A Sense of Food & Place
Chloé Rosetta Bell
Chloé Rosetta Bell is a versatile designer, working across several disciplines from ceramics to watercolours. Her work is greatly inspired by the landscape and the people who live and work amidst its tides and seasons.
Chloé's work translates the landscape's features, natural colours, raw textures and materials. Before starting a new piece of work or project, Chloé spends plenty of time researching out in the field - or any environment for that matter -, in order to connect and understand the landscape she is working in. On many of her recent projects, for which she has worked within the food industry to enhance the relationship between supplier and restaurant, she has intuitively used by-products collected within the supplier's landscape to appropriately reflect and connect the consumer to the food's original state and source within the natural sphere. Read Chloé's process of researching and her experience when she visits an oysterage in Cornwall, where she sought inspiration from its landscape and local oyster shells for a new ceramics project.
Field Notes from Porthilly Farm, Cornwall
Name - Porthilly Rock Oyster
Species - Crassostrea Gigas
Location - Porthilly Farm, Cornwall
Merroir - From the clean sandy waters of the Camel Estuary in Cornwall Porthilly Rocks have a good ratio between salinity and freshwater from the river.
Characteristics - Creamy, buttery, umami, fresh, clean, cucumber, zinc. Delicate nose and full creamy body and a lasting finish.
Salinity - 6/10
Meat to Shell Ratio - 9/10, consistently plump and balanced between gill and body mass.
Cup Depth - Deep cup, sometimes reaching up to 2 inches
In Porthilly, on the Camel Estuary, Rock Shellfish was founded by Tim and Luke Marshall to grow and purify Mussels, Oysters and Clams. The Marshalls are the fifth generation on the land and sea in Porthilly and stand as the only Oyster farm in North Cornwall.
Daily, Tim and Luke Marshall traverse their land sustainably growing their produce. The growth of the shellfish takes between 16 and 24 months, turning from microscopic seeds to adult shells. I arrive through howling wind and rain to the secluded village, Porthilly. It’s where I’ve arranged to meet Tim Marshall, owner of Porthilly farm. I walk through the sand, seaweed and wind. Angular rocks frame the shore line.
At high tide this whole area is covered by the sea. I cautiously walk further around the corner looking for Tim and an orange tractor slowly jaunts towards me, this is Tim with his two dogs on the back, their ears wide in the wind. I climb into the tractor and begin the tour. They plant the oyster seeds in rectangular racks that float on two barrels until they are big enough to sit on scarecrow like stands. The stands, line one area of the bay.
He pulls out an oyster from a basket which has incredible hues and a deep belly. I get a full tour of the farm, inside I see the purifiers and take a taste of my first oyster. Tim kindly lets me gather the waste shells to take back to the studio and I hop back onto the trailer looking out at the shore as we close the day.
Above is an example of Chloé's work that was inspired by her visit to Cornwall. These particular ceramics are part of a collection used at Kitchen Table, a two Michelin-starred restaurant in London.
"This collection strives to provide elegant, crisp forms, which encourage kitchen theatre. The form of the footed oyster bowl lifts and opens to reveal the exquisite oyster dish to each customer."
Words by Chloé Rosetta Bell
Photographs by Maria Bell | @marrbell
Chloé Rosetta Bell | chloerosettabell.com