Artisan to Table

curated by tom colicchio

photographed by joseph de leo

Tom Colicchio in the Craft
private dining room kitchen. Plates
by Jono Pandolfi, DH&M Copper Pans,
Amy Lund Woven Placemat.

“It’s about supporting dying arts – and
 particularly so domestically. As a country we’ve become
 conditioned to following the dollar; that for
 the artisan is a very hard industry.

This is one of the reasons that I’m attracted
to and I’ve partnered with DARA. They’ve created
 a marketplace that artisans can take advantage of.
 It’s one thing to produce products, it’s quite another to
navigate the business of it: It’s complicated
 and cutthroat. Artisans shouldn’t have to think about
 logistics like marketing while they are at work.
DARA has not only created a platform for these artisans,
 but they’re ensuring they are well represented
 and have the financial support to keep doing what
 they’re doing. Without a marketplace,
these great things can’t exist.”

“Looking at the history and meaning
of Craft the restaurant is a good place to start.
 I really believe cooking is a craft, and you
have to be a craftsman first before you are an artist:
 This restaurant is an expression of that.
 But also, it’s this idea of the craftsman, that person
 who gravitates towards working with
their hands. They are keeping some sort of technique
 or tradition alive. The experience of making
and forming something by hand, that individual
commitment – versus something that is done
 by a machine – is something I’ve always been attracted
to. And I think, partly, that’s the reason why
 I am chef. I’m still much more interested in the
process by which you create something
 than anything else”.

“The experience of making
and forming something by hand . . .
is something I’ve always
been attracted to”

“I’ve always been interested in
 artisan to table, probably even unconsciously.
 For example, when I shop for my home
 or, to a certain extent, the restaurant, I want
 something that feels like it has been
 touched by hand versus a machine. If I am looking
 for knives, I want to find something that
 is unique, that hasn’t been mass-produced.
If I am looking for furniture, I want to know that
 it was someone who made that piece,
not a large company that produced it. That is
what I am looking for; I want to know that
 there are people behind it, who that person is,
 and why they are attracted to that craft.
 I think those stories are all part of the fabric
that makes for good design.”

Our Mission

DARA Artisans promotes cultural curiosity and a sense of discovery by offering a sophisticated edit of handmade artisan crafts to an audience seeking authentic, responsibly sourced designs with a modern aesthetic.