Nico Fitzgerald Head Chef at London Stock
What is your role at London Stock?
I’m the head chef. My role involves the day-to-day running of the kitchen operations and the development of new dishes for our menus.
What do you enjoy most about it?
I love the challenge of developing seasonal menus that really sing the praises of British produce. Keeping our menu fresh and seasonal is very important, especially because we have a lot of regulars from Ram Quarter, and I like to be able to feed them new dishes when they visit. I also love speaking to our guests when I do the rounds of the dining room. It really gives me a good idea of what we are doing right and what we need to adapt or change completely.
Where do you get the inspiration for certain dishes on the tasting menu?
A lot of my inspiration comes from the food I used to eat as a child in Gibraltar. The hero ingredients and concepts in my dishes are British, but I am not shy about championing techniques or styles from further afield that I feel are deserving of a place on our menu. After all, London is a melting pot of cultures and cuisines and that’s what I like to reflect in my cooking.
What is your favourite dish that you’ve ever created and why?
We developed a malt and barley miso souffle back in January for our opening menu and it really pays homage to the brewing history of Ram Quarter. We finished it off with a stout ice cream, using a stout from Sambrook’s brewery, who have moved in next door to us, so the whole dish really is focused around beer and barley. Keep an eye out for it this winter… it’ll be making a comeback.
How would you describe London Stock restaurant?
Everything the guests experience from the moment they enter our restaurant, whether it’s a cocktail or a dish, to the moment they eat their petit fours and leave, should be new and interesting.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
2020 was a year of challenges. We spent lockdown providing takeaways to our Ram Quarter neighbours and we completely revamped and reinvented the dining experience for our reopening. I’d say our greatest achievement to date is adapting and managing all the challenges that this year has thrown at us and coming out the other end even stronger than before. On a personal level, moving to London and becoming the head chef of an up-and-coming fine-dining establishment is definitely up there, along with reaching the semifinals of the National Chef Of The Year competition in July last year.