Getting to know... Chef, Jane Baxter



We had the pleasure of chatting with renowned chef, cookbook writer and restaurant owner, Jane who's been on quite the culinary journey since making her first dessert aged ten (toffee top peaches pudding – yummy!).


Known for her zero-fuss, easy-to-make, seasonal recipes – and hailed the ‘greatest vegetable cook in Britain’ – Jane has written an impressive array of irresistible books including Leon Fast Vegetarian, Leon Happy Salads, Leon Fast Free and two Riverford farm cookbooks. She also shared a Guardian column with Henry Dimbleby and has contributed to Liz Earle’s quarterly magazine. 

Her time cooking at The River Café in London made a lasting impression on Jane and kick-started her love of all things Italian. After working in various London establishments, Jane went ‘off Piste’ to the South Pacific, where she lived and worked for seven years. 

Now back in Devon with her son, Jane runs the pop-up restaurant and events business, Wild Artichokes.


 
Where are you writing this?
At my kitchen table in West Alvington, South Devon. I’m feeling quite pleased as my garden was cut back yesterday – another job done!
 
Describe your homeplace in three words…
Green, wet and wild.  
 
Small business you’d like to give a shout out to?
Catch of the Day fishmongers on Fore Street in Kingsbridge, my nearest town. The owners, Emma and Darren are stars – they’re very helpful and knowledgeable, plus it’s always nice to pop in for a natter and a giggle.
 
What are you reading at the moment?
Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey, although I'd rather he read it to me...
 
What are you watching?
I’d love to say something highbrow but I’m completely hooked on Married at First Sight Australia – sorry!
 
What is your most used emoji?
🤔🤔🤔
 
If you didn’t need to sleep, how would you fill the time?
I'd probably read... or rollerskate around deserted streets!
 
What have you learnt to not take for granted during the Coronavirus lockdown(s)?
My health and just how wonderful my son David is.
 
What is your secret talent?
I love singing along to the radio when I’m cooking – though the talent is probably ‘singing badly’! Saying that, I did play Mary Magdalene in our school production of Jesus Christ Superstar at school.... I used to be quite good at table tennis, too.
 
Favourite flower?
Has to be Frangipani – it reminds me of the time I spent living in the South Pacific. They are so perfect, with the most beautiful fragrance.
 
 

Getting to know... Chef, Jane Baxter

We had the pleasure of chatting with renowned chef, cookbook writer and restaurant owner, Jane who's been on quite the culinary journey since making her first dessert aged ten (toffee top peaches pudding – yummy!).


Known for her zero-fuss, easy-to-make, seasonal recipes – and hailed the ‘greatest vegetable cook in Britain’ – Jane has written an impressive array of irresistible books including Leon Fast Vegetarian, Leon Happy Salads, Leon Fast Free and two Riverford farm cookbooks. She also shared a Guardian column with Henry Dimbleby and has contributed to Liz Earle’s quarterly magazine. 

Her time cooking at The River Café in London made a lasting impression on Jane and kick-started her love of all things Italian. After working in various London establishments, Jane went ‘off Piste’ to the South Pacific, where she lived and worked for seven years. 

Now back in Devon with her son, Jane runs the pop-up restaurant and events business, Wild Artichokes.


 
Where are you writing this?
At my kitchen table in West Alvington, South Devon. I’m feeling quite pleased as my garden was cut back yesterday – another job done!
 
Describe your homeplace in three words…
Green, wet and wild.  
 
Small business you’d like to give a shout out to?
Catch of the Day fishmongers on Fore Street in Kingsbridge, my nearest town. The owners, Emma and Darren are stars – they’re very helpful and knowledgeable, plus it’s always nice to pop in for a natter and a giggle.
 
What are you reading at the moment?
Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey, although I'd rather he read it to me...
 
What are you watching?
I’d love to say something highbrow but I’m completely hooked on Married at First Sight Australia – sorry!
 
What is your most used emoji?
🤔🤔🤔
 
If you didn’t need to sleep, how would you fill the time?
I'd probably read... or rollerskate around deserted streets!
 
What have you learnt to not take for granted during the Coronavirus lockdown(s)?
My health and just how wonderful my son David is.
 
What is your secret talent?
I love singing along to the radio when I’m cooking – though the talent is probably ‘singing badly’! Saying that, I did play Mary Magdalene in our school production of Jesus Christ Superstar at school.... I used to be quite good at table tennis, too.
 
Favourite flower?
Has to be Frangipani – it reminds me of the time I spent living in the South Pacific. They are so perfect, with the most beautiful fragrance.
 



 
Go-to item of clothing?
At the moment it seems to be all about comfort at home so I'd have to say my palm-tree print joggers (to remind me of warmer climes and happier times) and my faux-fur fluffy coat (which my teenage son seems to like wearing too!)
 
If you could raid one woman’s closet who’s would it be?
It’s got to be Stevie Nicks’ in the 70s... endless flares, fringes and suede boots.
 
The most treasured piece in your wardrobe?
I have a long leather patch coat that I bought from TKMaxx years ago, originally from Joseph. It has a big hood and became known as my ‘Puff Daddy’ coat. It cost me a fortune!
 
Would you rather never cook again or never taste again?
I'd rather never cook again – if I couldn’t taste then I couldn’t cook, so it would be best to keep enjoying food.
 
Breakfast for dinner or dinner for breakfast?
Dinner for breakfast. I can quite happily eat a variety of foods for breakfast and think that cereal is the devil's work!
 
Who would your last supper be with, and what would you eat?
My son, David. We’d eat pizza from Pizza&Co. in Lecce, Puglia.
 
A dream that you’re yet to achieve?
I would love to cross the Atlantic and Pacific on a sailing boat but I'd better learn to be a competent sailor first. I had a real taste for it last year…
 

Enjoy a little bit of Wild Artichokes at home….

With dining out on the back burner at the moment, don’t miss Wild Artichokes delicious takeaway offering, Friday to Sunday with a different menu each day - find out more on the Wild Artichoke website here.


A LITTLE BIT OF HOME COOKING INSPIRATION...