Five minutes with Rae Arends, Pophams

Rae Arends is head chef at Hackney’s Pophams, which opened in that fated year 2019, right before 2020’s year of lockdowns. The bakery draws a huge crowd for its pastries and daytime lunch menu, but it’s in the evenings when the space turns into a knockout pasta restaurant, that things become tell-everyone-you-know good.

Rae is the head pasta chef, designing a changing menu of filled and hand rolled pasta such as a cannelloni with slow-cooked lamb and bagna cauda or a triangoli filled with peas, ricotta and lemon in a green chilli sauce. Rae is currently 8 months pregnant and still navigating the kitchen, and we caught up with her to find out what she loves about pasta chef life, and what about the hospitality industry kind of bugs her…

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