While the accessories are fun, we're no where without the dishes, of course. Most chefs will tell you that they like to serve their food on white plates because it's the perfect canvas for their "art." That said, the variety of white plates on the market is startling, and still, it's not easy to find THE one. Here are five, not necessarily NY-based, contenders for all your gift-giving, and receiving, needs.
1) Per Se: Thomas Keller took matters into his own hands, paired up with porcelain pro Raynaud, and designed some white plates of his own for his restaurants. [French Laundry]
2) wd-50: At WD50, choppered Chef Wylie wanted something a little more organic, with a soupcon of artistic. His pick: Hungry Dinnerware (pictured; from France). [Clio]
3) Mas (farmhouse): Having a little something, nothing crazy, mind you, to spruce up an all-white background, gives things a little personality. At Mas (farmhouse), they nailed it with Bodo Sperlein's Red Berry pattern, also buyable at Clio (do these guys do personal shopping?). [Clio]
4) EN Brasserie: At EN Brasserie, most of their stuff comes directly from Japan. But, here's a local source they're known to hit up for plates and cups. Keep this one in your pocket. It's a secret weapon for gifts. [Sara NYC]
5) Chez Panisse: One of the best ceramic comeback stories, Cali-based Heath, known for its earthy, mid-century Modern, American style, has teamed up with another national treasure, Alice Waters, to design of new dishware for Chez Panisse. We're guessing the grub you turn out won't be as good as hers, but the presentation will be spot-on. [Heath Ceramics]
· Eater Gift Guide 2006, Part I [~E~]