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chickenfriedgourmet

modern restaurant style dinnerware

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Hello,

Can anybody point me in the direction to find the type of modern plain white dinnerware we are seeing more of like on Top Chef. In particular I am looking for the round bowls with square inserts, wide bowls with small round inserts, etc.

Thanks in advance

Oh and I have already ordered a catalog from Bernardaud in NYC.


Edited by chickenfriedgourmet (log)

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I was just out shopping for dinnerware with the staff of a restaurant here in New York, and we went to several of the showrooms down on 25th and Madison. It was an interesting experience because most of the products in those showrooms just don't show up in regular stores. Most of the major manufacturers make a consumer line and a commercial/institutional line and don't mix the two.

In terms of the pieces you're looking for, things have changed a lot in just a few years. It used to be that your choice was Bernardaud or Bernardaud, but now there are literally a dozen or more companies making plates in the kinds of styles you're talking about.

One catalog I'd start with is Oneida Global Foodservice. Again, you're looking for the commercial lines not the consumer ones, so for a company like Oneida, which makes both, you need to navigate the websites and get to the institutional pages. The catalogs are really dense -- you have to pore over them methodically to find what you want. If you just skim, you'll say, nope, not there, but if you go slowly you unearth all kinds of interesting treasures.

A few other brands you might want to look into are Steelite USA, Royal Doulton USA, Rosenthal, and World Tableware. Most have websites where you can browse the restaurant collections.

One warning: the whites that all look the same in the catalogs can look very different when you have the real plates in front of you under normal lighting conditions. It can look kind of weird to have a grayish-white plate sitting on an ivory-white plate. So a lot of restaurants just pick one brand and pattern and stick with it even if it means they can't get every single desired shape. Otherwise the shade and weight won't necessarily match. Something to think about.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Thank you so much. I have been playing around with catering small dinner parties for my friends and I have been looking for some really cool dinnerware other than what I can find at Target and World Market.

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Hello,

Can anybody point me in the direction to find the type of modern plain white dinnerware we are seeing more of like on Top Chef. In particular I am looking for the round bowls with square inserts, wide bowls with small round inserts, etc.

Thanks in advance

Oh and I have already ordered a catalog from Bernardaud in NYC.

I've bought white porcelain from both Target & Crate & Barrel at much lower prices than Bernardaud charges. I especially like the Crate & Barrel porcelain. They have different sizes & shapes of bowls, including "bistro coupes" (I think that's what theyre called), large shallow bowls.

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Thank you so much. I have been playing around with catering small dinner parties for my friends and I have been looking for some really cool dinnerware other than what I can find at Target and World Market.

Well, for small parties where you're not putting the dishes through heavy use -- washing several times a day, banging them around a lot, etc. -- you can do fine with non-commercial dinnerware. The commercial stuff tends to be an investment. So it kind of depends on just how professional you want to appear, and how much you're willing to pay to look like you're operating at the level of a top-tier fine-dining restaurant. I know people who achieve admirable results with some pretty darn cheap dinnerware, but of course they don't have access to the same variety of circle-in-square designs and such.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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For things like the rimmed bowls that restaurants adopted widely (no pun intended) a few years back, it's now possible to get those from Ikea, Fish's Eddy, etc. But for the stuff chickenfriedgourmet is talking about, if I'm not mistaken, you're not going to find circle-in-square rimmed bowls and the like at the consumer-level places yet. Maybe you can find a one-off here or there, and maybe in a couple of years those styles will trickle down, but as far as I know right now you mostly need to go to commercial sources for the current generation designs that the top restaurants are using.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Check out Fortessa and Vertex China. They both make a decent amount of patterns that are pretty much cheaper "ripoffs" of Bernardaud shapes. I own some of the Fortessa and have looked at the Vertex stuff in stores, and the quality isn't too bad. You may have to order in cases of 12 though so that may be prohibitive if you don't need too many.

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Ikea has the best deal in town.  They only have a few stores in the US and none in Shreveport, but I think they do web sales.  Very cheap and nice.

For example

I like Ikea too, but the white plates and bowls I have (and admittedly they're not an exhaustive sampling of what Ikea has to offer) are a) not as white as the things I have from C&B and Target, b) somewhat cruder (in that the material is heavier, not so delicate), c) not as large (my C&B plates are 12", my largest Ikea plate is 9") and d) more prone to marking. Maybe I'm handicapped since I only get to an actual Ikea when I visit the inlaws in Michigan, but I haven't been as happy with my Ikea stuff, despite the price.

However, I have had good luck with the above-mentioned C&B and Target, as well as Sur La Table. Online, CB2 (Crate & Barrel's "mod" offspring) seems to have pretty good pricing (although I haven't figured out if shipping costs offset the savings). I haven't found an upscale restaurant supply place here in Denver, so substitutes have had to be enough so far...


Feast then thy heart, for what the heart has had, the hand of no heir shall ever hold.

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