A Trivet Is No Trivial Matter

By: Wendy Waxman
felt trivets

Even the most delicious cuisine is enhanced by presentation. Think of it as a backdrop, a stage set that brings your feast to life. What I bring to the party is everything but the food itself. I’ve always been fascinated by how food is presented on tables and settings of all types. In this new weekly column, I’ll be sharing my favorite design snippets and scenarios, based on my adventures as a Food Network designer and an avid connoisseur of style and design. So feel free to indulge here, but with your eyes only.

Think of these as essential presentation elements. The collectible trivet, from the most basic to the highly embellished, protects your counter and table surfaces from heat damage.

metal trivets

Yet trivets stand alone as decorative objects, the stage from which your bubbling creations seduce your dinner guests. Originally designed for cooking in a fireplace, where they prevented pots and pans from wobbling, trivets have come out of the fire and onto your kitchen or dining room table.

They can easily be found in all materials and sizes and have as many feet as there are numbers. Towels and pot holders will do in a pinch, but trivets lend a serene grace, and they last for years.

Nothing should come between you and your best cookware, except, perhaps, a trivet.

I've collected many trivets in my travels for Food Network prop collection. Above and below are some of my favorites.

wood trivets

Design Director Wendy Waxman has been at Food Network since its inception decorating sets, designing tabletop displays and special events, and styling cookbooks. Among her projects are the altar displays for Iron Chef America and the sets of  30 Minute Meals , Secrets of a Restaurant Chef , Cooking for Real and Ten Dollar Dinners . Wendy’s favorite pastime is sleuthing for colorful objects and she can be spotted pursuing her quest anywhere, anytime.