5 Foodie Minutes With … Becky Okell (Paynter Jacket)

For a while now, we have been hanging out with some of the cool foodie folk we get to work with or who we have bumped into along the way to find out a little bit more about what makes them tick. We call the series “5 Food Minutes With …“.

Then we realised that loads of the inspirational people we follow, meet up with, admire from afar and – to be honest – want to know more about, are creatives, makers, artists, photographers and entrepreneurs who aren’t necessarily in the food business. How cool would it be, we thought, to ask them where food fits into their creative and inspiring lives.

We don’t crave much in our stripped back Deli life … but the iconic heritage reimagining of classic workwear jackets by Huw and Becky at Paynter really has made us sit up and take notice. These young and passionate entrepreneurs are totally setting a new high bar for creating a brand. Their thirst for knowledge, attention to detail, incredible communications and social media skills and their collaborations with masters of their craft means that the limited run jackets they create are much sought after. Their story is one of serendipity and shared values.

We can’t wait to meet them at The Good Life Experience this year. Until then, luxuriate in some delicious insights into their work, inspirations and how food fits into their busy creative lives. 

Hi, who are you and what creative mischief do you get up to in your day job?

Hey! I’m Becky, one half of Paynter Jacket, a company that makes limited edition jackets, three times a year. Huw and I started Paynter together because he had a gorgeous old jacket that I stole, and we wanted to make another one. In the year so far, it’s been an incredible time discovering the making process, from fabric mills to factories and everyone in between, to bring a jacket into the world.

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Where in the world do you get to hang out doing your thing? Can you tell us a little about what inspires you?

We spend so much time on trains, as Huw and I live in different places, 200 miles apart. So we’re either in London or Wales, which is probably the best combination of places we could ask for. In London we’re surrounded by stimuli from vintage archives, incredible book shops, global street style and a lot of our friends. In Wales, we’ve got proper time together and long walks to think and talk about what we want in life. Time goes slower and then, one of us is back on the train again!

For inspiration, there’s so many sources. For product inspiration, it will be going physically to archives, or collecting jackets we love, and sitting with them working out what we love. For business and life inspiration, we’re both big podcast fans and very nosy about other people’s lifestyles, to prompt ideas for what we want out of life. We’ll be listening or reading interviews with other business people, designers and brands, always looking for ideas to spark something in our own projects.

The ultimate inspiration is getting into our factory and fabric mills, seeing things come to life and meeting the people in the background. It’s insanely exhilarating.

How important is food to you and your lifestyle? Do you have a favourite meal or a most comforting ‘comfort food’?

It’s super important, but eating well has gone a bit by the wayside since starting our own business. We’ve started Paynter while both working full time, so our spare time has been all about Paynter rather than treating ourselves with time to cook, which used to bring a lot of pleasure and relaxation (mental note: get back into cooking for relaxation)!

When time is poor, we’d probably go for eggs and avocado on sourdough toast with good salt and sriracha sauce. Yup, we’re millennials!

If we’ve got a bit more time, or we’re having people over, one of my favourite meals to cook is something my mum made a lot:

Creamy chicken in white wine sauce with pancetta. It’s so easy. Basically grab a chicken breast, cut in the middle, pop some cream cheese inside, wrap with parma ham. Put into a roasting dish and add some healthy slugs of white wine, add thyme and salt and pepper. Then serve with brown rice / asparagus / broccoli etc. Yum.

You have £30 in your wallet/purse and an open mind about supper – where do you head to locally and what do you buy?

Oooh. £30 wouldn’t get us much eating out in London, so we’d probably eat in, or in the park, depending on the weather. We’d start with a nice bottle of wine, from Amathus. Then we’d grab a few sharing bits like salami, hummus, crisps, peppers, and some bread.

Actually scratch that. We’d definitely get a takeout sourdough pizza from Sodo at The George and Vulture (our local pub) and a bottle of wine and sit in the park.

Which 3 food (or drink) producers have you discovered along the way that the world (mainly ‘us’) should know more about?

Halen Mon: The very best sea salt. We’re going to head up to Angelsey in North Wales soon to visit their factory and see how it comes to life. This podcast (https://monocle.com/radio/shows/the-menu/406/) is a great summary of why they put so much into the simple, beautiful ingredient.

Karma Cans: An amazing company that deliver lunches by bike in London. Started by two sisters and grown organically over the past few years. They also make their own XO sauce which is insanely good.

Two Islands Ice Cream: An incredible ice cream makers, cake bakers and coffee shop in Abersoch, North Wales. Another creative couple who moved out of London to absolutely nail their craft. It’s Melbourne standard produce and service, in North Wales.

Where have you travelled to recently that provided some food inspiration … any ‘hidden gem’ recommendations?

We go to Porto a lot to visit our factory, and there’s always a custard tart on the table when we get there! Last time we did a pastéis de nata cooking class just before we caught our flight home; it was amazing, so we wrote up the recipe here!

What is your ‘go to’ cookbook?

A Modern Way to Eat‘ by Anna Jones is a favourite and the beautiful ‘Strudel, Noodles and Dumplings‘ by our incredibly talented friend Anja Dunk.

 

Brilliant to get to know Becky a little more. Batch 2 of the Paynter jacket will launch in October 2019 for pre-orders. We are poised … I mean, on the edge of our seats, literally … we are determined to be amongst the lucky 300 this time around.

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