Last week I was in Chicago judging contestants (James Beard winning chefs to home chefs) for a new show called The Taste with Anthony Bourdain and Nigella Lawson it will be on ABC in the fall. It was exciting to see the process for the first 20 contestants. Then… I was tired of the same “point of view” everyone had. Nobody was original. Everyone used the words.. Fresh, localized, close to home, organic, farm to table etc. It was like everyone heard it and penned it! I questioned most of them on the view they had. Fail!
Now I ask restaurateurs if you are into farm to table and nothing being grown/raised further then a 50 (or what ever you have chosen) mile radius, what about your supplies such as dishes, pottery, tables, linens, glassware etc.
After the Los Angeles Open Cast Call I drove to Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice, CA to a wonderful place that carries pedestal cake plates and domes. Speaking with Sue the owner of Bountiful, she told me that the cake plates come from one of only two American glass manufactures left in business. She carry’s about 40 different colors, shapes and sizes. All in all the shop had hundreds stacked all over the place! It’s a site to see. I picked up a Buttercream colored plate.
I love road trips! This past July 4th weekend I set out to show the Midwest to Neil and Jonathan. Neither had been to the areas we setout for. We started at Cedar Point on the 4th. What says America then a rollercoaster ride off of Lake Erie? Small towns of Ohio to the big cities, we covered hundreds of miles in 6 days. A goal was American Products and small towns.
Last June I was impressed with the new “Made in America” campaign from Starbucks. Many products are coming to market and a great heavy mug that I gave to my father for Fathers day. It was made at the American Stein and Mug Company in East Liverpool. This area that overlooks the Ohio Rver and borders West Virginia is in dire need of production factories to return. Only a few pottery makers were still in operation.
Homer and Hall had tours and a warehouse with seconds, remainders and first run pottery. I bought too much to where we had to ship boxes home. The Homer Pottery was packed with hundreds of shoppers looking to get the great deals.
Put your food on US Made pottery! It will taste so much better…
Homer Laughlin Co. “Fiesta” Pottery
Hall China Company
1335 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291