Inside Natalie Barr's kitchen

She's presented news on the country's top-rating breakfast television show, Sunrise, for 13 years but has also worked in print and radio here and in the US. A keen baker who objects to packet cake mix, she prefers traditional rather than experimental recipes. That said, she likes a challenge, has worked her way through the Australian Women's Weekly birthday party cookbook and reckons she can make the train cake in her sleep. A native of Bunbury, Western Australia, she now lives in Sydney with her husband, Drew, and their sons Hunter and Lachlan, 10 and 14.

The staples

My pantry: I use Cobram Estate light flavour olive oil because it's Australian and a good all-rounder, and for everything fancy I use Lomondo​ from near Mudgee. I eat Carman's no-fruit muesli all the time, even for lunch sometimes; I avoid fruit because I try to eat a low-sugar diet. The Jamie Oliver tomato and chilli pasta sauce is rich and has a bit of a kick – it's great in bolognese meatballs. I'm a bit of a 50-ways-with-mince person. I put Worcestershire sauce in everything to give it a richer taste – in brits, bolognese, anything mince-y.

My fridge: I'm very dairy-based, especially because I'm a non-sugar person, I love my cheeses. I put Meredith Dairy goat's cheese on crackers or bread. I love haloumi, any kind of cheese really.

I'm cooking

Every meal we have potatoes, somehow. I don't peel them anymore – much easier and more nutritious. I often do a bake where I just slice them, add salt, pepper and parmesan, chuck in a carton of cream and bang, in the oven, done in an hour.

Last dinner at home.

I made crumbled chicken, potato bake and stir-fried broccoli and beans. I use cornflakes crumbs because they're a bit crunchier.

Secret vice


I've gone on and off sugar for the last couple of years but when I'm being slack I'll have Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate. Only Cadbury Dairy Milk. I don't like any other chocolate. If I'm off sugar then I'll make crepes and put xylitol​ (natural sweetener) and lemon juice on them.

I'm drinking

I have a timer on my coffee machine so at three in the morning when I get up it's ready. Strong flat white. I like a bit of herbal tea later in the day, maybe lemongrass and ginger. For years I didn't drink alcohol because I had terrible migraines and now I could still go weeks without it and not really notice. When we have people over we'll drink Carpineto Chianti.

My toolkit

The Rocket Espresso Milano​ coffee machine is an important fixture. I got a KitchenAid​ mixer in girly pale pink because this is such a boys' household – everything's brown or black or navy. We use the Victorinox knives and forks every day. And because I just dish everything up direct from the saucepan the trivets are great to have ready on the bench.


When I got married nearly 20 years ago Mum gave me a book of all her favourite recipes. Now anything that's really good, like my pulled pork, goes into that book. It doesn't go in unless it's tried and tested. A few years ago I thought I'd lost it and I was devastated.


My mum and my nanna. Both good cooks. Nothing trendy, just hearty and simple. I cook what we grew up on – I'm not a quinoa-kale person.

Kitchen highlight

I love that the windows open right out to the garden and the benchtop extends outside so it becomes a bar.

Most memorable meal

Drew and I have always loved Pendolino​ in the Strand Arcade and now the boys are older we've started to have special family dinners there. We first did it for my birthday a couple of years ago, and to have the boys experience a place like that with fantastic food, the white tablecloths and the whole experience was pretty special.