Meet the test kitchen chefs

Meet Verena (aka V).

We sat down with Verena Lochmuller, Head of Quality and Product Development at Ottolenghi, to chat about the simple joy of a wooden spoon, her favourite Ottolenghi recipe and why pastry makes everything better. 

Meet Verena

Verena is a lover of all things baked. Born in Germany, raised in Scotland, and trained pastry in New York, she’s our very own Google search engine for all our baking-related questions.

Since 2015, she’s been the backbone of our baking brigade. If you ever find yourself pondering the perfect pie crust, or you’re yearning for fluffier pastries, just ask V. Her taste buds really know what they’re talking about. 


Hi V. What’s your desert island dish? 

“Probably a super crispy schnitzel. Followed by a peach pie with mountains of whipped cream.”

What about your favourite cooking utensil?

“It doesn’t get better than the humble wooden spoon.”

And three ingredients you couldn’t live without?  

“As you’d probably expect: butter, sugar and eggs. It’s incredible what you can make with just those three ingredients.”

Favourite thing to do when you’re not at work?  

“Honestly? Bake.”

Which Ottolenghi dish have you cooked more than any other?

“It varies greatly with the season. But one that I’ve returned to time and time again is Green Cannelini and Tahini from Shelf Love. It’s super simple and a great part of a mezze spread or with a roast chicken. Yum.”

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

“Buttery, flaky pastry.”