TENZO is a project that explores the role of food as a conduit of culture, memory, and communal experience.
In a Zen Buddhist monastery, the tenzo is the person responsible for transforming the food donated as alms into healthy meals for the monastic community. Much more than just a cook, the tenzo is responsible for caring for both the food and the objects used to cook and eat it. The offerings of food, while often not the choicest ingredients, must be prepared in such a way to enhance their flavor and nutrition, and nothing must be wasted. Likewise, the vessels and utensils for cooking and eating must be carefully chosen and cared for so that they last.
These qualities—of economy, sustainability, care, and simplicity—greatly inspire what we try to achieve with Tenzo. We want to share pieces that are beautiful and highly functional, objects to simplify your routine and to last a lifetime. Our pieces are sourced from around the world with an eye to handmade and small-batch goods of the highest quality. Most of our pieces are ones we use ourselves, both at home and catering for others, and we don’t offer anything that we don’t love and stand behind.
xo, Jeffrey Ozawa & Jaimie Lewis