stylist. food. creative

stylist. food. creative

May day Flowers

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Jette Virdi, food stylist and photographer plays with blooms

There's nothing quite like playing with flowers. Take a random bunch of blooms and mixing them up and spreading them all around the house so that the whole house smells beautiful and you smile with each movement because there's a flash of colour. I'm lucky enough to be working with Arran St East on a monthly workshop. A couple of hours on a Saturday where I teach you all my flower knowledge! It's so fun and such a beautiful way to spend the morning. If you'd like to join us you can find out more by heading here.

Jette Virdi, photographer plays with blooms, based in London and DUblin
Jette Virdi, stylist and photograher plays with blooms. Based in London and Dublin, Jette works as a freelancer
styled and photographed by Jette Virdi, based in London and Dublin

My best place to get flowers? Smithfield flower market, Monday-Saturday morning and at Herbert Park market on a Sunday! If you want some of my top tips, sign up to my newsletter below and you'll get my free Top Flower Tips cheat sheet.

Rhubarb two ways

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Rhubarb infused gin recipe by Jette Virdi, food stylist and photographer based in Dublin and London

I love rhubarb season! Pink everywhere, the sweet but sour smell and then all the possibilities of tart and crumble and all things tasty. It really is too much for me sometimes. I have to be honest, every time I've walked past rhubarb in the last week, I've had to buy some. I can't control myself and now I find so bloody much of the stuff in my kitchen I'm having a breakdown!

rhubarb recipes by Jette virdi, food stylist and photographer based in Dublin and London

I also have my mama to stay so I'm super excited plus all like 'let me make the most delicious thing you've ever eaten mama'. I mean, there's no real way I could - she's a great in the kitchen, no. A bloody great cook but I try. And she's my mama, I want to treat her to a life of doing nothing whilst she's with me. So rhubarb. I have waaaaay too much in the house. oops.

Rhubarb and Cardamom infused gin recipe by Jette Virdi, food stylist and photographer in Dublin and London

First thing we did was make rhubarb and cardamom infused gin (every girl and her mama needs a G+T in hand). It is literally the EASIEST thing ever and while I didn't follow this girls recipe exactly, I did follow her lead! I mean come on, pink gin! HE-LLO tiger....

The process was so easy, anyone can do it. Chop up 2 sticks of rhubarb (washed) 1 teaspoon of bashed up cardamom pods and stick into half a litre of gin. Shake every day for 2 weeks. Enjoy

gin cocktail recipes by Jette Virdi, food stylist and photographer based in Dublin and London
cocktail recipes by Jette Virdi, food stylist and photographer based in Dublin and London

Now, the 2nd recipe we made was pickled rhubarb and ginger. Again, so easy (and you know how I'm into easy recipes). Literally chop up 400g rhubarb or there abouts, a handful of ginger, heat up a big glug of cider vinegar, a spoon of sugar, spices (we used mustard seeds, fennugreek and pepper corns) and put everything in a jar. Leave for a week and see how you like the taste, eat on everything!

pickled rhubarb by Jette Virdi, food stylist and photographer in London and Dublin
pickled rhubarb and ginger recipe by Jette Virdi, photographer based in London
rhubarb recipes by Jette Virdi, photographer based in London

Purple Cabbage Saurkraut

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I have all the feels at the moment. This food intolerance thing has got me 100% bummed when I go out and 100% excited when I stay in. I am in the cooking zone, my mind spinning with ideas for recipes, for all the people who have been in touch with me saying "help!". I can't believe how many people have food intolerances...and I want to keep on finding out. If you have food issues, tell me please. I want to know if and how I can make your life in the kitchen easier.

This recipe is really great, easy and great for your tummy. Gut bacteria is awesome! (I say that with a sing song in my voice). I can't get enough of fermentation and knowing that it's helping get my tummy in the right shape to get my hormones in check, my skin normal and clear and hopefully my body to have a baby. It's so exciting!

I'd bought this cabbage quite a while ago and it just kept looking at me, shouting "pick me pick me" from my vegetable basket. I didn't, on numerous occasions and then when I was running out of my other sauerkraut I thought "this is what I've been waiting for" and hey presto. More sauerkraut was made.

Recipe:

1 head of purple cabbage (can be white too) chopped finely

cloves of garlic

fresh turmeric

Salt

Over the chopped cabbage, sprinkle 1tbsp salt over the top and massage for about 5minutes. Get  your hands dirty, in there, mix it all around. Leave for around 2 hours (more is fine don't worry). Pack tightly into a jar that you can seal. I made layers with cabbage, turmeric and garlic, cabbage, turmeric and garlic. Leave for a week and then taste it. If you like start eating, if it needs more, leave it longer.

How to best serve your clients

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Let's talk about your client base for a moment shall we. How do you know your clients are happy? I mean yeah, most write to you to say "YAY, thank you" or they might just go ahead and book you again and again, but what about the ones who slip through. The one-offs? Why do you think they didn't come back to you? Money, time, services, need? What if you could guarantee each and every client the very same service so that every single client ALWAYS came back to you?

Maybe you already do that? And if you do, WELL DONE YOU! Below are my top tips on how to make sure each and every client is best served by you.

1) Create email templates. This one is free and the easiest. Create 4 templates: one to say hello, thank you for getting in touch with me, these are my services and these are my rates etc etc. The second is a form of contract, what your client can expect, what your terms are etc that you send once they've booked you. The third is a thank you email for their custom and the final is a follow up a month after the job is completed just to check in, remind them that you're there and that you're awesome!

2) If you have a blog, post about what's involved in your job and what clients can expect when they hire you. This will help anyone who thinks they need you but isn't really sure what you do. I mean who knows what a creative content creator is. They could do anything! Take me for example...what does a food stylist actually do? Do you know though that I'm  in charge of sourcing all the food for a shoot or even that I generally decide what shots/recipes we shoot? No, well by me writing an blog post will help you to know before you even get in touch with me.

3) Make sure you are clear from the beginning about your rules. This was a REALLY tough one for me to get used to. I love my job so when an email comes through at 10pm I can't help but automatically jump to it. T has made me stop and helped me to get under control but the bad thing is those clients that I started with still expect me to jump to it no matter what time because I had started my relationship with them in that way. So, make your rules stick from the start. If an email comes through at 7pm decide is it appropriate hours or are you going to wait until the morning. Don't waver on this, stick to your guns. It will help your clients in the long run and trust me, they will 100% get used to YOUR working hours.

4) Make sure that your terms are laid out from the beginning. Let's take me again, I clearly tell clients the number of shots we can do in a day just so they're not expecting me to take 25 shots rather and I'm unable to do that. I clearly tell my clients my role in the shoot so that they're not surprised when I don't do something and then they don't feel like I've done them injustice. It's very important to make sure your client is fully aware of what your role is in the job. Miscommunication is one of the MOST common for clients not returning. 

Give these bad boys a start and see your role becoming clearer and your clients coming back.

2nd Collection has landed

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Irish linen bath towels by Jette Virdi for homeware range, Created and Found

I present to you, my 2nd Collection of CREATED + FOUND. I can't quite believe that it's only been 6 months since I launched my homeware range (it seems like forever if I'm honest!) but because it's been so well received I decided to expand a little and move into things that I felt my home needed. So here are my 3 new items in the range: Towels (not tea towels, I mean proper body towels!), bed throws (little and large so they're great for the couch too) and pillow cases (square and rectangular cos this girl loves a square!)

Irish linen bath towel, made and designed by photographer Jette Virdi for homeware range Created and Found, based in London and Dublin.

Linen is a bloody fantastic textile for your skin, it's one of the most absorbent, one of the most hygienic and the fact that it's totally made in Ireland is pretty damn sustainable. I'm so excited to take mine on holiday with me to Portugal, Bali and Australia throughout the year. Because it's so lightweight it's perfect for your holibobs!

irish linen pillow cases by Jette Virdi for homeware range. Created and Found, made in Ireland

So, you can now officially purchase these bad boys online! Head to website to see all the new items. Let me know what you think! 

irish linen bed throw made and designed by Jette Virdi for Irish homeware range ,created and Found
Irish linen bath towel designed by Jette Virdi for Irish made homeware range, Created and Found

T takes photos!

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Jette Virdi, food stylist and photographer based in London, Dublin and New Zealand - wild garlic recipes

Big round of applause! I spent all of yesterday with T showing him photography and my camera . I'm not going to say it was easy, but I really do love his enthusiasm for trying to help me out. For so long I've shied away from the camera and now, well he's got the knack and so you'll be seeing a lot more of me, or my chest-al region/feet. 

In the meantime here's a very old wild garlic soda bread recipe that was originally shot by Rincy. Ah, that lovely girl.

Jette Virdi, food stylist and photographer based in London and Dublin with wild garlic
Wild garlic styled and shot by Jette Virdi, food stylist and photographer based in Dublin and London
Jette Virdi, food stylist and photographer picking wild garlic. Based in London and Dublin