By Jennifer Hicks
SPECIAL REPORT: New Shapes, Cool Colors Woo The Judges
Seven winners emerge from our Tabletop & Servingware Competition, each one offering a designand durabilityto die for.
Youd expect good looks to get the nod in a tabletop contest, so we werent surprised when this years Tabletop & Servingware Competition judges used words like sharp, trendy and fun to describe the top vote-getters. But good looks arent everything, and the judges proved that, too, by honoring products designed for tough front-of-house duty.
Tabletop and servingware items reached this final round in late August after a screening by our editors. We qualified only those products introduced after the May 1999 National Restaurant Association Show, and suppliers were allowed to submit up to three different products or lines.
Brass Handles, Huge Platters And A Square Cup
Sharp looking and pretty neat said judges of Delfins winning plastic la Provence serving- and displayware, which is crafted with brass handles to simulate more expensive servingware. Judges gave the line high marks for construction and a go-anywhere design: You could use this in c-stores, easily, said one judge, noting the lines versatility. Handles, mounted to white or black plastic pieces, are cast solid, plated with brass and coated with enamel.
Dudson U.S.A. came up a big winner this year, with all three of its submissions garnering top scores. First, its Tapa dinnerware, designed for Asian, Middle Eastern and Polynesian settings, received high marks for design. A lot of Asian-oriented lines arent up to date, but this one is, said one judge. And it offers the durability we need.
Dudsons second entry, Geometrix 2000 salt and pepper shakers with vinegars, drew praise for distinctive shapes and colors. Good for high-end applications, said one of our experts.
And Dudsons Geometrix 2000 cubical café au lait cup and square saucer entry won, as well, for its innovative look. The unique square design and bold color options make the pair ideal for eclectic, trendy coffee service.
Next up: Hall China. Everybodys trying to merchandise, and you can do it with these, said one judge of Halls oversized platters and bowls. The ceramic pieces come in sizes to 22 1/4 long by 15 1/4 wide, making them ideal for HMR or retail displays, buffet or family dining, and catering. Fun, bold designs make the chinaware interesting; solid construction resists cracks and scratches and retains heat and cold as needed.
And rounding out the winning pack, we present the Columbus beverage carafe from Leifheit Intl. U.S.A. Feels good to handle, said one judge of the egg-shaped, single-handed-operation carafe, which comes in 15 stylish colors. More important to another judge, the carafe holds beverages hot or cold for up to 20 hours, thanks to a double-walled glass lining. Leifheit is a subsidiary of Leifheit AG, a European specialist in ergonomic product designs
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