In the words of the famous French gastronome Brillat-Savarin (1755–1826), “the pleasures of the table are for every man, of every land, and no matter of what place in history or society.” With that in mind, the exhibition Bon appétit! brings together the accoutrements of welcoming people to a table—the tools and equipment used for preparing, cooking, and keeping food—industrial and artisanal objects that are always attractive, and that celebrate the culinary arts.

What is addressed here varies: grocery baskets, kitchen utensils and tableware, as well as the raw and the cooked, water and wine… even, in keeping with sustainable food practices, an edible plate! Some designers combine beauty with utility, form and function; others redefine the acts of eating and drinking through experimentation or creative projects.

Fashioned by hand by woodworkers or produced within small craft-based firms, a number of these pieces—wooden tools, fine china, articles made from textiles or recycled paper, glass or ceramic cookware—appeal to the sense of touch. The exhibition pays tribute to several generations of designers, from established masters to those now coming to the fore, who, thanks to their expertise, give meaning to such utilitarian objects and promote a better way of living.

An exhibition organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.