Miso is taking a starring role in fine dining desserts

This traditional savoury staple of Japanese gastronomy is beginning to venture outside its comfort zone and into the sweet dish sphere

Teapot, tray, cups and plate, all part of the Maurice Collection by Mathilde Philipponnat.
Teapot, tray, cups and plate, all part of the Maurice Collection by Mathilde Philipponnat. ‘CH327’ table in walnut, by Hans J Wagner, for Carl Hasen & Son, ‘Rabane’ wallpaper in gold, by Lelievre.
(Image credit: Tex Bishop)

Satisfying our cravings for umami (the fifth taste sensation), miso can add a rich, savoury baseline to cakes, cookies and ice cream, as we recently sampled in New York (OddFellows’ miso cherry ice cream), London (Honey & Co’s apple and miso cake with butterscotch) and Paris (Mokonuts’ miso sesame cookies).

Inspired by the salty sweet combo, Wallpaper’s entertaining director Melina Keays created her own sweet miso concoctions, which we then staged on and around recent Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Mathilde Philipponnat’s tableware, which finds inspiration in the work of Fauve painter Maurice de Vlaminck. The French designer takes the oversimplified lines, feisty outbursts of colour, and visible brushwork of her muse, dragging his artwork Nature Morte (1909-11) from the canvas and into a characterful collection of tableware where ‘functional objects would be as alive as those in the paintings’, as she puts it.

This is one of a three-part Stories project, which also gives physical life to the artwork of Jean-Siméon Chardin and Jan Groover. Philipponnat models individual pieces using software before casting them in either earthenware slip or terracotta clay. Finer details are attached by hand, the terracotta imprinted with a piece of textile, mirroring the criss-cross grains of de Vlaminck’s brush motions. Next in the pipeline is a collection inspired by Giorgio de Chirico.



Harriet Lloyd-Smith was the Arts Editor of Wallpaper*, responsible for the art pages across digital and print, including profiles, exhibition reviews, and contemporary art collaborations. She started at Wallpaper* in 2017 and has written for leading contemporary art publications, auction houses and arts charities, and lectured on review writing and art journalism. When she’s not writing about art, she’s making her own.