Meet Jens

We had a sit-down with Jens, Pastry Development Chef at Ottolenghi, to chat about his mum’s spaghetti, his favourite Ottolenghi recipes, and what keeps him busy on his days off (hint: it includes flour, sugar, and eggs).

Meet Jens

Jens (aka The Baking German) is our Pastry Development Chef. He works alongside Verena to create new products for our range and develop seriously delicious bakes and pastries for The Guardian, our website, and our delis. 

Jens is no stranger to a professional kitchen. He’s led the pastry sections in most of our delis over the past 8 years. Growing up around the corner from the birthplace of the Black Forest Gateau, his mastery with a piping bag comes as no surprise.


Hi Jens. What’s your desert island dish? 

“My mum's spaghetti bolognese which she cooks in batches when I get home to visit – I always cut into small pieces and eat with a spoon (like any good Italian would do). But also doughnuts from the local bakery in Germany where I grew up. Thinking about it, I haven't had them in years. 

What’s your favourite cooking utensil?

“I would say a maurice (chef’s name for spatula). It's just so versatile – you can clean a bowl pretty well with it. Also a thermometer, I just work with it so often when cooking with sugar and chocolate. Which is every single day.”

And three ingredients you couldn’t live without? 

“Salt. God, I love salt. I don’t need three, just one. Salt. I should really cut down on it, to be honest.”

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not at work? 

“Besides resting and meeting up with friends, I love visiting various bakeries and trying as many of their goodies as possible.”

Which Ottolenghi dish have you cooked more than any other?

“Any of our aubergine recipes, really. I love the way we work with aubergines – especially the aubergine dumplings alla parmigiana from Flavour. 

Finish the sentence: ‘There are few things which cannot be improved by the addition of…’ 

“Definitely desert. A desert can turn any meal gone wrong around. Never, ever skip dessert.