well as to accentuate lightness of a presented dish. My intent with the piece was to create a simple, dynamic form building up towards the food. Martin
  5. yellow truffle, The piece is called Antiplate. Grant Achatz asked me to design a service piece for foods prearranged on a spoon (traditionally presented propped up on a napkin). The goal was to keep the focus on the food as well as make the removal of the spoon very easy and natural. The pieces currently used at the restaurant are essentially a prototype run.
  6. the 'bubbles' are a graphic description of the menu progression on a sweet/savory scale and also illustrate the size of the portions
  7. Yes, there will be various versions for certain applications.
  8. Some of these concepts were based on the projection of the symbol onto a plate. That form will understandably bring up alien/flying saucer kind of associations when it departs from its realistic description. Grant prefers to steer away from this association.
  9. The relationship between the symbol and the word alinea is very loose and I believe it will remain that way. While the symbol is shown here in front of the word, it is mainly for evaluation purposes and the juxtaposinion is not finalized. We are still working on the font itsef. I recall a post awhile back from chefg that stated the definition of the symbol as being something along the lines of "(a) new thought begins here...." That's got to be the coolest thing about using the symbol and it's definition to embody what will go on within the four walls that define Alinea the restaurant. Do you want that connection to be a "loose" one or is it one you 'd want to etch in stone and shout from the rooftops? I'd lean more toward the latter than the former, but that's just me. By a loose relationship, I mean the formal aspect, i.e. whether the symbol is above the word, in front of the word ... Different applications demand different solutions and I suspect the symbol will not become static (bound to some coordinates) in relationship to the word itself.
  10. The relationship between the symbol and the word alinea is very loose and I believe it will remain that way. While the symbol is shown here in front of the word, it is mainly for evaluation purposes and the juxtaposinion is not finalized. We are still working on the font itsef.
  11. I think that one might sometimes end up with stains on a shirt not despite but because of using traditional tableware. That was a factor in working on the projects when we had specific dishes to be presented and it was my responsibility to make them at least as safe as traditional tableware. Later it evolved into a more conceptual approach where we look at a serving concept and both, each our own way, work to address it. I might be fooling myself but I would like to believe that because both the design and the food were developed sort of simultaneously (each with the other in mind), they should be fairly compatible. I guess people who have experienced food on these utencils would be more qualified to comment on the funcionality.
  12. I can see very little that can be done as far as preventing the above mentioned reaction, except letting the critics actually experience it. Alinea may not fit (I don’t believe it is intended to) what could be called the ‘average taste’ as far as restaurant standards go. But that doesn’t mean the reaction to it has to be a negative one. As long as one is willing to relax and let the standards be challenged. As far as the service pieces go, we are trying to grow on what we learn about food and food service with all its aspects, in a direction that makes sense to us - one that opens a few more doors and perhaps teaches us a little more in return. We aren’t trying to make a gesture just for the sake of being interesting, we’re trying to contemplate and explore the possibilities of food service to increase the impact of the food itself. That should earn us the benefit of the doubt.
  13. Rube Goldberg was mentioned. That is the exact opposite of what we’re trying to do. What I see as a designer is a set of problems that we’re trying to address, the aesthetic aspect is only one of them. To create a self-serving contraption actually means causing a problem rather than solving one. The goal with every project is to articulate its essence and then look for a solution. Obviously, the result is an object. But it is actually the food that brings it to life and in some cases the service piece is what makes the serving of the food possible. If it is a plate as we know it that serves a given course the best (that means the experience as a whole, not just the food itself), then that is what should be used. The goal isn’t to throw away all we have but to broaden the spectrum.
  14. I did work on some serviceware related projects prior to working with Grant. The requirements to stay within the bounds of convention bothered me about those projects because I felt there was room to explore this subject outside the given limits. I knew that the exploration would require a close cooperation with a person on the other side - a chef who is thinking about the food the way I think about design. I thought Grant might just be that person. In his initial email, he didn't ask for a plate or fork design, he wrote about new ways of serving new food.
  15. Machine-washability is a requirement for all the new pieces we are working on. The only exception is the Eye, which is a combination of glass and clear acrylic. Due to acrylic's low abrasion resistance and the different expansion rate of the two materials, these have to be hand washed.
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