News — Finds from Afar

Adrianna Fie

We are proud to introduce a new producer to our lineup: renowned German ceramicist Hedwig Bollhagen. Vibrant glazes and distinctive forms combined with everyday functionality—these are the qualities that define her work.

Working in her studio in the village of Marwitz, just north of Berlin, Bollhagen designed and manufactured spectacular household pottery for nearly seven decades. For much of that time, work from the so-called "Treasure of East Germany" was commonplace behind the Iron Curtain, but nearly impossible to obtain beyond the DDR. 

We carry a range of iconic designs from this historic company, from the sculptural watering can designed by Bollhagen in 1955 to the Salt Jar designed in 1923 by Theodor Bogler at the Wiemar Bauhaus.

Bollhagen died in 2001, at the age of 93, but the craftsmen and women of Werkstatten Fur Keramik continue to faithfully execute her unmistakable designs. 


Adrianna Fie

Here are a few things we stashed in our suitcase: A handy graphic portfolio, sketch books from perennial favorite Claire Fontaine, a gold toothbrush from the coolest specialty shop ever, De Witte Tanden Winkel (check out their amazing neon sign), beautifully packaged Wilhelmina pepermunts, and handmade paintbrushes, said to last a lifetime.

We will be back with more from our trip soon!

Adrianna Fie

If you haven’t seen the glossy Swedish food magazine Fool yet, do yourself a favor and order one immediately. Fool is the creation of creative husband and wife team, Per-Anders and Lotta Jörgensen, who act as co-Editors in Chief as well as Creative Director and Photographer for many of the stories. Both have decades of experience working in magazines and photography, and they bring their experience to the superbly produced Fool.

But don’t expect a collection of how-to’s and recipes—as Lotta says, "Fool is different to other magazines on food, taking inspiration from fashion, design and popular culture…no high end fashion magazine would have sewing patterns for clothes. Gastronomy needs to be taken seriously but with humor."

Issue #4, “The Italian Issue” is out now. Read on for the Jörgensen’s favorite find from their recent travels around Italy. Thank you Per-Anders and Lotta!

Last year we traveled extensively all over Italy for our fourth issue, "The Italian Issue". We soon learned to arrive both with an empty stomach and lots of spare space in our luggage because hospitality is not taken lightly in Italy, where "no thanks" is not even an option.

Of all the excellent olive oils we were given, one stood out, coming from Restaurant Don Alfonso on the Sorrentine peninsula. After a winding road we came to Alfonso's and Livia's Capri-facing garden that resulted in a Fool spread on the bees there and the beehives with the best view in the world! In the incredible garden they bought in 1990 there is an ancient orange grove as well as six varieties of olive trees, mostly Sicilian Nocellara del Belice and Frantoia from Toscana.

These trees produce 1500-2000 liters of the most incredible and "real" olive oil we have ever tasted, an oil that at first is incredibly sharp, yet harmonious later, maturing like a fine wine, showing what a great olive oil should be. It’s impossible to cook food in this region if you don't have the best olive oil, and our oil is made from hand picked olives, individually selected when absolutely ripe, Alfonso says. We'd say it is worth a journey!


As Lotta and Per-Anders pointed out, this is a perfect contrast to the recent Food Chains infographic in the New York Times!


Adrianna Fie
We are excited to share a Find from Afar from Bette Kroening, of Bette's Oceanview Diner in Berkeley. As anyone who has spent much time in the San Francisco Bay Area will tell you, Bette's Diner has been turning out some of the best pancakes and breakfast fare in East Bay for over 30 years.
Bette picked up this beautifully glazed terrine at a pottery factory outside of Cannes in France. Though she has yet to use it, it reminds her of "the most delicious terrine" she had on that trip, made by the chef Delphine Zampetti, owner and chef of CheZaline in Paris. We're working on getting her terrine recipe, until then, give Bette's buttermilk pancake recipe a try, or if you're in the Bay Area, stop in for the real thing.