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Thai Takeout, Sans Plastic
From left: A selection of tiffins at Rose Kitchen in Paris. Some of the dishes that might be stashed inside, including sea bass wrapped in banana leaves, pad thai and Thai sausage with lemongrass.Credit…Rose Chalalai Singh
By Gisela Williams
During Paris’s lockdown in the winter of 2020, Rose Chalalai Singh, the chef and owner of the popular Thai spot Rose Kitchen, in the Marais, lamented the tsunami of waste that appeared on the city streets each day thanks to the uptick in takeout orders. “I refuse to serve anyone my food on plastic,” she says. She remembered that her friend the artist Rirkrit Tiravanija had once suggested she package takeaway lunches in tiffins, the stackable metal containers frequently used by schoolchildren, farmers and office workers in Thailand and other parts of Asia. (When he was young, Tiravanija delivered them around Bangkok for his grandmother’s catering business.) Around the same time, Chalalai Singh’s catering business partner, Petra Lindbergh, saw Ritesh Batra’s 2013 film, “The Lunchbox,” in which tiffins feature prominently. So Chalalai Singh sourced 100 from Thailand and then had covers sewn for them out of vintage army blankets. As of now she offers the containers, which come in stacks of three, four or five and are each filled with something different — larb gai, say, or sea bass wrapped in banana leaves — to her catering clients, Hermès and the design agency Desselle Partners among them. Afterward, her team collects them for reuse. Starting in March, though, regulars to Rose Kitchen can get in on the action, buying a tiffin at cost, dropping off the used container in the morning and picking up a newly filled one at lunchtime. rosekitchenparis.com
Inside a Collector’s Design-Filled Homes
By Natalia Rachlin
Out this month from August Editions is “Selection: Art, Architecture and Design from the Collection of Ronnie Sassoon,” a sensory feast of a book that offers a compelling view of one aesthete’s vision for living with radical art and groundbreaking design. Inside are images of the art historian, designer and collector Ronnie Sassoon’s three architecturally significant homes: the Levit House by Richard Neutra in Los Angeles; Stillman II by Marcel Breuer in Litchfield, Conn.; and the Dean/Ceglic Loft in Soho, New York. Within each, she has gathered an important array of works, ranging from pieces by radical 1960s and ’70s-era Italianartists and designers (in her Connecticut house, a white fiberglass Bazaar sofa by the Florence-based avant-garde architecture collective Superstudio snakes through the TV room) to those by midcentury heavyweights such as Jean Prouvé and Carlo Scarpa. “It was really satisfying to see everything together,” says Sassoon. “I noticed a sort of evolution in my collecting and a focus.” Interspersed throughout the book, pictures of meals she has prepared (Sassoon is an avid home chef) serve as a reminder that these homes are also a backdrop for everyday life. $65, august-editions.com.
A Magazine Dedicated to Black Foodies
By Korsha Wilson
In 2017, Amber Mayfield launched her event agency, To Be Hosted, with the aims of collaborating with other minority-owned small businesses and bringing together a wide range of diners. Still, stories about the entertaining space felt frustratingly whitewashed, and so she decided to change the landscape herself with While Entertaining, a magazine that features Black foodies and includes essays and recipes, along with playlists and hosting tips. Its third issue, titled “The Culture of Joy,” will be released next month and, as Mayfield writes in the editor’s letter, “is about the food that makes us do a little dance after we take the first bite.” That includes pecan bread pudding, a recipe for which is provided by David Benton, the pastry chef of Sugarsweet Cookie + Cake Studio in Oakland, Calif., and a sweet potato-centric supper from Thérèse Nelson, the chef and founder of Black Culinary History. Paging through, one gets a sense of Mayfield as a warm and generous host, the kind to take care of guests and readers alike. At the back of the book is a space for journaling — or planning out a gathering. “I want people to share the dishes with people they love,” says Mayfield. The issue is currently available for pre-order online, and will be on sale at various bookstores, including Kitchen Arts & Letters in Manhattan, Archestratus Books + Foods in Brooklyn and Skylight Books in Los Angeles.
An Icelandic Gallery Modeled on Slow Art
By Sydney Rende
In 2017, the Marshall House, a former herring factory built on Reykjavik’s Grandi harbor, reopened as a multipurpose art space that counts the Living Art Museum and Olafur Eliasson as tenants. As of this month, it’s also home to i8 Grandi, an offshoot of i8 Gallery, a 26-year-old stalwart located just around the corner. The new space will feature work by some of the same artists as the original but adhere to an entirely different model: It plans to host yearlong solo exhibitions so as to encourage artists and viewers alike to go broad and deep. Fittingly, the first long-running show centers on ideas of space and time and, says the gallery’s owner, Börkur Arnarson, will “breathe, grow, shrink and evolve” as the year progresses. It features work by the Berlin-based artist Alicja Kwade, who is interested in mathematical principles and the evolution of material objects — see “Stellar Day,” which consists of a boulder that rotates 360 degrees counterclockwise in just under 24 hours, and her sculpture of a chair crafted out of an old bicycle. The show, the initial iteration of which is titled “In Relation to the Sun,” will run until Dec. 22 of this year, www.i8.is.
An Iconic Designer’s Second Life
By Rima Suqi
The artist and jeweler Arje Griegst, who designed everything from the Conch fountain in Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens to porcelain for Royal Copenhagen to a tiara for the country’s queen, is a household name in Denmark. After his death in 2016, his son, Noam Griegst, a photographer and filmmaker, took over as creative director of his father’s eponymous studio, and, last fall, he opened the brand’s first boutique in 30 years, in Copenhagen, “gathering the universe of Griegst in my own way, while still embodying his hallucinatory and opulent spirit,” as he puts it. That meant, in part, working with Georg Jensen to relaunch Spira, a line of rococo-handled silver cutlery Griegst started designing in the ’70s. It’s now available for the first time in nearly two decades, exclusively at the Griegst shop, and more reissues are to come. Noam plans “to reintroduce something from our archives every four or five years,” though he hints that a porcelain collection might arrive as early as this year. griegst.com
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