Baking don Nicola Lamb on biscuits, eating like a fruit fly and her favourite utensils

Our interviewee in this week’s Fridge Raid is baking guru Nicola Lamb, who runs the insightful and incredibly popular baking newsletter Kitchen Projects on Substack – and published her debut cookbook last month, Sift. It’s a treasure trove of knowledge and already proving to be the hit of the year with many on the delicious. team. The book explains the science behind key baking ingredients – flour, sugar, eggs and fat – and offers up a wealth of recipes, from french toast cinnamon buns to viennoiserie.

We caught up with Nicola to find out what she keeps in her fridge, the kinds of snacks she has on hand and her favourite social media accounts to follow…

Baking don Nicola Lamb on biscuits, eating like a fruit fly and her favourite utensils

Pick ‘n’ mix

What would you typically find in your fridge?
It depends which one you mean! I had to invest in a second fridge last year and, to be honest, it’s changed my life. The fridge I share with my fiancé is mainly filled with fresh vegetables and lots of condiment jars. My personal fridge is always overflowing with butter, random fruit (at the moment its meyer lemons and mangoes) and various tests, like batches of flaky pastry or canelé batter. It’s a total work-in-progress fridge!

What’s your hot drink of choice? How many do you average a day?
I have one coffee in the morning – my morning routine is to go for a walk to pick it up. It’s a total luxury but I feel mad if I don’t do it! I split Monday to Friday equally between two favourite local spots. Getting out to get my coffee and walk around the neighbourhood is the best way to get a jump on the day. After that it’s classic tea, then herbal tea. Overall, I’d say three hot drinks a day max.

What can you eat on repeat?
Eggs, rice and greens. So simple, so satisfying. I can eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I think I could make it with my eyes closed.

Which ingredients do you use most frequently?
Butter, sugar, eggs, flour. Without a doubt.

Nicola’s flaky scones are testament to the power of butter plus flour


Do you use kitchen roll with abandon or do you ration it?
I try to limit it but it’s hard as I really do love it – it’s the only thing I’ll use to pat things dry, like fish or meat – or cut fruit. To limit my usage, I put out fresh tea towels and microfibre cloths every day.

What do you do when you burn a slice of toast?
It depends HOW burnt. When it’s completely black I toss it, but if it’s only mainly black, I eat it. Flavour comes in all forms!

What chocolate bar/biscuit did you have in your lunchbox as a kid?
Club mint. And Penguins.

What would you make if you were asked to bring a birthday cake to a party?
It depends on the person, but I don’t think you can go wrong with a victoria sponge.

What’s your favourite utensil in your kitchen?
Either my dough scraper or my bent spoon – I use it to smooth fillings and dip into sauces to taste them. I just bent a spoon at a right angle when it was warm from the dishwasher. It’s so useful…

The main meal

What’s your favourite restaurant for a special occasion – and what should we order?
Some of my favourite hangouts and birthday celebrations have been over dim sum. You need to order: fried dough cheung fun, char siu cheung fun, lo bak go (turnip cake – ask for extra crispy!), char siu sou, sticky rice, har gau, beef ho fun, xiao long bao and siu mai.

What snack would we find in your bag/coat pocket?
Unfortunately I’m not that organised and if you were to look through my bag/coat pockets you’d find remnants of snacks – crumbs from cookies and croissants, which I often pick up on the go. I’m always alarmed when I tip my bag upside down for its weekly clean.

How does your job affect how you eat?
I sometimes think I eat like a fruit fly – attracted to sugar and fermented things. I always try to have a good meal in the evening, even if my eating throughout the day is a bit scattered and dependent on what I’m baking.

What attitudes towards food did you grow up with?
Biscuits are an important food group and should be celebrated and enjoyed always.

"Biscuits are an important food group and should be celebrated and enjoyed always"

What was your local supermarket branch as a kid and what’s the best memory you have there?
My mum was SO ahead of the curve – we got a supermarket delivery for as long as I can remember. So my main memories are seeing the kitchen covered in bags and rifling through them to find Pop-Tarts. We went to the Chinese supermarket with my dad a lot, too. I used to always look for the mini individual jellies.

What are your favourite social media accounts to follow? The nicher the better…
This isn’t food related, but my favourite person to watch to relax is The Catluminati. He has two million TikTok followers, so I’m not sure how niche that is – but he walks around his local neighbourhood and meets and says hi to all the different cats that live there. He has the most charming energy.

My bite-size week

What was the best thing you ate this week?
I had some friends over and we made some ridiculous pizzas in a pizza oven – we had a pork floss ginger spring onion oil one, a beef birria one and a stuffed- crust prawn ‘nduja situation. Outrageous! We want to do a silly pop-up one-off, so watch this space…

Did you eat the results of any recipes you’d been testing?
Yes, I was working on a summery pineapple pudding for my newsletter and ate so much pineapple that my tongue went completely numb. Watch out for bromelain, everyone…

Where did you shop for food – and what did you buy?
Mainly at Newington Greens in London – they have everything. This week there was a lot of salad, tomatoes and mangoes.

What did you do to relax?
I planted some things in our garden – a fig tree (need it to grow big and strong to keep up with my leaf consumption), tomatoes, lavender, herbs and a jasmine bush. I’m excited to watch their progress.

Hungry? Try Nicola’s flaky cheese and pickle scones recipe.
Enjoyed this interview? Browse more entries in our Fridge Raid series – and sign up to our Wednesday newsletter to have each week’s new read delivered to your inbox.

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