⟨ Object ⟩

Cut Piece

The beauty of fruits and vegatables.

Words / Phaedrus Lam
Illustration / Furze Chan
Translation / Ian Tsang

剝開的洋蔥放上一雙筷子,蓮藕切片當成是鍋墊,再不然把蘋果切個三分之一,壓在剛翻完的書頁上做個紙鎮。這裡在描述的,可不是添布頓式的奇思異想,而是來自Graf這家日本設計工作室的「Cut Piece」系列。

我相信食材備料有治癒能力,每每看到刀工出眾的廚師,不消一回把食材剁出漂亮的弧線和橫切面時,心裡都會驚詫不已,而Graf大概也是同道中人。之前逛街時遇到這套前年出品的「Cut Piece」,正是發想自蔬果被切片、剝開的形態的一系列銅器。從上至下、左至右數來,它們分別是:蓮藕型開瓶器、洋蔥隔熱墊、蘋果紙鎮,洋蔥筷子座和櫻桃水果叉。

這一式五件「Cut Piece」,當中除了蘋果紙鎮,其他都是顯見的開伙、用膳工具。滾燙的湯飲用「洋蔥片」墊住隔熱;突然想喝酒拿個「蓮藕片」去開瓶;這時筷子可以先擱在「洋蔥瓣」上;而不妨先用「櫻桃」串著小食開吃。那,蘋果紙鎮是要來幹嗎?良久後我才意會到,那是給開伙的人一邊讀食譜一邊煮食時用的,而我果然是不進廚房的人,瞬間生起了一種少年不識愁滋味的慚愧感。

Place a pair of chopsticks on top of an onion slice; use a slice of lotus root as a pot stand; you may even cut an apple into thirds, and place it on top of an open book as a paper weight. The descriptions are not wild and bizarre ideas inspired by Tim Burton but refer to the Cut Piece series from Graf, a Japanese design studio.

I believe that food ingredients have healing powers. Whenever I see chefs with outstanding knife skills cutting food ingredients into pieces with beautiful arcs and cross-sections, I will be struck with amazement. Probably Graf can also join their ranks. When I went out shopping the other day, I stumbled upon this “Cut Piece” which came out two years ago. It is a series of brass ware drawing inspiration from the state of fruit and vegetables being cut open or into pieces. From top to bottom, left to right, they are respectively: lotus-root shaped bottle opener, onion pot stand, apple paper weight, onion chopstick rest, and cherry stem fruit fork.

In this set of five Cut Piece items, apart from the apple paper weight, all are obvious kitchen tools or tableware. You can place a tea cup with hot water upon the “onion slice” for insulation; if you suddenly want to drink some wine, you can use the “lotus root slice” to open a bottle; you can first rest a pair of chopsticks on the “onion petal” while piercing some appetizers with the “cherry stem” for a bite. But how does the apple paper weight fit into the picture? It was only after a long while that it dawned upon me it is for those who refer to recipe books while cooking. Clearly I am a person who never steps foot in the kitchen, and instantly I feel a sense of embarrassment being an unseasoned man who knows nothing about the taste of pain.