HostMilano: Be Our Guest
Our first visit to HostMilano happened to be on the 40th edition of this Italian exhibition representing all things hospitality, and it was incredible just how massive and comprehensive it is. Multiple sectors connected to the hospitality industry were represented, occupying almost the entire fairgrounds, including the coffee industry; food equipment; the ice cream-pastry sector; décor and tableware. Needless to say, Italians know how to put out a good spread.
Alba Truffle Slicer│Alessi
This elite utensil, used in kitchens as far back as the 1700s, gets a futuristic reimagining by Ben van Berkel of UN Studio. The twisted steel evokes the intertwining roots of the trees where truffles grow, while the curved profile emphasizes the ergonomics of the grip, which optimizes the distribution of the various weights to produce the perfect slice. The 18° angle between the grip and the blade reduces pressure on the wrist when using the slicer.
Leave it to the Italians to figure out a way to make even toasting bread look cool. This see-through appliance makes more than just toast, of course: it uses two high-resistance heating elements made of transparent ceramic glass, integrated with a special semiconductor. Cooking occurs in direct , through far-infrared rays (FIR), and can reach 300°C in just 80 seconds. While not made by the high-end car company, the specs sure make it sound that way.
Sure, most hotel rooms have kettles. But how many have kettles that look like they came off the Starship Enterprise? A mix of design and innovation with a nod to the future, Vera is equipped with special temperature control settings integrated into the handle, giving you more options than simply “boil.”
Leva X │La Marzocco
You don’t see lever-based espresso machines much anymore, and when one is designed to look like it was carved out of the bowels of a battleship, it of course demands attention. Effort was put into functionality as well: temperature stability issues common to traditional lever machine are improved thanks to PID temperature control; digital displays show real time extraction pressure on the coffee puck, the pre-infusion and extraction time as well as the pressure curve of the shot. But honestly, it’s the levers we love.
Spring Collection │ Tina Frey Designs
Moving tableware away from the boring templates we all know can be tricky. But Tina Frey’s collections stand out thanks to a remarkable simplicity and sensuality in form and material. The pieces are hand sculpted by Frey in San Francisco, and then replicated using food safe, BPA-free and lead-free resin. While the fluid lines and organic contours of each piece emulate the curves of nature, a new twist for the Modern Tableware Collection’s spring 2018 season is the incorporation of stainless steel, adding a clever material contrast.
It might not look like much at first glance, but the Piuma armchair by Piero Lissoni is the result of years of intense research to figure out a way to blend a complex thermoplastic polymer with carbon fibre. This mix allows the chair to be very slender, have exceptional mechanical rigidity and extraordinary lightness (barely 2.2 kg), perfect for high traffic spaces. Their efforts reaped them a Red Dot Best of the Best 2017 award.
Outdoor and suspension versions have joined the Kabuki floor lamp line, designed by Ferruccio Laviani. Made using a sophisticated injection technology, the product family retains its peculiar woven structure inspired by lace, creating a perforated surface from which light is diffused.
Valerio Sommella took a close look at the breakfast experience in bars and hotel buffets and came back with Bibo, a set composed of a napkin holder and container for tea bags or sugar sachets. Its clean, linear shape and bright steel add a spot of brightness and functionality to the morning routine.
Milan-based Bozzoli’s work is almost always whimsical and refreshing to begin with: a mix of opulence, Twenties vintage and exotic embellishments. But what makes this stool collection even more impressive is that the fringes are woven on 18th-century looms, for added exquisiteness.
Designed by Basaglia Rota Nodari, this outdoor lamp’s name reflects its essence: the swiveling diffuser and the rechargeable feature recall inventor Alessandro Volta and his main discovery, the battery. The main elements here are two discs in plastic material; the base and the LED diffuser which rotates 360 degrees and direct the light; a handle arc made of extruded aluminum; and a micro USB device for recharge.