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About Us
Crucial Detail is an award-winning design studio founded by Martin Kastner. For more than a decade, Crucial Detail has explored the synergy of food and design, working at the forefront of fine dining in collaborations with the world's best chefs.

In addition to being named by The Future Laboratory as one of the world's 100 most influential designers, Kastner and Crucial Detail received a Global Innovation Award for Best Product Design for the Porthole, and Book Design of the Year Award for the Alinea book. In 2015 and 2017, Crucial Detail was instrumental in Team USA's historic silver and gold wins at the world's most prestigious culinary competition, Bocuse d'Or. A selection of Crucial Detail designs is now available for purchase to the public in our web shop


Martin Kastner, born in the Czech Republic, trained as a blacksmith and spent some time restoring historical metalworks at a castle in Western Bohemia before moving on to natural materials design and sculpture. He founded Crucial Detail in 1998, shortly after his arrival in the US. He is best known for his Alinea serviceware concepts, which landed him on The Future Laboratory's list of 100 most influential individuals in contemporary design.

He is also the designer behind The Porthole Infuser, a beautiful infusion vessel originally created as one of many custom pieces for bar chefs at The Aviary in Chicago. The Porthole has been featured in dozens of publications, including the cover of Food Arts Magazine, eventually finding its way into the world's most prestigious bars, hotels, and restaurants as well as the Museum of Modern Art store in New York City. Kastner received the 2014 IHHA Global Innovation Award for Best Product Design and is the designer behind Team USA platter and tools for Bocuse d’Or 2015 and 2017, helping Team USA win silver and gold for the first time in history.

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