Tableware for Paul Qui
Yes…that Paul Qui.
I’ve alluded to this story a few times and I’ve spoken about it a bit on my Facebook & Twitter pages but I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve writing about it in detail. So…I guess this is the official announcement about the work I’ve been doing the last few months for Qui’s upcoming flagship restaurant, QUI, here in Austin. Paul is obviously a local hero after winning Top Chef Season 9 and a Best Chef Award from the James Beard Foundation in the same year. His East Side King trailers have been featured on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations and QUI has been named one of the top 5 most anticipated restaurants in the country by Bon Appetit magazine. He is part of the incredible food scene that has grown tremendously in Austin. The restaurant industry is a vibrant part of the creative community here and are just one of the many reasons that I’ve fallen in love with our city.
Late in 2012, I started working with Paul’s team to design some tableware for the new restaurant. I jumped at the opportunity. It’s been an amazing project and such a wonderful team to collaborate with.
I’ve long preached about the connection of great food and great dishes. Paul and his team had been looking for a local artist to work with on the tableware. QUI is going to be a “Workshop for seasonality” according to Paul and that fits in beautifully with how I approach my studio work. I’ve talked about the foodie movement often and how closely related it is to the craft movement. I’ve never met a lover of craft who isn’t also a food lover. Most of my clients are also sourcing their food from a farmer’s markets or perhaps the farm itself. The “foodie” movement is growing so rapidly and I’ve always wondered if the food lovers think about what they’re serving their meals on yet? I don’t think that’s universal yet.
I talk a lot about how objects matter…How what we choose to surround ourselves with can enrich our daily lives. Diners at QUI will see firsthand how the combination of well-crafted food and craft can work together to elevate an experience. For a bit of info about QUI, here’s a recent article in CultureMap where Paul discusses some details, including our collaboration.
I’m happy to be a part of the Austin Food & Wine Alliance’s Wine & Dine dinner series at QUI on March 21. It’s a fundraiser and will be the first chance for folks to taste and see what the restaurant is all about. Tickets go on sale this week and will sell out fast. Sign up today with the AFWA so you can get yours!