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The following article is taken from the Dec 08/Jan 09 Issue of “Jamie Magazine”, which included a “Lunch With the Jme Designers” feature, which included Morph…

When Jamie sat down with the creative minds behind his new collection, talk turned to the similarities between food and design

Words Holly O’Neill Photography Chris Terry

“FOR 12 YEARS now, we’ve gone to great lengths to find particular olive oils, particular meat, breeds of animal – it’s all kind of geeky stuff,” says Jamie, welcoming 11 Jme Collection collaborators to lunch. “You guys go to the same ends to find textures, paints, designs, colours and fabrics.”

As they shared Jamie’s orecchiette with lamb ragú (see recipe below), they talked about their previous designs, some of which they’d brought along with them, and their new designs for the Jme Collection. It was no surprise to find a passion for creating accessible, aesthetically pleasing and practical products united the table.

“It’s been great, really good fun,” says Gail Bryson – a textile designer whose clients have included Habitat and Fortnum & Mason – of designing for the Jme Collection. Gail is setting up a company with Tamsin Loxley, who designed Jme’s tea towels that feature slogans such as, “Make your garden feed you”.

“When I look at your work, I think, they must be mad or really genius,” says Jamie. “And I think it’s the latter now.” “It’s a thin line,” laughs one of the other designers. “I think you have to be mad to be a designer,” says David Queensberry. David is one of the UK’s leading ceramicists and has worked for prestigious brands including Wedgwood and Rosenthal, is a senior fellow

of the Royal College of Art and has designed the Coco range of bone china tableware. As the valpolicella flows, so does the idealistic talk. As in food, it’s increasingly important to show the origins of furniture and homewares. People are choosing not to buy unethical products, such as those made from rainforest wood, and are proactive in selecting alternatives that are environmentally friendly.

However, needing to pay a little more for a better, more ethical product is a concept that has been slow to take off, says Russell Pinch, designer of the Baloo cutlery, who will also update Spanish-style terracotta dishes for the range.

Product designer Bill Holding, of Morph UK, agrees. “Some people want the cheapest possible, especially with food. For others, it is all about the best quality, so you’ve got this huge division. It’s like that middle ground is disappearing.” “Customers need to understand they’re not buying a product that is only going to last three weeks, they’re buying a product that’s going to last a lifetime,” adds Russell.

Conversation turns to Italy and to the nature of inspiration and seems like it could continue all afternoon. Soon, though, the first diligent person makes a move to get their coat and the rest follow suit. Time to get back to creating.”

ORECCHIETTE WITH LAMB RAGU

Serves 4-6

  • 2kg shoulder of lamb
  • Small bunch of fresh rosemary, plus 2 sprigs extra
  • Olive oil, plus extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • 1 large onion, peeled
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 1 leek, trimmed
  • 2 stalks celery, trimmed
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 x 4OOg tins chopped tomatoes
  • ½ bottle red wine
  • 300ml lamb stock, plus a bit extra
  • 4OOg dry orecchiette pasta
  • Fresh oregano leaves and parmesan cheese, to serve
  1. Tum your oven up to full. Slash the fat side of the lamb all over. Scatter half the bunch of rosemary in a high-sided roasting tray, rub the lamb with oil, salt and black pepper. Place in the tray, and cover with remaining rosemary. Tightly cover with foil and place in the oven. Tum the oven down to 170°C/gas 3 and cook for 4 hours or until lamb pulls apart easily.
  2. When the lamb is cooked, place it on a board. Cover with a tea towel and let it rest. When it’s cool, gently shred using a couple of forks.
  3. Finely dice the onion, carrots, leek, celery and garlic and add to a large pan with oil, thyme and extra rosemary. Cook for 15 minutes or until veg are soft. Pour in the wine and cook until most of it has evaporated. Add the stock and tomatoes and cook gently for an hour. Season to taste.
  4. Add the lamb to the sauce and cook for another hour. If it looks dry, add extra lamb stock. Keep stirring and scraping the sides. Season to taste.
  5. Put the pasta into a pan of salted, boiling water and cook according to packet instructions. Drain then stir through the ragú. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil top with oregano and parmesan.

– Jamie Magazine Dec 08/Jan 09

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