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A Unique Character – Vista Alegre
A browse through the current ranges of the Portuguese tableware company, Vista Alegre, demonstrates the huge scope and artistic creativity that has driven this ‘Superbrand’ to ‘Excellence Status’ each year since 2010.
The preferred choice of a demanding catering industry, Vista Alegre is widely recognised as a porcelain manufacturer of the highest standard by countless specialists. This indisputable quality has placed these exceptional sets on the tables of royalty in Great Britain, Spain and the Netherlands as well as at presidential houses at the White House, Brazil and of course, the Portuguese republic.
Always innovating, Vista Alegre continues to seek collaborations with some of the best chefs in the world for the development of Hotelware. The adoption of stringent quality control procedures throughout all stages of production and the creation of numbered, limited editions has consolidated the brand’s long-term reputation amongst demanding chefs worldwide.
The Chefs’ Collection of tableware for fine dining is a project that spans several countries already and has been responsible for a range of unique and exquisite pieces. Each plate, bowl or dish combines the primacy of Vista Alegre’s design ethos with the creativity and practicality demanded by the cuisine of fine dining. The ranges ‘Atlantis’, ‘Natura’ and ‘Step’ are the contributions of three of Porto’s Michelin-starred chefs….
Ricardo Costa at The Yeatman Hotel, Porto (2 stars **)
Born and raised in Aveiro (the location of the Vista Alegre factory) Costa was at The Yeatman from the start in 2010 and has guided the hotel’s Gastronomic Restaurant to 2 star glory. Chef favours the cuisine of northern Portugal and showcases the best of what the region offers, preparing local produce and traditional recipes with contemporary flair and innovative techniques.
Vitor Matos at Antiqvvm, Porto (1 star*)
With a string of national and international accolades including best chef in Portugal 2014, Matos can be found in the kitchen of the michelin starred ‘Antiqvvm’ in Porto. Extoling the virtues of season and regionality in his cooking, the chef takes his influences from the Mediterranean and presents his food as a mix between tradition and new trends in gastronomy.
Rui Paula at Boa Nova Tea House, Leca da Palmeira (1 star *)
Built on to rocks on the very edge of the Atlantic, this remarkable restaurant is an architectural masterpiece and a destination for food lovers across Portugal. Winning its first star in 2016 under the direction of chef Rui Paula, fish and seafood are the stars of the show as the kitchen’s use of audacious techniques help to make this a truly memorable experience.
Featured Designer – Arne Jacobsen
1902 – 1971
Widely regarded as the grandfather of modern Danish design and contributor to the Functionalist movement, Arne Jacobsen has certainly made his mark in the world of architecture and design. Although some of his ‘avant-garde’ projects caused outrage at the time, leading to riots and protests in Denmark, his work is now revered and celebrated by Danes and indeed all over the globe.
He received a gold medal for his graduation project (an art gallery) from the School of Architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, and his long career was launched.
An interesting character, Arne Jacobsen was known as a perfectionist modernist, never overlooking the smallest of detail but he was also heavily into nature and botany and painted watercolours. During World War II, to escape persecution for his Jewish heritage, the Danish resistance helped him escape by row boat to Sweden where he spent two years designing textiles and wallpaper.
Arne Jacobsen’s chair designs are probably the most iconic and well-known of his portfolio. They are part of design history, simple and functional in minimalist Danish style. The Egg Chair, Swan Chair and Ant Chair (now the Series 7 chair) can be found in many stylish establishments today.
Among the buildings that he was commissioned to design is the world’s first designer hotel, the SAS Royal Hotel (now the Radisson Blu Royal) in Copenhagen. Everything in the hotel was designed by Arne Jacobsen, from the employees’ uniforms, lighting, furniture and door handles to the ash trays sold in the shop. Hotel guests today can book room 606, the Arne Jacobsen Suite, a showcase for the original décor.
St. Catherine’s College, University of Oxford, received Grade I listing in 1993 and was also designed by Arne Jacobsen. Again, he was responsible for designing all aspects of the project, including the famous high back ‘Oxford’ chairs and the flatware. The college boasts open plan quads and unique interiors. He even chose the species of fish for the pond.
The award-winning cocktail and tableware series Cylinda-line was designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1967 for Stelton. So iconic, simple and stunning, Cylinda-line is still in production and available from Century Design.
Although it is many years since his death the Arne Jacobsen legacy still lives on. He embodied the concept of ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’, a work of art that makes use of all or many art forms.