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Westchester Potter 'Molds' His Future With Fairfield County Restaurants

Sleepy Hollow resident Connor McGinn works out of the Clay Art Center in Port Chester.
Sleepy Hollow resident Connor McGinn works out of the Clay Art Center in Port Chester. Photo Credit: Jeanne Muchnick
Connor McGinn of Connor McGinn Studios. McGinn is a graduate of Carmel High School.
Connor McGinn of Connor McGinn Studios. McGinn is a graduate of Carmel High School. Photo Credit: Submitted
Food stands out on specially designed plates from Connor McGinn Studios.
Food stands out on specially designed plates from Connor McGinn Studios. Photo Credit: Instagram
There's a subtle "CM" on the back of every product that comes out of Connor McGinn Studios.
There's a subtle "CM" on the back of every product that comes out of Connor McGinn Studios. Photo Credit: Instagram
Custom-designed pottery from Connor McGinn Studios.
Custom-designed pottery from Connor McGinn Studios. Photo Credit: Jeanne Muchnick

BETHEL, Conn. -- The owners of Tap Root in Bethel wanted a certain aesthetic when they opened their Connecticut inspired restaurant --- and that meant paying careful attention to the eatery's plates.

That's where Connor McGinn, the force behind Connor McGinn Studios stepped in. The Westchester County resident, a Putnam native, is dedicated to both the design of each piece as well as the vision behind them.

In making a dish for a restaurant, he's as much about creating a canvas for the chef to showcase his talents as much as he's about creating a subtle work of art. Simplicity, he stressed, is key.

"I try to capture the feeling of the restaurant and create plates that enhance that experience," he said.

It helps that he knows the business of food, having worked as a line cook at Restaurant North in Armonk.

His journey from kitchen to pottery studio -- he works out of a studio at Clay Art Center in Port Chester, N.Y. -- began at North when then Owners Eric Gabrynowicz and Stephen Mancini were in the process of opening Market North, the restaurant's casual cafe/market sibling.

Knowing McGinn had played around with pottery in college, Gabrynowicz asked for his input.

The goal was to create custom plates that spoke to the restaurant's mission of locally sourced, farm to table cuisine.

Being that the chef world is quite small, it wasn't long before his North collaboration led to a discussion with other restaurant owners throughout Westchester and Fairfield County.

McGinn's work -- it can take him two to six weeks to complete one piece based on the many steps involved --  is now not only in Tap Root but at, Mezon Tapas Bar & Restaurant in Danbury, as well as New York eateries including Blue Hill at Stone Barn in  Pocantico Hills and Sweetgrass in Tarrytown.

The 29-year-old also does custom orders as well as wedding registries meaning you can contact him through his website and get the same care and attention he gives to chefs.

Go to www.connormcginnstudios.com/ for more information.

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