Olivia Potts

Olivia Potts is a former criminal barrister who retrained as a pastry chef. She co-hosts The Spectator’s Table Talk podcast and writes Spectator Life's The Vintage Chef column. A chef and food writer, she was winner of the Fortnum and Mason's debut food book award in 2020 for her memoir A Half Baked Idea.

No nonsense in the kitchen

25 November 2023 9:00 am

The forthright food columnist Rachel Cooke has little patience with faddy eaters, ‘meditative’ kitchen tasks or the craze for Portuguese custard tarts

Be prepared to wait: how to make French onion soup like the French

11 November 2023 9:00 am

Let me be clear: this week’s recipe is not a speedy little number. You can’t knock up a French onion…

Dark, bold and perfect for autumn: how to make the perfect honey cake

28 October 2023 9:00 am

I did not plan to cook a loaf cake when I embarked on concocting a traditional honey cake recipe. The…

Glorious and nostalgic: how to make corned beef pie

14 October 2023 9:00 am

A few weeks ago I was at the super-market juggling a toddler, several heavy bags and, it transpired, no pound…

The timeless beauty of a French apple tart

30 September 2023 9:00 am

There is, as the saying goes, more than one way to skin a cat. The same could be said –…

My two tips for perfect aubergine parmigiana

16 September 2023 9:00 am

In the middle of an unpredictable Indian summer, here is a recipe from sultry southern Italy which is suitable for…

Tarte tropézienne, the glamorous dessert named by Brigitte Bardot

2 September 2023 9:00 am

Is there a more glamorous piece of pâtisserie than the tarte tropézienne? Born in the inherently chic Saint-Tropez, named by…

Fish and chips: the fast food that made me

19 August 2023 9:00 am

The last meal my parents had before I graced the world with my presence was fish and chips, so I…

The ‘historic’ national dishes which turn out to be artful PR exercises

19 August 2023 9:00 am

Japan’s ramen ‘tradition’ was created in 1958 to use up surplus imported flour, while Pizza Margherita’s specious royal connection helped boost Naples’s tourist trade

Pavlova: the crumble of summer

5 August 2023 9:00 am

Whenever I tell someone that I’m making a pavlova the response is the same: sheer joy. Even the most fervent…

French tomato tart: a simple celebration of summer

22 July 2023 9:00 am

Last year, we grew tomatoes for the first time. And we did so with our characteristic enthusiasm, lack of knowledge…

How to make proper vanilla ice cream

8 July 2023 9:00 am

I could map out my life geographically and temporally in scoops of ice cream. From the oyster delights handed over…

Cobb salad: a bright idea for summer suppers

24 June 2023 9:00 am

They do salads differently in America. Caesar salad, Waldorf salad, even their egg salads and potato salads: they’re big, they’re…

Yoghurt pot cake: the perfect sugary blank canvas

10 June 2023 9:00 am

I’m pretty easygoing when it comes to most aspects of cooking. I don’t think there’s much to be gained from…

Confit: the best (and most delicious) way of cooking duck

27 May 2023 9:00 am

Of all the myriad ways of preserving, confit always strikes me as wonderfully improbable. The ability to preserve meat just…

Yorkshire puddings: is there anything as satisfying?

29 April 2023 9:00 am

My mother, a Yorkshire woman, would occasionally take shortcuts in the kitchen, but not when it came to a roast,…

Is there anything safe left to eat?

22 April 2023 9:00 am

It’s not only junk food we should be wary of, says Olivia Potts. Pretty well everything contains additives – and our five-a-day mantra is costing the Earth

Chess pie: how to make the flakiest pastry

15 April 2023 9:00 am

Chess pie was, in one sense, new to me when I started learning about it a few months ago. I’d…