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Baker boys
Jane and Miles of Baker Boys

In the kitchen with Jane Lamberth of Baker Boys

We chat to Jane about kitchen disasters, her favourite dishes and find out what's in her fridge.


Have you ever wondered what chefs eat when they're not in work? Us too.

That's why our series In the kitchen with... sees us chat with some of our favourite chefs about their food habits outside of the workplace.

This time we caught up with Jane Lamberth who owns Baker Boys, a café, bakery and deli in Sligo with her husband Miles. The pair also runs the renowned Shells café in Strandhill and have written a number of cookbooks. Jane gave us a glimpse into life at home and reveals her must-have kitchen gadget. 

Do you cook a lot at home?

Yes, we mainly cook. We usually eat out if we haven't been to the shops and have nothing in the fridge.

Who do you usually eat with?

Now that work is not quite as long hours in terms of service in the café [due to COVID-19 restrictions] we eat with the kids. Myles and I are both home on time and have found it's really nice to all eat together and it encourages them to try more food. Sometimes we might prepare something more 'foody' for ourselves which they can casually taste without any pressure on them.

READ MORE: In the kitchen with Gráinne Mullins

Are there any foods you have to or choose to avoid?

No, we are lucky in that we can eat anything. However, our personal morals/ethics mean we try to choose organic/chemical-free and local when we can access it. We also understand the importance of supporting our local suppliers so shopping takes a bit longer but we usually do it in little bits and pieces from markets, butcher etc.

What five ingredients do you always have in your kitchen?

Garlic, onions, ginger, noodles and pasta (for the kids!).

What's in your fridge right now?

We have a full fridge right now, loads of fresh leaves from Carrow Farm and we just got our meat in from Sherlocks in Cartron - gorgeous steaks for the weekend and a whole chicken for family dinner on Sunday. We also have a few nice natural wines in there too. We tend to have a glass of wine most evenings and love trying different wines.

What is your default dinner after a busy week?

A simple carbonara, making the sauce with fresh grated parmesan and egg yolk and some of the saltwater from cooking the pasta. Quick, easy and super tasty and the kids love it too.

What is your favourite kitchen gadget?

Definitely the Nutribullet. From the kids' smoothies to pestos and sauces we use it at least twice a day.

Do you have a favourite chef or cookbook?

Well, MasterChef is on 24/7 in our house so that's a source of real inspiration for us. 

Have you ever had a kitchen disaster?

A few too many to mention. When we first opened Shells we did supper clubs and put on a handmade pasta night. Anyway, we took bookings for over 40 people in one sitting and only two home pasta making machines. So that was an interesting night! We got through it though; we were literally rolling pasta all through service. But it was great craic and the customers loved the idea of us coming round with bowls of steaming fresh pasta to top them up... So I guess it kind of worked in the end.

What's the best thing you've ever cooked?

We did a big BBQ night in Inish Turk for a festival called Turf Fest. We got a local ironmonger to make the spit and then we sourced some local lamb, it was amazing. We set up on the beach and took the day smoking and turning and basting the whole lamb. In between, we were body surfing and festival-goers were coming over to chat and ask about the process. The meat was so tasty and the whole experience was slow and connected and a real change from the normal kitchen pace.

READ MORE: In the kitchen with Jess Murphy

What is the best cooking tip you've ever been given?

Less is more.

What would be your last meal?

A seafood platter that I had in France once. It came on a tiered plate and was loaded with local seafood. I even needed a bib!

What is your favourite dish to cook?

I love having people for dinner and hosting friends - I think BBQ is my favourite thing. Being South African I love to spend the day marinating meats, getting the fire ready, stoking the coals and cooking and chatting.