The New Gourmand:
Fine Dining at Home
By Alexa Hotz
Photographed by Hanna Tveite
Some say the most important part of a culinary experience is the person with whom one eats. A strategy that, perhaps, is most true when dining alone. There are no surprises—no open mouth chewer across the table, no commanding conversationalist at the dinner party—just you, the evening, and your thoughts. Solitude is important. Conversation and digital distraction only serve to divert attention away from the pleasures of the table.
Dress up to dine in. Dress with the same refinement as you would for a room full of party guests, but with the rare liberty of dressing for yourself.
Dining at home is one of the better ways to improvise and explore the artful table. A humble votive here? Two carafes or one? No placemat. A basket from the Japanese grocery paired with an Italian mother of pearl caviar spoon. A single fork or full setting?
Add architecture to your daily life with flatware. Two large spoons by Mepra are characterized by their circle-shaped spoon heads and slim handles.
The assembled guests to your dinner party. A modern approach to the “outside in” rule starts with teaspoons and ends with knives in an arch above the dinner plate.
Without onlookers, improvisation is easy. Rather than two forks laying lethargic beside the plate, consider intertwining their points instead.
An exploration of pairings—stripes twice, a generous ruffle sweetened with a frilled collar—is the chance for invention.
Ease of dress and manner makes the evening: sheer cotton prints by Lisa Marie Fernandez, a woven top hat with ribbon has spare charm, and shirting by Atlantique Ascoli layers one ruffle with another.
Photographer Hanna Tveite
Stylist Gabrielle Marceca
Hair Takayoshi Tsukisawa
Makeup Yascine Diallo
»Explore another chapter in The Stories:
Back to the Ancient Future: In the Studio with Romy Northover