Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Culinary Tips & Tools: Tegole (Roof Tiles) for a Serving Platter

I never seem to have enough serving dishes and platters when I have a big group to contend with. Bringing out the silver isn't always the right way to go (fortunately, as I'm short on silver anyhow!). Besides, given our location, country chic is much more appropriate, especially in the summer months. So I always look around for something I already have at home to cleverly adapt into a serving platter, but generally nothing jumps out at me. So I usually resort to ceramic serving dishes and platters. Don't get me wrong, I love them! They're all hand-painted from different places in Italy. Some I've had made, some purchased, some are antique and quite valuable. Still, a little variety is nice.
The other week we attended an event at the American Academy, home to the Rome Sustainable Food Project. For those who don't know, it's a joint endeavor dining program for the Academy residents, between the American Academy and Alice Waters, the mother of culinary sustainability.
The food is simple, but delicious fare: all grown in the Academy's edible garden or sourced locally from organic producers and then transformed into masterpieces by Chef Mona Talbott and her chef assistants and interns. Our cocktail was served on the Academy grounds, next to the edible garden. A simple but tasty appetizer: almonds and cherry tomatoes. What charmed me was the serving platter: antique Italian tegole (roof tiles), covered with a fig leafs. It was in keeping with the theme and style of the event, and the sustainable philosophy of the Rome Sustainable Food program.
Our dinner of roast lamb and vegetables was also served on the tegole. Lighting was poor (an insufficient number of candles placed on the tables) so I was unable to see the food well, let alone photograph it. Food is multi-sensorial and I like to be able to see what I'm eating... it's a large part of the pleasure.

The tegole I have are not antique, but I think they'll lend themselves admirably to my next terrace dinner or cocktail event. I plan to use the tegole to serve fruit & breakfast for our B&B guests. And why not use some other household terra cotta pieces while I'm at it?

If you're looking for some appetizer serving ideas, check out or


  1. Thanks Wendy,for the shout out for RSFP and Friends. Thank you for your support of the American Academy and all it does.

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