Quick Bite with Top UK Chef, Michele Stanco

The Woods Foodservice Quick Bite series is a 10-second download from a top UK chef sharing what’s on their plate.

We speak to Michele Stanco, Head Chef for the much-anticipated new restaurant being launched this Autumn from former Fat Duck colleagues chef Jonny Lake and master sommelier Isa Bal, on everything from Italian Nonnas, to how the rise of veganism is changing the UK’s restaurant landscape.


What would you say is the most defining moment in your career?

Walking through the door of the Fat Duck Restaurant in 2012.

I had never worked in a restaurant like that before – a unique and special place which changed the way I look at and think about food today.

What inspired you to become a chef?

I have been lucky enough to grow up with my Grandma and as with the majority of Italian Nonnas, cooking is almost everything. It was amazing to wake up in the morning and find her in the kitchen making fresh pasta and preparing lunch for the family, and too see how much care and love she was putting into the food. Definitely, she is the person that inspired me to become a chef.

What piece of golden advice would you give to anyone in the industry who wants to be successful?

Focus on your end goal, don’t let the reality obstruct your dreams, work hard, and remember that great things take time.

What trends will be big in 2020?

Over 40% of the UK vegans made the change in 2018 and one in eight Britons are now vegetarian or vegan. I believe that 2020 will follow this line as more people go meat free and we will see an increase in these options in many UK restaurants.