Healthy eating is no longer associated with abstinence and asceticism, but with pleasure and passion. Vegan gourmet cuisine – for instance, golden milk and poke bowls – has now become part of our everyday lives. A sensual mini-revolution is making the world a somewhat better place with an aesthetically appealing approach. Food can and should be treated with a sense of playfulness. This openness, acceptance of new ideas and appreciation of craftsmanship made our visit to the Dining halls a particularly inspiring experience this year.
White porcelain: the food should take the leading role
A tableware trend that was hard to ignore was white porcelain, which in recent years had almost disappeared in favour of rustic earthenware, wood and slate platters. Pure, pristine and clear – luxurious dinner services are experiencing a renaissance and, with their simple beauty, are reappearing in many restaurants and on many family tables. They combine excellently with other tableware in everyday use. White tableware is for chefs what a white canvas is for painters, it’s a clear invitation to become creative, for instance with a vivid presentation of candy cane beet salad, shakshuka and turmeric rice on white crockery just ready for an outing on Instagram. White tableware is anything but boring. ASA have added a fine outline, Joop! have used an understated logo and other manufacturers have come up with a range of unusual and special shapes. The classic decoration on Gmundner ceramics has been given an extremely modern look: The iconic green brush strokes that are famous throughout Austria were replaced at Ambiente by a tone-on-tone design completely in white.
Just the thing for on-trend food: bowls & kettles
Fans of food bowls can talk for hours about the perfect shape and design. How big should they be? How tall? How severely should they slope so that the salad doesn’t turn to soup in the dressing and the ingredients don’t mix too quickly. The fact that manufacturers are responding innovatively to these customer demands and see them as a booming trend rather than individual problems says a lot about the changes occurring in the food sector. Ordinary cereal bowls simply don’t cut it as superfood bowls.
Crystal glass manufacturer Nachtmann exhibited a luxurious glass range for bowl food, while Raumgestalt reissued the wonderfully geometric hemisphere-inspired bowl set designed by Pieter Stockmans in 1989. The Ritzenhoff Livø bowl sets where the plate also functions as a lid and can therefore be used for serving and storing are particularly in demand. The major matcha trend of recent years has also left its mark and we’ve seen some signs of a comeback for the classic tea culture, which has inspired many designers to come up with new creations.
Share your story: from elephant grass to quartz
Material and product innovations have for a long time been more than just something for industry insiders – everyday products are now confidently telling their own stories and inspiring interest among consumers. What is really pleasing is the environmentally responsible use of materials and manufacturing processes – for instance, the lunch boxes and cups from the Dutch company Vibers, which are made from elephant grass fibres that are grown sustainably in Holland and are completely biodegradable.
At Ambiente, Koziol presented a new, compostable cellulose-based plastic that is completely recyclable, manufactured in Germany and versatile in use. Klean Kanteen’s stainless steel bottles also featured a major innovation in terms of its screw cap design, which now allows it to be made from stainless steel rather than plastic. Other exciting new ideas include visually appealing plastic-free disposable catering utensils (made of cardboard by KHJ Studio and sugar cane by Cookplay) and the innovative quartz cookware coating from Berndes.
Work hard, play hard: outstanding kitchen accessories
Everyday items are definitely not too mundane for a rethink in terms of their design – and, above all, looks. The result: exciting creations such as the sponge dishcloths with Scandinavian patterns by More Joy, reusable greaseproof paper by Roll’Eat and the beautifully designed Finnish cutting boards by Muurla.
Mindfulness and handcrafted design: delicate table decorations
Japanese Ikebana art in miniature: Small vases for the table were a styling detail seen everywhere and are an expression of mindful attention to little things. A delicate twig, an exotic blossom or a few leaves and grasses can be just as stylish as large, opulent table decorations. The vases to match this micro-trend have small openings and thus offer delicate plants plenty of support. Small vases have also established themselves as on-trend collector’s items and give many traditional ceramic companies access to a new, young clientele. One such company is the Danish manufacturer Knabstrup, which, in addition to its high-priced, limited-edition vases, offers smaller vases that are also handmade but are still within the budget of the consumer.
New pathways and new ideas – while staying true to your roots
The table, kitchen and household segments were a clear source of inspiration at this year’s Ambiente. Big-name manufacturers and small designers alike showed how important it is to be open-minded, to allow new ways of thinking and to transform tradition and craftsmanship in such a way as to create products suitable for the mass market. The DNA of the companies – their history and origins – are always the cornerstone from which they can continue to develop. For example, there are numerous porcelain manufacturers with a history stretching back over decades and centuries that are nevertheless very modern in terms of their ideas.