Flash-grilled: Stephen Tozer

By Joe Lutrario contact

- Last updated on GMT

 Stephen Tozer Maison Bab

Related tags: Casual dining, Kebabs, Front of house

Stephen Tozer founded Le Bab with Ed Brunet in Soho back in 2015. Earlier this year the pair launched a larger upmarket kebab restaurant in Covent Garden called Maison Bab.

What was your first job?
As a commis chef when I was 16.

What is your guiltiest food pleasure?
I have a serious cake problem

What’s the best restaurant meal you’ve ever had?
The first tasting menu I ever ate at the Clove Club was the best meal I’ve ever had. Utterly amazing.

What industry figure do you most admire, and why?
Jamie Berger & Tom Adams of Pitt Cue. The innovation and brilliance in the Pitt Cue concept inspired me, And the genuine devotion to provenance is everything that the British food scene needs.

If you weren’t in restaurants, what would you do?
I’d love to have a farm.

What is your biggest regret?
Not buying bitcoin.

Pet hate in the dining room?
Thick, clunky wine glasses.

What’s the oddest thing a customer has said to you?
I think you guys need to serve avocado toast.

What’s the restaurant concept you wish you’d thought of?
Franco Manca.

Describe your service style in three words
Talks too much.

Most overrated food?
Where do I begin? Bubble cones, bone water, rolled ice-cream. 

Restaurant dictator for a day – what would you ban?
False claims of seasonality and locality in produce.

What’s the worst review you’ve ever had?
A guy who tried to walk in during our launch at Maison Bab, when we were already at capacity , left us a one-star review, claiming that we only serve bloggers.

If you could serve anyone in the world who would you pick, and why?
Will Ferrell is my hero, and to serve him would be beyond an honour.

What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?
Ensure you’re totally passionate about what it is you’re doing, and focus on being the absolute best at it.

What do you cook at home on your days off?
Slow food. Ragu and fresh tagliatelle.

What’s your earliest food memory?
My mum’s scones with jam and cream.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Pretty much everything Iqbal Wahhab has ever told me to do. He’s been a mentor to me

What’s the closest you’ve ever come to death?
I once got a glancing hit by a bus in Mexico City. I was extremely hungover and not crossing the road very diligently… I was totally fine but one more step and I’d have died.

Where do you go when you want to let your hair down?
Mexico.

Tipple of choice?
A good Condrieu is pure heaven.

What would you choose to eat for your last meal?
A proper Neapolitan pizza, followed by an entire chocolate cake, Bogtrotter-style, accompanied by a jar of peanut butter.

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