Jessica Yang’s Refined Ceramics

The chef at Rigmarole makes ceramic plates and bowls that she makes according to the dishes on the menu in her establishment.

02.10.2020

WordsClémence Leleu

© Jessica Yang - Le Rigmarole

In a little studio just above Le Rigmarole, Jessica Yang, pastry chef and owner of the restaurant along with Robert Compagnon, set up her ceramics workshop in a little studio just above the restaurant. Having trained with Arielle de Gasquet while the couple were still looking for an establishment in Paris, Jessica Yang learnt the basics and secrets of pottery. ‘Arielle de Gasquet studied ceramics with Japanese masters and has respect for the handicraft and detail involved, with a style that’s refined but that also has a strong personality,’ Jessica Yang explains in an interview with Pen. ‘Over the six months I spent with her, she passed on a huge number of techniques for spinning, enamels, and the kiln, and I was able to train with our project in mind, making plates and bowls that we’d be able to use in the restaurant.’

 

Correlations between ceramics and cuisine

Some might think that gastronomy and ceramics have nothing in common, but Jessica Yang feels differently. ‘Cooking and ceramics share a large number of similarities, while remaining completely distinct. The two disciplines are extremely tangible, with results that must find a balance between aestheticism and practicality,’ the chef explains. ‘Ceramics, almost like patisserie, depends on the individual’s dexterity, but also on set, unavoidable recipes. I love being able to give a shape to a mass of clay, it’s a creative pleasure that we often compare to the filled chocolates I make at the restaurant, or the fresh pasta Robert makes.’

Jessica Yang makes and enamels plates in various shapes and colours. They’re often made to match a recipe idea, with the most suitable shape possible. ‘In general, I have a recipe or a dessert in mind and I ask myself what shape would go best with the dish. Will there be a sauce? Will several diners be sharing the dish? What colour pottery or enamel would showcase the dish best? The shape always stays fluid, nebulous, but as soon as I start spinning, everything becomes more concrete.’

With regard to her inspirations, the chef appreciates the work of Austrian-born British potter Lucie Rie, but also draws references from her travels spent visiting museums, pottery workshops, and traditional pottery villages.

 

Le Rigmarole, a restaurant run by Jessica Yang and Robert Compagnon.
Address: 10 Rue du Grand Prieuré, 75011 Paris

© Jessica Yang - Le Rigmarole

© Jessica Yang - Le Rigmarole

© Jessica Yang - Le Rigmarole

© Jessica Yang - Le Rigmarole

© Jessica Yang - Le Rigmarole

© Jessica Yang - Le Rigmarole