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In 2003, chef Grant Achatz realized that typical plates, bowls, and silverware did not complement the food he was preparing. He emailed 43 designers, and precisely one, Martin Kastner, responded. Initially a simple collaboration, their ongoing design projects have changed the way that restaurants approach food delivery and presentations.

Martin is responsible for many of the unique service pieces at The Alinea Group restaurants. He also designed the James Beard award-winning Alinea book and is responsible for the presentation platters that carried Team USA’s gold and silver medal performances in the 2017 and 2015 Bocuse d’Or, the most prestigious gastronomic competition in the world.

Martin founded Crucial Detail in 1998 after graduating from the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague with an MFA in metalworking. Together, Martin, chef Achatz, and Nick Kokonas own and manage Crucial Detail.