Chopstick Cinema

Celeste Heiter's Adventures in Asian Food & Film

Designing a Table Setting

The traditional Japanese table setting is simple and uncluttered. No fussy floral arrangements, no ostentatious linens, no multiple pieces of silverware for each course. Just clean and simple.

This time, I?m going to set up a long, low table for sitting on the floor. I have some nice lengths of fabric with Japanese patterns to use as a tablecloth, and an interesting assortment of serving dishes. I got really lucky in San Francisco's Japantown yesterday, and found some elegant table runners, placemats, chopsticks and dozens of serving dishes, so I now have a lovely assortment of attractive tableware. I may go so far as to create an ikebana floral arrangement, but other than that, and a candle or two, I?m going to let the food itself serve as the main aesthetic element.