For many—including us here at ARCANISA—the holidays are synonymous with family meals around a table dressed with comfort foods and seasonal centerpieces. Last year, we shared a collection of unconventional table coverings to serve as stylish backdrops for your feasts, but this year we wanted to get a touch closer to the treats so we've compiled a list of platters, plates, vessels, and containers to carry and frame your delectable holiday dishes.
Testi Kebabı Pot
We begin with several pieces that function as both cookware and stylish serve-ware. In the Cappadocia region of Turkey, along the Red River, potters sculpt mounds of teracotta-coloured clay into the vase shaped pots from Anatolian Hands that are used to create a brilliant and experiential dish known as testi kebabı.
Succulent meats are stewed with fresh vegetables and seasoned with an array of aromatic spices before being pored into the cavity of the pot. The pot is then sealed-either by pressing a potato into the mouth of the vessel or by covering the rim with a blanketing lid of dough—then placed in an oven where it slowly heats the ingredients within and imparts the subtle earthy fragrance, characteristic of clay cooked-foods. When the dish is ready, the pot, in its entirety, is taken to the table where it is cracked open to reveal the steaming and dizzyingly aromatic meal within. Not only does the pot provide outstanding flavor, it also offers an impressive, dare we say spectacular, experiential culinary performance. Plus, at the end of the meal the shattered pot is discarded so you don't have to struggle with post-holiday-meal dishes!
Yaki Yaki San Smokeless Grill
We travel east to Japan next to find the Yaki Yaki San Smokeless Grill from Nagatani-en, which has been hand making this 7th century-origination, Iga-yaki-style pottery since 1839 using porous clay that settled on the bed of Lake Biwa 4 million years ago (x). The glorious grill features a hollow tapered frame that elevates a grill top inscribed with rays that deepen as they radiate out from the center to collect and guide liquids away from the grill's surface to ensure perfect maillard reactions. To use, one simply places the piece over a gas stove where it absorbs and evenly distributes the heat offering a uniform cooktop onto which raw meats, fish, and vegetables can be laid. With great caution, the Yaki Yaki San can be carried to the table, gently set onto a protective trivet, where it will warm your guests and wow them with its beauty as they're lulled by the sizzling of their dinner on its dark black ridges.
Tagines for Two
While the uncovered surface of the Yaki Yaki San Grill allows for steam to escape to encourage effortless browning, the conical cloche of traditional tagines retain the vapors, allowing them to condense onto the clay walls and return to the pool of ingredients that simmers in the base of the tagine. The result is a piece of clay cookware that produces incredibly tender and succulent meats and vegetables with ease. Like the Turkish pots, an unglazed tagine imparts a clay like flavour that will add an elevating element to a dish but glazed tagines are also available for those who want to retain the pure flavours of the ingredients and those who prefer the easy clean up ensured by the glossy lining. We love the the vibrant glazes of the hand-cast and hand-glazed Verve Culture Tagines for Two from City Home. The traditional tagine form is offered a contemporary chicness with the addition of teal, blue, red or white glazes that radiate a wash of glistening colour and an undeniable style.