JESSICA YANG MAKES CERAMICS TO MATCH HER RECIPES ~ pen

The pastry chef at Rigmarole crafts the tableware that accompanies her desserts and adapts its shape to the texture of her dishes.

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. ‘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.’

Gestures reminiscent of those of a pastry chef

Jessica Yang took to the art of ceramics with ease. ‘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 Rigmarolea 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

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