17 April 2023

Five minutes with Tom Lambert, Evoke Bakery

| Lucy Ridge
Tom holds a small red tart and stands in front of a rack of baked goods.

Tom Lambert of Evoke Bakery with one of their new dragon fruit tarts. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

In a nutshell, who are you?
Tom Lambert. Born in Carlton, raised in Lyneham. I decided I like small business and moved my life to make sure I could do it.

What is Evoke Bakery?
Evoke is a little project me and Jayson Brockman are doing. He’s a very talented baker and wanted to get away from the trials and tribulations that is hospitality these days.

What’s something you make that best sums up what your venue does?
It’s probably the pepper baguette. I love it and it’s hard to sell sometimes, but it’s just awesome.

Bakers at Evoke Bakery

Fresh loaves at Evoke Bakery. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

What dish or drink best describes you?
Every time I go to the pub I get a Brookvale Union Ginger Beer. Ice and lime, please! Nothing better after a hot day.

Favourite cuisine?
I could narrow it down even more to just ramen. SuperBao makes these ramen packs you can get at the supermarket and they’re so good.

An ingredient you can’t live without?
Garlic salt is off the chain. Goes with most things, surprisingly. I put a lot on scrambled eggs, it makes them pretty garlicky but I like the kick.

two men holding bread

Jayson Brockman (L) and Tom Lambert (R) at Evoke Bakery. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

Who or what is your biggest culinary influence?
Jayson is probably the closest thing! He shows me things that I’ve never seen before. And I just cook a lot more [since opening Evoke]. I used to follow a recipe but now I’m experimenting more.

What food media is inspiring you right now?
Nat’s What I Reckon. He’s a mad dog. I first saw him on Uncle Roger’s YouTube channel so I looked him up and he’s cool. Those are both pretty politically incorrect but I rate them!

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What do you wish people understood about your job?
While the core business is serving customers and baking products … [ as owners we also do] EVERYTHING else. There’s no real definition of a job role whether it’s boring things like accounts and bills to even putting together Ikea furniture – that’s our job too!

Where do you dine out in Canberra for comfort food?
It’s Red Rooster! I’m a dirty animal at heart, I normally grab it on the way home. And then I’ve got to drive back to Wamboin so I’d chuck it in the oven.

chef leaning on door

Chef Josh of Two Blind Mice, Curtin shops. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Where do you go out for drinks?
Two Blind Mice [at Curtin shops] for after work. Or if I’m at home in Wamboin, Eagle Hawk Hotel is just around the corner and it’s a top spot. Great steaks!

Where do you dine out for special occasions?
When it’s me and Nat (my partner) we go to Raku … best sashimi I’ve ever had. We always get the banquet because I hate choosing.

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Who do you admire in the Canberra food scene?
I’ve only been in hospo since opening Evoke so I don’t know many people. But maybe Leeroy Peterson from Caribou. The way he deals with customers is amazing: you only need to go in there a few times before he remembers you.

What’s your dream travel destination?
I want to hit up Rome and Italy more generally. You just travel down the road and there’ll be something over there that’s just a thousand years old. Like, what!? That sort of stuff is really cool.

large Koji Ramen dish

The Tenkomori-style of presentation makes mountains out of your dinner! Photo: Lucy Ridge.

What’s a well-kept (or not so well-kept) foodie secret in Canberra?
Tenkomori. That place is freaking nuts! It’s a tiny little hole in the wall but it’s just amazing. I’ve never had better ramen in my life.

What do you think the ‘next big thing’ is in Canberra?
Dragon fruit tarts [gesturing to the sweets cabinet at Evoke Bakery]. Shameless self-promotion!

Where are you excited to eat next?
It sounds boring but I just want a nice schnitty at the Labor Club! Sometimes you just want a dirty schnitty.

What are your top 3 recipe tips?
1. Don’t under season, seasoning is key!
2. I like using pickled stuff, it’s a really easy way to add flavour.
3. Don’t be afraid to fiddle with stuff until you get it how you like it. Recipe books are for the masses, so make it personal.

Evoke Bakery is located at 48 Curtin Pl, Curtin.
It’s open seven days a week: 7 am to 5 pm Monday to Saturday, and from 7 am to 3.30 pm on Sunday.

Original Article published by Lucy Ridge on Riotact.

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