Dessert Tasting with Thomas Raquel

On January 20, 2014, in General, by steelite

It’s no secret that we are big fans of Chicago-based pastry chef extraordinaire Thomas Raquel. Truth be told, calling ourselves “fans” feels like the understatement of the year – especially when reminiscing about our extravagant, multi-course dessert experience with Thomas at Acadia last fall. Some would call it a tasting – which was the term used on the menu – but, again, “tasting” is beyond an understatement. This was an evening of pure pampering through pastry.


Inspired by fall, Thomas’ menu showcased the warm, bright colors and flavors of the season.  The progression of each dessert presentation referenced the evolution of fall leaves – from vibrant red to earthy yellow to rich brown.  The menu touted three fantastic courses, each more impressive than the last.  Thomas even snuck in a few surprises (like the stunning Tête de Moine presentation pictured below).


We left Thomas’ table in awe – and feeling spoiled! We don’t want to brag (well, maybe a little…), but we captured a few photos of the fantastic desserts. Here’s a little taste of the experience.

IMG_0544Course 1: “Fragrant pear” Compressed pear; muscat ribbons; distilled spiced pear jus; Earl Grey ice cream; autumn olive ice; honey croquant; Earl Grey infused oil; borage flowers; bronze fennel

IMG_0560Course 2: “French Apple” Calvados roasted apple; caramelized arlette – spiced puff pastry; caramelized maple ceylon cinnamon custard; pecan powder

IMG_0562Course 3: “Fall Chocolate” Squash cremuex – roasted kuri squash with caramelized white chocolate; chocolate sorbet; flourless chocolate cake; cashew croquant; figs roasted with burnt honey, sherry and black pepper; huckleberry confit; Cocoa nib powder

Thank you for taking such great care of us, Thomas! It was truly unforgettable.

Steelite Sponsors StarChefs ICC

On October 28, 2013, in Uncategorized, by steelite

At the 8th Annual International Chefs Congress, we got to do one of our favorite things – spend day and night with some of the most talented chefs, pastry chefs, mixologists, and sommeliers in the world.  A three-day culinary symposium, the ICC gathers more than 140 of the world’s most innovative industry professionals to present the latest techniques and culinary concepts.

For us, ICC is not-to-be-missed, and we proudly provided tableware and glassware for many of the events.  Our products were showcased at the International Pastry Competition, main stage demos, the Savory and Pastry Pop Ups, mixology workshops, and wine tasting seminars – “Steelite Sightings” galore!

International Pastry Competition

The only thing we love more than an amazing dessert is an amazing dessert presented on Steelite. Twenty pastry chefs competed to win this three-day competition designed to showcase the creativity of the most talented pastry chefs in the industry.  A big congratulations to the winner – Sean Pera of Herons (Cary, NC)!

Savory & Pastry Pop Ups 

We partnered up with PreGel AMERICA to host the EAT@ICC Pastry Pop Up and provided plateware for the Savory Pop Up.  Each day, the pop ups featured three-course tastings by the best of the best, plated on Steelite.

PASTRY Pop Up – presented by Steelite International + PreGel AMERICA

Day 1: Pastry Chef Philip Speer, Uchi (Austin, TX)
Day 2: Pastry Chef Patrick Fahy, Sixteen, Trump International Hotel & Tower (Chicago, IL)
Day 3: Pastry Chef Michael Laiskonis, Institute of Culinary Education (New York, NY)


Pastry “Impromptu” Pop Up

A special thanks goes out to who we are calling the “Dream Team” – Pastry Chefs Johnny Iuzzini, Philip Speer & team, Sam Mason, and Patrick Fahy came together to create a dessert tasting menu in less than 25 minutes!  An unexpected turn of events brought this team of chefs together to assist in the Steelite/PreGel Pastry Pop Up.  What a great surprise for the hungry crew that got to try these impeccable desserts on Steelite china!

dream team


Day 1: Chef Bill Kim, BellyQ (Chicago, IL)
Day 2: Chef David Bazirgan, Fifth Floor (San Francisco, CA)

Day 3: Chef Jeff McInnis, root & bone (New York, NY)


Main Stage Demos & Workshops

Some of our favorite chefs stepped up to the plate (Steelite plates, of course) on the main stage. From “Full Range of Flavor” with Chef Bryan Voltaggio to “Man of Manzanilla: Modernist Spain Takes on the Big Apple” with Chef Dani García, these chefs had us swooning.  Bonus: Chef Voltaggio’s pumpkin pasta made its way into the audience and two very lucky ladies got to taste!


Art of Presentation: Dominique Crenn & Juan Contreras

This dynamic duo showed up on stage to stun the audience with their ingenious techniques. From using a fish tank pump to create air in tomato water to sheering a wine bottle in half to make an unbelievable presentation – this team takes creativity to a whole new level. Owner and Chef at Altelier Crenn in San Francisco, Crenn and Contreras plated on Pillivuyt’s Vendome to spice up the wine bottle presentation.


Mixology & Wine Tasting Seminars

Any culinary showcase is incomplete without an amazing display of mixology.  Our Bormioli Rocco and Rona lines were highlighted alongside some truly fantastic cocktails at the MIX@ICC stations. And, we were proud to be part of workshops with industry rockstars – like the Tippling Bros – and on the table for master sommeliers in the Somm Slam.


Congress Cocktail

It’s always nice to sit back and have a drink after a hard day’s work. This 2-hour event kicked off Monday evening and featured 10 masterful mixologists. Not only were we bound to find a great drink, but we’d be drinking in style using one of Bormioli Rocco’s glasses. Whiskey sour looks great in both, Galassia and Cortina. Thanks to PreGel America and Chef Frederic Monti for creating the delicious Green Apple Whiskey Sour with meringue garnish pictured below. Cheers!



Steelite International Booth #41

StarChefs ICC is always one of our favorite events of the year because we get to interact with the industry’s finest chefs, F&B Directors, restaurateurs, and many more. This year, we had the privilege of working in close ties with PreGel America, which created a strong bond between the two companies. In addition, our marketing team designed a very appealing booth and attracted the eyes of many. Overall, we’d say it was a success!

ICC Booth 2013


We’re already dreaming about next year’s ICC.  To get the full scoop, visit our Facebook page to check out all of our photos from the 8th Annual International Chef’s Congress.

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A Culinary Night to Remember

On October 17, 2013, in Tradeshows & Events, by steelite
Lovely tablescape at Cibreo Italian Kitchen

Lovely tablescape at Cibreo Italian Kitchen

It was a night of excitement, a night of remarkable talent, and surely a night to remember. That is the night we had the opportunity of experiencing at Scott Kuhn’s new Cleveland restaurant, Cibreo Italian Kitchen, for a Veggie U Benefit Dinner.   From the authentic Italian ambiance to the eye catching wall of wine barrels, Cibreo set the perfect stage for an ideal evening.  If the venue wasn’t enough, throw five culinary geniuses in there, jealous yet?

The dinner consisted of five courses; five courses of impact, exceptionality and culinary perfection.  With every course came a new experience that tantalized the palate, leaving you wanting more.  Not only was each course appealing in its own right, but furthermore bursting with fresh, Earth to Table ingredients courtesy of Chefs Garden.  Let’s see if we can tantalize your palate, through a recollection of our experience.

The journey began with one of Cleveland’s very own, Chef Jonathon Sawyer, who evidently forgot to take us to Israel with him after the event (we forgive you).  Just as we thought Chef Sawyer’s appetizer couldn’t get any better, we took the last bite and BAM — the zest hit you like a ton of really soft, delicious bricks.

Chef Jonathon Sawyer, Appetizer Course -  Rhizome, Lucky Sorrel and Baby Chanterelle Button with Nepitella Bloom, Crab Apple, Milk n’ Cognac Corn Flake Cake, Oaked Chardonnay Vinegar and Black Butter.

Chef Jonathon Sawyer, Appetizer Course – Rhizome, Lucky Sorrel and Baby Chanterelle Button with Nepitella Bloom, Crab Apple, Milk n’ Cognac Corn Flake Cake, Oaked Chardonnay Vinegar and Black Butter.


Next stop was an exotic café on the Greek coast of the Mediterranean Sea; well at least that’s where we thought we were as soon as we tried Chef Amanda Freitag’s Greek Salad, delicioso!

Chef Amanda Freitag, Salad Course – Greek Salad a la Veggie U

Chef Amanda Freitag, Salad Course – Greek Salad a la Veggie U


On to entrée number one, where Chef Lee Anne Wong was undoubtedly a ‘Top Chef’! The smoky flavor of the Kona Kampachi had us gushing in the most delectable way.

Chef Lee Anne Wong, Entrée #1 - Smoked Kona Kampachi, Gold Coin Onion, Turnips, Black Garlic

Chef Lee Anne Wong, Entrée #1 – Smoked Kona Kampachi, Gold Coin Onion, Turnips, Black Garlic


As if one entrée wasn’t enough, we received two!  Another native to the Cleveland food scene is Chef James Mowcomber, whose up and coming young talent is sure to win over any culinary heart. With every bite of Chef Mowcomber’s Wagyu Beef, it’s safe to say he won over ours.

Chef James Mowcomber, Entree #2 – Wagyu Beef-Porcini Pesto, Braised Turnips, Bone Marrow Salsa Verde

Chef James Mowcomber, Entree #2 – Wagyu Beef-Porcini Pesto, Braised Turnips, Bone Marrow Salsa Verde


Last, but certainly not least, was a dessert erupting with unique flavors, textures and ingredients. Chef Johnny Iuzzini managed to create an earthy rendition of an otherwise deliciously sweet dessert.
Chef Johnny Iuzzini, Dessert Course - Frozen Beet Parfait, Bitter Chocolate Cream, Yogurt, Bulls Blood

Chef Johnny Iuzzini, Dessert Course – Frozen Beet Parfait, Bitter Chocolate Cream, Yogurt, Bulls Blood


Here I am looking through pictures from the event and my mouth is still watering! Nevertheless, simply reminiscing over the night’s experiences still doesn’t do it justice.  The company was lovely, the food was out of this world, the venue was intimate and the purpose for the Veggie U dinner was greatest of all.  What started out as a night to remember, turned out to be a night we will never forget.



In the 20 years that Head of Design, Andrew Klimecki has worked for Steelite, he’s never been more excited for a new line of wares.

Craft’s design harkens back to the age of artisan potters in which every plate, cup, and bowl was touched by hand and displayed subtle differences on their rustic surfaces. Diners are tapping into this nostalgia and finding these contemporary wares comforting, reminiscent of an early, simpler era.

Improving on artisan craftsmanship, the Craft line is built with a modern plate-making technique that’s unique to Steelite and produces wares that are both heat and chip resistant. The variation in the plates and the applied glazes makes each piece have a singular sparkle, and, in fall 2013, Klimecki plans to add a new color to the successful blue, green, brown, terracotta, and grey glazes already available.

The plated cuisine of any chef looks simultaneously fresher and richer on Craft plates. And the dishware comes in a number of organic shapes and sizes that  complement traditional and modern styles of plating. It’s this seamless duality and versatility, that when paired with the artisan design, that makes Craft plates something to celebrate.

Interview with Andrew Klimecki (Watch Now)

Chef Richard Blais and Pastry Chef Andrea Litvin of The Spence -

Richard Blais’s Bone Marrow, Tuna Tartare, and Fried Quail Eggs. (View Gallery)


The Rising Stars Plating Award, presented by Steelite International, honors chefs who not only make you want to devour a dish, but who also take the time to make plating beautiful.

View the platings below by each of the corresponding chefs listed within the poll, and then vote for your favorite San Francisco Bay Area Rising Stars dish plating by 3pm EST Monday, June 10.

The winning chef receives $5,000 towards Steelite International product. Please only vote ONCE.

Continue reading »


By almost every measure, the 2013 NRA Show was the most successful show Steelite has ever seen. Everyone had really great things to say about how nice the booth looked and how innovative the new products were.

It was a privilege to have several chefs masterfully plating food for us during the event. Also, all of the vegetables at our booth were provided by Chef’s Garden–a tremendous resource for chefs and restaurateurs! Chef’s Garden carries a vast range of sustainably grown vegetables and provides them directly to restaurants around the world.

Continue reading »


Our Twitter contest at the 2013 NRA Show was a great success, with many great people joining in and engaging with us on Twitter. We would like to recognize the winners of our giveaway below. We found them all to be great folks sincerely interested in good conversation. We are honored to share with them some of our best products. Congratulations to the winners!

Continue reading »


Steelite International has received the royal seal of approval for outstanding performance in overseas markets — the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category.

We have to admit, we’re pretty proud of our team.  “It has truly been a team effort over many years,” said Steelite CEO Kevin Oakes.  “Everyone has stepped up to the plate. This award is recognition of the effort many people have put in.”

The Queen’s Award for Enterprise is seen as the UK’s highest accolade for business success.

Mr. Oakes also acknowledged our Made in Britain campaign.  “The business has been fully behind the Made in Britain effort, and this award can only add to that,” he said. “It underlines the quality of the workmanship and the integrity of the business. I think what sets us apart from other companies when we are selling to businesses abroad is the quality of the products, the excellent service we provide and there’s no question that the key driver to our growth has been design and innovation.”

Check out the full story in The Sentinel. Thank you, Queen Elizabeth! We’re honored.


As a proud sponsor of StarChefs’ Rising Stars, Steelite is happy to award three chefs the Rising Stars Plating Award.  The winning chefs receive credit toward Steelite and an opportunity to select their own products from our vast line of tableware.  This Steelite Award is presented to the chefs whose plating presentations garnered the most “Likes” from the Rising Stars Plating Award album on shared on the Steelite Facebook page.


1st – $2,500: Ashley Brauze of DB Bistro Moderne







2nd – $1,500: Aurélien Dufour of Daniel Boulud Restaurants







3rd – $1,000: Malcolm Livingston II of wd~50







Congratulations to the winners! We were blown away by the gorgeous presentations. Thank you to all of the creative, talented chefs that participated.

Check out the Rising Stars Plating Award album on Facebook.


We’re proud to announce that the Sustainable Restaurant Association has recognized our commitment to sustainable business practices by certifying us as an ‘Approved Supplier’ for the hospitality industry.  We’re even more honored that we are the first tableware manufacturer to be awarded with this recognition!

Mark Linehan, Director of the SRA said: “We’re really impressed by Steelite’s dedication to sustainability, in particular its excellent recycling policy, and UK production in Stoke-on-Trent that uses locally sourced materials.”

“Traditionally in the restaurant world, restaurateurs, chefs and consumers associate sustainability with the food on the plate without thinking about the plate on which it is served. Tableware is a crucial part of the whole dining experience and should be given the same level of consideration.”

Kevin Oakes, CEO of Steelite International, commented: “We’re really proud to be one of the remaining manufacturers at the heart of the potteries and as the largest manufacturer in the UK, we take our environmental policy very seriously. We continually monitor and develop the way we do business to create minimum impact on the community and environment.”

Check out the story in ITCM.


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