Chef Dan Barber has been called America’s philosopher chef, a visionary who is out to change the way we eat and see food. The chef has been working on many ways over the years to reduce waste (like turning kitchen waste into charcoal and special cheese) but the latest food waste idea goes beyond what we can eat and takes the form of what we eat with: bone china tableware made from leftover Blue Hill farm cow bones.
The collection, consisting of plates, bowls and water cups, comes from Barber’s collaboration with artist and designer Gregg Moore. Moore has been working with the Chef for many years now, and the grass-fed bone china is a result of five years of research, design, and production with Barber.
The almost translucent, beautifully irregular, light pieces are made using a centuries-old technique that the artist-potter has adapted to incorporate the leftover cow bones from the restaurant. Moore collects the cleaned and boiled bones from Blue Hill, then reboils, fires, grinds, and mills the bone into ash that is further dried and mixed with other materials to form a liquid that can be cast and fired.
Bone china is a type of porcelain that has been produced since the 18th century. It involves the use of animal bone that has been turned into ash, then mixed with other materials before being casted and fired. The bone content gives the china its resistance and translucency.
The tableware embodies the zero-waste, circular economy ethos of the chef and the potter. In an interview with the New York Times Style Magazine, Moore commented "My work when it leaves the studio, is not done. It's just started. Its life is on the table and in the kitchen."
Moore’s pieces can be seen, touched, eaten from at Dan Barber’s Blue Hill, and can be purchased online at the artist's own website: greggfmoore.com
All images courtesy of Gregg Moore