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Monday, 8 April 2019 11:52:40 AM Australia/Sydney
The Easter long weekend is always a highlight of the year – a chance to gather the family for a relaxed autumn feast without the pressure that comes with Christmas – and without that stifling summer heat!
NAJO’s founder and creative director Jo Tory is a keen cook who loves to bring her family together in her Sydney home for simple meals made with local, organic ingredients and flavours inspired by her travels. She shares what’s on her menu for a long and casual Sunday lunch at home this year.
NOTE: All recipes are designed to serve 4. Jo opts for local, organic ingredients wherever she can.
Roast lamb with pomegranate and almond
I wake up early to pop on the lamb and then forget about it until lunch time. If you have a slow cooker, now’s your chance to use it.
1.2 kg organic lamb leg, bone out
Olive oil, for frying
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2cm piece ginger, finely chopped
1 x 400 g can cherry tomatoes
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
1 red birds eye chilli
2 tsp cumin
Pinch of saffron (optional)
½ cup raisins
Seeds of 1 pomegranate
Cooked couscous and Greek-style yoghurt, to serve
Roasted slivered almonds, coriander and mint leaves, to serve
- Preheat oven to 150C. In a large cast-iron casserole, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil over high heat, add lamb and brown on all sides. Remove and set aside.
- Reduce heat to medium, add more oil if necessary, then add onion and sauté until softened. Add garlic and ginger, fry until fragrant. Return lamb to pan, add tomatoes, carrots, chilli, cumin, saffron and ½ cup cold water. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir to combine, cover and leave to cook for 6 hours, adding the raisins halfway through. Remove from oven and add half the pomegranate seeds.
- Toss couscous with remaining pomegranate seeds, almonds and herbs, serve with sliced lamb and yoghurt on the side.
Charred eggplant and white bean salad
This salad is practically a meal on its own – make extra if you’re catering to vegetarians, and maybe add some other vegetables to the chargrill like mushrooms or zucchini. You can always switch the shaved parmesan for crumbled goat’s cheese or feta if you prefer.
1 large or 2 small eggplant
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp ground coriander
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 x 400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Grated zest and juice of half a lemon
Parsley leaves and shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, to serve
- Slice eggplant thinly and toss in a bowl with garlic, coriander and half the olive oil. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Heat a barbecue or chargrill pan over high heat and grill eggplant, in batches, until charred and tender. Transfer to serving platter with the beans.
- Whisk lemon juice, zest and remaining oil together in a jug, drizzle onto eggplant and beans, season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with herbs and cheese and serve.
Everyone can indulge in this alcohol-free drink, or you can add it to prosecco or a sweet white wine for a refreshing cocktail.
8 cups sparkling water
4 cups passionfruit or pineapple juice (depending on your taste)
1 kiwi fruit, sliced
1 orange, sliced
1 star fruit, sliced
1 lime, sliced
½ cup raspberries or small seedless grapes
Ice, to serve
- Fill a large jug with ice, top with sparkling water, juice and fruit. Serve immediately.
How do you indulge over the long weekend at your home? Whatever your plans, I hope you spend time enjoying a meal with the people you love.
Friday, 2 March 2018 7:59:04 AM Australia/Sydney
A story of women, by women
Introducing NAJO’s most personal campaign yet.
From Hollywood to politics, women telling their own story has become a worldwide theme recently. Yet at NAJO, it’s an age-old idea that began more than 30 years ago.
We always look to match our jewellery campaigns to strong women with important stories, such as Ollie Henderson. This season, for the first time, NAJO founder Jo Tory has stepped in front of the lens with her daughters Elena and Nina.
Jo embodies the NAJO brand. At its heart, the NAJO story is her story. We sat down with Jo to find out more about what she endeavours to express through NAJO, and why now it’s become more important than ever to share it.
“Good design and quality is an essential part of life,” says Jo. “I want to impart an enduring aesthetic, authenticity, creativity, confidence.”
Is true that NAJO jewellery reflects your personal aesthetic? What pieces in particular?
“I love all NAJO designs and would wear any of them. However, the closest to my personal aesthetic is the Signature NAJO. It is a culmination of designs that I have developed over the years. I love quality that lasts, timeless designs, simplicity and harmonious lines.”
What have been your greatest influences in developing your own aesthetic?
“Scandinavian design has influenced my personal style since I was a child. Names like Marimekko, Iittala, Georg Jensen and Kosta Boda.”
When you think of admirable women, who comes to mind?
“Joni Mitchell: the ultimate creative soul, who always followed her own tune.
Georgia O’Keeffe: an adventuresome spirit, a deeply spiritual painter.
Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe: an inspired jewellery designer.
Gail Kelly: a woman with great perspective, a fabulous manager who understands business culture.
Patti Smith: a devoted soul.”
Do you have any style rules you live by personally?
“Two words: quality and comfort. I love the simplicity of line, quality fabric, neutral colour, good cut. It must be comfortable. Oh, and I wear loads of black. Always have and always will!”
How does the NAJO brand represent your personal journey?
“NAJO developed organically around my lifestyle. I was brought up in a creative household, and so were my two daughters. NAJO is entwined in travelling, family and a close creative group that is the NAJO team. The NAJO family is about collaboration, and the sharing of talent. I have always believed in that type of partnership.”
As a mother, what kind of role model have you hoped to be to your daughters, Nina and Elena?
“Independent. Thoughtful. Critical. Honest.”
Elena, what kind of role model was your mum?
“We were always encouraged to pursue our interests and passions in our own way, and taught the importance of art, design and creativity, which I value so much as an adult. I think one of the greatest things I have learnt from her is that self-doubt can be a source of drive rather than a limitation.
“Mum showed me that motherhood is something that becomes a part of one’s identity rather than over taking or replacing it; that independence, work, and passions can still be pursued and enjoyed.”
Nina, what did Jo teach you about womanhood?
“Mum always made running a business and raising us look effortless – I didn't think about it much at the time because it was just what she did and who she was. In hindsight it made us extremely independent and gave us a strong sense of self. I never shied away from doing things I wanted to, because I saw that determination in her and she gave us the space to find what we loved and who we were.
“It taught me that being a woman means anything I want it to be, that we each create our own womanhood in any way we choose.”
NAJO is a story of women, by women.
Every woman’s legacy is unique, precious and enduring.
Ours is jewellery artisan-crafted to last, designed to adorn.
Tuesday, 2 January 2018 8:13:55 AM Australia/Sydney
When NAJO founder Jo Tory travelled to London recently, she was struck by the renewed vibrancy of the capital’s fashion and art scenes. London, it seems, is well and truly back at the forefront of cool. Here, Jo shows us the best of London via a few of her personal highlights.
The V&A and Balenciaga
London’s V&A Museum has always been one of my favourites – no surprise given that it’s the world’s best repository of decorative art and design. But I was particularly thrilled with the Balenciaga exhibition currently on show.
Spanish couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga was considered the master of haute couture in the 1950s and 1960s, even by fashion icons Christian Dior and Coco Chanel. To be able to get up close to the details of his original garments was a treat. He truly understood the architectural potential of a garment to transform women.
My favourite Balenciaga quote says “a woman has no need to be perfect or even beautiful to wear my dresses, the dress will do that for her”. I love this idea. At its heart lies the genius of simplicity in design, part of NAJO’s core ethos. As contemporary UK fashion designer Gareth Pugh puts it: “There was always an assumption that if something is incredibly expensive and very laboured over it needs to be very fussy. And I think that with Balenciaga the most beautiful things that were produced were the things that were the most simple and sublime.”
The Saatchi Gallery
Anyone who finds themselves near Sloane Square should definitely take a little time to explore the area, including the stunning window displays of the design boutiques along Pimlico Road and the contemporary art found at Saatchi Gallery.
A high point for me was the exhibition Calder on Paper: 1960 – 1976, a presentation of gouaches on paper by the American artist Alexander Calder. I have always loved the whimsy of Calder’s work in his signature sculptures and mobiles, so to see these graphic works on paper was inspiring.
Sculpture was a highlight at the gallery’s exhibition Iconoclasts: Art Out of the Mainstream. For me, the standouts were Echoes of the Kill (2015) by Alexi Williams Wynn, whose intricate wax sculpture was executed with an extraordinary and innovative technique, and Corvid (2011) by Kate MccGwire, a complex twist completely and perfectly covered in black crows’ feathers.
Old hotspots are new again
Regenerated in recent years, London’s traditional hotspots for fashion and art are enjoying a new lease of life. Don’t miss Oxford Circus for an iconic high street experience, Knightsbridge for a taste of London luxury, and Camden for an edgy market scene. First-time visitors will need to check Carnaby Street off their list in the heart of fashionable Soho, home to some of the city’s best dining. Shoreditch, in the city’s arty East End, is also enjoying renewed favour along with the adjacent Spitalfields, bustling with hipster cafes, cool markets and independent boutiques.
Play tourist, wherever you are
Travel reinvigorates creativity and regenerates our spirit for life’s next chapter. Wherever you’re headed this holiday period, even if you’re enjoying a staycation, be sure to include a gallery or museum visit to enrich your perspective. From all of us at NAJO, Happy New Year! Shop our latest collection now >