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Inside Steven Alan

Katakana Supper Club

  • This past weekend Shino Takeda, one of our favorite ceramic artists featured in our Home Shop, invited us to a delicious homemade dinner as part of the Katakana supper club series she hosts along with her dear friend and fellow ceramicist Romy Northover. The menu included leek soup, strawberry arugula salad, roasted branzino with plum sake, marmalade pork with apricot, star pasta with preserved lemon, caramelized onion and goat cheese pie, and chocolate banana bread made by a guest’s 8-year-old daughter. Shino and Romy spoke with us about their joint venture:

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    A flowering backyard in Brooklyn provided a shady backdrop for the dinner, and fireflies lent their light.

    How did you get into cooking, and what do you enjoy most about it?
    We both grew up being taught the importance of cooking and eating properly within our families. Having a varied diet, nutrition, etc., and also eating together and sharing. We traveled a lot and live in one of the most international cities in the world, we love to borrow and mix from different parts of other cultures – Asia, Europe, the Americas, etc., etc. We enjoy cooking like we enjoy painting or making sculpture. Mixing ingredients, looking for balance, trying to create something new–something happy, beautiful, and tasty.

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    Shino pouring leek soup into her ceramic vessels.

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    The branzino before the Pyrex dish exploded. Shino and Romy were able to salvage some and made the best of it.

    How did the two of you meet, and what made you want to start a supper club?
    We met at our studio, Togei Koyshitsu, in Manhattan. We stayed til midnight talking one night and realized we had the same vision. We wanted to expand our ceramics and design into other materials such as wood and fabric. The supper club seemed like the perfect place to demonstrate how to use our product and also to share our vision and joy of supper. Seasonal ceramics and handmade tableware can change and enhance the way a meal tastes.

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    Place settings featured Shino and Romy’s handmade ceramics, napkins and spoon rests.

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    What does Katakana mean?
    Katakana is Japanese syllabary, one component of the Japanese writing. The katakana syllabary is primarily used for transcription of foreign language words into Japanese and the writing of “loaned” words.

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    Who would be your dream supper club guest?
    There isn’t a specific guest we would favor – we love to share our vision and experience. If someone comes away with a fresh understanding of what we do, that’s great.

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    Dinner guests with Shino and Romy (back right).

    What’s the most challenging dish you’ve ever tried to make?
    Challenging . . . we just do what feels natural and let the ingredients, season, and feeling lead us to a certain extent . . . but perhaps cake and cookies? We are not good at following recipes, so it would be difficult to bake!

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    Many thanks to Shino and Romy for having us! You can find Shino’s ceramics at our Home Shop at 103 Franklin Street in Tribeca, and find out more about the Katakana Supper Club on her blog.

    This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013 at 3:10 pm and is filed under Events, Food. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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