Spotted a few pies sitting next to the biscuits at Newtown's Cookies + Milk? They're baked by Stuart Masters, the tattooed and passionate pastry chef behind Miss Lilly’s Kitchen.
Former head chef at Bitton Gourmet in Alexandria, Masters decided to give it all up a few months ago. “I was a chef and my goal was to be head chef in a fine-dining [restaurant],” he says. “When I got there, I didn’t enjoy it. I reached the goal and I was not happy.” After questioning how he wanted to spend his life, Masters thought of his grandmother, Miss Lilly. “She was the main baker in our family ... I grew up on her kitchen bench. She would cook and I would sit there and learn. The way she loved food, her respect for food, that’s who I want to be like.” And so, Miss Lilly’s Kitchen was born.
“I love pastry and I love eating pies,” he says. First a part-time activity, baking pies became Masters’ full-time job 10 months ago. “I make everything by hand, and I make it all on my own,” he says. Alone in the kitchen, his wife helps him a little with the business’ social media.
Miss Lilly didn’t just give her name to Masters’ new trade; she’s its greatest inspiration. Whether this is through her recipes (such as for the pastry itself) or the memory of her relationship with food, she’s never far from his mind. “I’m always thinking about new ideas, new flavours, new combinations. And sometimes I go too far, I do get crazy, and if I realise that, I [ask myself], ‘What would Miss Lilly do?’”
His range of products runs the gamut from savoury pies – such as beef, ale and mushroom – to sweet pies such as peach and vanilla or strawberry and rhubarb. But the most popular is the kale, spinach and feta roll. “I have people that are addicted [to it],” he says. Miss Lilly may not have known about kale, but she would certainly approve.
Miss Lilly’s Kitchen available at
Fri – Northern Beaches Markets, 8am to 1pm
1472 Pittwater Road, Warriewood
Sat– Bondi Farmers Markets, 9am to 1pm
Bondi Public School, Campbell Parade
Every 4th Sunday– Glenorie Growers Markets, 8.30am to 1pm
Glenorie RSL Club