We at Dwell are big fans of French designer Inga Sempé's work; we've profiled her in 2007; ran a Q&A from Milan on dwell.com in 2009; and most recently highlighted the making-of her already iconic Ruché sofa and, online, traced her design and prototyping process. So we were excited to hear about her most recent design, the IS01, a graceful stainless steel spoon intended for serving risotto, which won Domus and Alessi's "Design a Spoon" competition, held to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the Italian cookbook Cucchiaio d’Argento (Silver Spoon).
As I discovered, risotto need not be a staple of your diet in order to covet this lovely serving piece, manufactured by the Italian company Alessi.
Inga Sempé issued a personal statement about the design that I think is so compelling I thought I'd share it in its entirety here:
"I wanted a spoon that was slender and round, as simple and as pleasant as eating a risotto. Seen front-on: two round forms, the bowl and the handle, are united by a narrow neck that injects lightness and creates a rhythm of curves and successive lines. From the side: you can see that the bowl, curved where it meets the handle, has a rim that gradually becomes thinner. The bowl ends up almost as flat as a blade in order to scoop up even most compact of risottos. Given that I love risotto, I designed it by reflecting on the cutlery and utensils that I have liked: a Danish teaspoon with a very round bowl that I used as a little girl, later lost, and teaspoons used to eat ice cream, my favorite food, with their flat bowls. And finally I realized that, from the front, my spoon also resembles the charming and complicated spring-based utensil widely used in France for serving balls of ice cream, which in our country is always served so hard that the spoons won’t go in. My spoon is somewhere between the ice cream spoon and the classic table spoon, it is fine for risotto but also for other foods of the same consistency."
Of course, now I'm distracted thinking about what other foods are the same consistency as risotto... mashed potatoes? Polenta? Mac-and-cheese? (I must be hungry). At any rate, this would make a lovely housewarming or host/hostess gift. The piece is available through Alessi and retails in the U.S. for $46.