Galway Food Stories; Baking up a storm with Arlene of Lán Kitchen
Food & Drink//Galway Stories

Galway Food Stories; Baking up a storm with Arlene of Lán Kitchen

Head Chef Jess Murphy chats with Lán Kitchen's Arlene about her lovely wholesome bakery. Read all about it here...

My whole kitchen life I’ve heard about this mystical woman who made the most amazing pastries and desserts, thank you Sarah Croffy and Niamh Fox! Arlene took herself to Burning Man, was a wedding planner and now has gone full circle and started up the most beautiful little wholesale bakery business called Lán Kitchen. We’re lucky enough to share a little cake cabinet together in Plámás and it goes to show that people can work in harmony when offering different things to different people. Scratching everyone’s itch sooo to speak!
-Jess Murphy

J. So, what made you think to yourself; it’s time to go out on my own?

A. The timing was kinda right and I had honestly run out of excuses as to why I shouldn't do it. Up until I started I had always been too scared to take the jump but like a lot of people Covid made me realise life is too short to be waiting for something to happen, you have to try. It kicked my ass into gear.

J. How did ya end up at Burning Man?

A. What a bonkers experience! Only me, my husband Bror and a shaman called Trevor will know..... joking. Real answer: delayed honeymoon in Yosemite, California and winning a lottery Burning Man ticket. I still have sand in my Docs!

J. What are your top five in your baking playlist?

A. Last 5 played things on my phone are:
Bob Dylan. Fela Kuti. En Vogue. Karen Dalton. IDLES.
Make of that what you will… but baking always makes me want to listen to Bob Dylan or something romantic.

J. Fruity desserts or Chocolate?

A. Oh man, that's so hard! Fruit is more fun to use in menus, chocolate dominates too much sometimes but I will always order the chocolate dessert.

J. How much do we love Shane Smith on a scale of 1 to 10? (Shane being one of the most iconic pastry chefs that worked in Galway back in the early 2000s).

A. I mean, we need a bigger scale! 1000/10! He's just the best and taught me so much. I've so much love for Shane.

J. Where did you grow up?

A. Galway, Originally Caltra. Moved to Birmingham when I was a baby. Then back to Athenry when I was about 9. Dropped that brummie accent fast! I really did all my growing up in Athenry though.

J. What’s the hardest thing about owning your own gaff? (Apart from not eating the leftovers).

A. A never-ending snag list and moaning about said never-ending snag list..

J. How do you handle the pressure of the orders? Too blessed to be stressed or pressure is for tires?

A. LOL! With a serious preplist and lots of laughing! I take my time with the preplist and once that's set I can relax. I work on my own a lot of the time so sometimes I can feel the pressure but definitely breaking things down into smaller bits and just chipping away is key. I'm so lucky to have the best support around me with my mom, Bror and Denise so they definitely help by laughing a lot in the kitchen which will make any crazy day seem breezy.

J. What are your top cafés outside of Galway city?

A. Súil Eile Space in Barna - best coffee and gorgeous space and people.
Wild Bean in Kinvara - for the coffee and craic.

Words by Jess Murphy.
Photos by Ciarán MacChoncarraige

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