Flash-grilled: Stefan Cosser

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Flash-grilled: Stefan Cosser co-founder of  Restaurant Brands Collective former The Fat Duck Experimental Kitchen chef

Related tags: Restaurant Brands Collective, Stefan Cosser

The chef and food development consultant who helped launch Restaurant Brands Collective last year on working at The Fat Duck Experimental Kitchen, and why foams in cooking are overrated.

What was your first industry job?  
I was a kitchen assistant in a shopping mall café in Reykjavik, Iceland.

If you weren’t in food development/consultancy, what would you do?  
I’ve always been interested in the technical, process and detailed side of things. I was studying computer science when the teachers went on strike. This led me to getting my first cooking job. I can’t imagine doing anything else at points but if I hadn’t have gotten into food, I guess I’d be doing something with computers.

What are the best three dishes/concepts you have ever created?
I spent over five years at The Fat Duck Experimental Kitchen where we developed some truly amazing dishes – from a culinary and process point of view. I’m afraid I can’t claim any of them as my creations – it was all team work and in the name of the Duck.

What industry figure do you most admire, and why?  
Jocky Petrie – his energy and creative enthusiasm. We worked together for five years at The Fat Duck - he’s probably the most creative person I’ve worked with.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had in a restaurant?  
Lunch at Noma on a beautiful sunny Sunday. I’m not sure it was the best food I’ve ever had, but it was a perfect experience with good company which is equally important.

What food trends are you most excited by at present?  
Al fresco dining looks to be the 2021 summer trend! Delivery is obviously still a big trend and I’m excited by the growing opportunity for delivery around dayparts such as breakfast, which we have built out brand Yolk & Glory around. We’re tapping into delivery flavour trends in our brands at Restaurant Brands Collective - comfort foods with a twist, spicy curries, fun loaded bao buns, full flavoured topped rice bowls and more.

Favourite fast food joint?
Domino’s Pizza. I remember when the first store in Iceland opened in 1993 and set a world record for the opening week sales. A proper treat.

Restaurant dictator for a day – what would you ban?
I can’t stand crème brûlée mix that comes out of cartons. Although it might be a little old fashioned, I love a proper crème brûlée – it’s so simple to make yet so easy to get wrong.

Favourite food and drink pairing?
Icelandic hot dog ‘with all’ and chocolate milk.

What do you consider your signature dish?  
I don’t have one. Development is about continuously improving and looking forward at the next challenge or project.

Tipple of choice?
Red wine.

Who would your dream dinner party guests be?
After a year of lockdown – the extended family.  

Most overrated food?
Foams. I thought we were all over foams by now, so I’m always surprised when I see one on a menu.

What would you choose to eat for your last meal?  
Something simple and nostalgic – smoked haddock, potatoes, rye bread and salted butter.

What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?
Take your time to really learn your craft. Become an expert in what you do rather than move around between jobs and places too often. And do your own research – do not rely on others to teach you everything.

Related topics: Chef, People, Profiles

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