Jette Virdi explains that yes, you can be a "food stylist" and how the latest trend for supper clubs is a whole new way for us to dine.
Jameson Ginger & Lime is proof that three is the magic number: combine three familiar ingredients and you've got a distinctly new taste. That's why we've teamed up with the Irish whiskey exemplars on our mission of discovering new taste in this showcase of three cultural champions who are truly mixing things up. For our second interview we chat to food stylist Jette Virdi on what drives her to constantly create something different.
You're probably not alone if your parents told you not to play with your food, but we suspect that if Jette Virdi's folks did mention it, then she wasn't listening. The Southampton-born art director and food stylist's creations look more like tiny works of architecture than edible foods, but they taste just as good as they look.
In turn, that means Virdi's banquets are as much a feast for the eyes as the palette, something she explains comes from her love of design: "I come from a design background, so I’m much more visual that I am with weighing, measuring, working to precise recipes".
Embodying the essence of Jameson Ginger & Lime, all of her projects come from an urge to create new, open social possibilities and build a community of adventurous people who are on the hunt for new experiences.
One of those projects is Long Table Suppers, which connects people over one of those universal human needs: stuffing our faces with unbelievably delicious food. "Supper clubs are sort of the AirBnB of dining", Virdi says. Combining her formidable culinary skills with a panache for dressing up out-of-the-ordinary venues, these evenings are a loud, lively alternative to the formalities of restaurant dining.
But that's not their only aim, there's a more noble cause behind the movement: "I don't want people to pay money for the supper clubs to fill my pockets," says Virdi, adding that the proceeds of each meal go towards worthy causes, such as Men's Sheds and Marriage Equality. Similar events in Dublin have been a great success, and it looks like they are about to head off on their travels, hitting Dingle, Amsterdam and London along the way.
Virdi also finds time in her busy schedule to work on another project, The Creatives: an open-ended organisation based around people from a plethora of different backgrounds pooling their expertise to build new projects in their communities. A worthwhile cause, there’s no such thing as a typical member: "one of the guys - I call him the man-help - he's a cancer researcher. He's in the labcoat all day, and then comes around with his tools and his ladders after work and asks 'what can I do right now?'. Being involved has opened him up to learning photography from another one of the crew."
The Creatives, like Jameson Ginger & Lime, is all about tracing those invisible connections, and having the trust in your instincts to knot them together. "What I'll always tell people who want to be involved is: take a chance, take a gamble."
Here’s to a woman definitely doing it her own way.
This summer Jameson want to give you the chance to do it your way and discover something fresh and exciting.
To enter and be in with the chance to win a Jameson experience for you and two friends just visit http://www.jamesoncultfilmclub.ie/jameson-ginger-and-lime
*Competition closes May 30th. T&Cs apply. The competition is valid for over 18s only.