This mortar and pestle is drawn from the kitchen collection of Alice Waters, founder of Chez Panisse, as part of her ongoing collaboration with Permanent Collection. Based on one of her most indispensable tools, a Japanese suribachi, this hard-wearing ceramic mortar and pestle was designed with Mendocino, California- based ceramicist Colleen Hennessey to be a functional and beautiful cornerstone of the kitchen. She trained in sculpture at Kansas City Art Institute before working for many years as a line cook while simultaneously honing her craft as a potter. Colleen throws every piece by hand on the wheel—each one is unique. The pestle is hand- turned in southwest Michigan by Jake Pschigoda from solid maple sourced from a local sawmill that purveys regionally and responsibly harvested hardwoods.
Recipe: There are many uses for a Japanese-style mortar and pestle, but Alice’s favorite is for vinaigrette. Pound a clove of garlic with sea salt until the garlic is smashed. Add vinegar or lemon juice to cover and leave to sit for ten minutes. Whisk in extra virgin olive oil (1 part acid, to 2.5 parts oil) and use to dress lettuce or vegetables.