The first dish brought to me at Please in Over-the-Rhine was a tidy helping of porridge sitting at the bottom of a small speckled cylinder.
Not unlike the rest of the meal, the porridge was outstanding, both flavorful and sublimely textured. But Please’s ceramics stole the show. More than just a conveyance for food from the kitchen to the table, these ceramics offered their own aesthetic experience beyond, and sometimes above, that of the meal itself.
But Please’s ceramics aren’t made in-house. Instead, they’re the result of a design collaboration between chef Ryan Santos and Christie Goodfellow’s Cincinnati-based CGCERAMICS.
“Ryan had an aesthetic in mind, and I worked on throwing different shapes and testing different glazes. Similar to how a graphic designer may work with a client, we ironed out the collection through discussions and reviewing samples together,” says Goodfellow, whose ceramic tableware is also used at OTR's other fantastic new restaurant, Pleasantry.
As for Goodfellow’s sources of inspiration, they include Japanese and Scandinavian design aesthetics. And it shows. Her ceramics would fit equally well in a zen garden.
More to the point, her designs are wonderfully restrained. They’re made of simple lines and tactile surfaces, which allows the materials to speak for themselves. When you drag a spoon across one of her ceramic plates or pick up that speckled cylinder to spoon out every last morsel of delicious porridge. These are rich and absorbing experiences, sonically as well as texturally.
Indeed, every interaction you have with Goodfellow's ceramics invites you to think differently about the role tableware might play in your next meal, whether at home or at places like Pleasantry and Please.
So go on then. Think differently about them. And while you're at it, stop by Goodfellow's website to peruse her wares. Link's below, folks. Link is below.
You can purchase a limited collection of Goodfellow's ceramics online through her CGCERAMICS website. You can also find her work in Cincinnati at Please and Pleasantry as well as retailers Brush Factory, Fern, and MiCA 12/v.