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Spudulike’s Jacket Potatoes Find Their Perfect Match in Butter-Basted Chef James Martin

Spudulike — the popular 1980s chain which was bought out of administration by Albert Bartlett — is now “by” the celebrity chef

Chef James Martin holding some freshly churned butter, on the cover of his cookbook, Butter.
Chef James Martin holding some freshly churned butter, on the cover of his cookbook, Butter.
John Carey/Quadrille

Spudulike, the popular baked potato chain of the 1980s which collapsed in summer 2019, has a new life, thanks to a potato company and the mind of butter-basted chef James Martin.

When it went into administration in August 2019, it had 37 restaurants, bolstered by a heyday in the 1980s and 1990s but under financial pressure in the decades that followed. But after Albert Bartlett — it of the rooster potatoes — reopened eight of those branches in shopping centres across the country, according to Big Hospitality, it needed a consultant chef to put out some toppings. Enter James Martin: whose newest cookbook is simply called Butter.

In reality, the toppings are more than loads of butter, even if in the case of jacket potatoes, there is little better. Instead, the mind of Martin has put “chickpea daal” on a potato; peri-peri chicken wings on a potato; and, most affronting of all, a single, large Frankfurter sausage, criss-crossed with tomato and mustard, and perched priapic and perilous on a potato. Per Spudulike, “Our deliciously baked potatoes are adorned with imaginatively tasty toppings that could only have come from the hands of James Martin.” Only from his hands. No-one else’s. A world of pure imagination.

A hot dog sausage perched on top of a baked potato.
Spudulike by James Martin

Martin is absolutely delighted with the result, saying that “To be honest I’m so bloody excited for you to try the new look and new menu can’t wait…”

He’ll be hoping, for sure, that his old mate Al Bulli will be coming down for a spud.