Meet The Stile Bridge’s South American chef, Oscar Fonseca Volkmar, who gives British produce an exciting twist, cooking on an open fire and seasoning with charcoal and a generous sprinkle of inspiration from around the globe

Who taught you to cook? 
It’s a bit of a mix of things really, I don’t have a mentor. It has been an empirical process. Working in different places, with people from around the world, travelling, eating delicious food and remembering my life back in Colombia has made me the chef I am today and my food is a reflection of this. 

Who has been the biggest influence on your career so far? 
I wouldn’t be able to say that there is one person who has had the most influence on my career as a chef, but there are many chefs who I look up to and admire including Jason Atherton, David Chang, David Muñoz, Sean Brock and Liam Tomlin.  

What’s your favourite kind of cuisine?
I don’t really have one favourite, but I really like flavour profiles found in South-American, Asian, African and Middle-Eastern cuisine.

Do you have a signature dish? 
Not one dish but I like to cook seasonal ingredients using fire. 

Where are your favourite places to eat locally?
The Poet in Matfield, Tallow in Tunbridge Wells and Birchwood in Flimwell.

What’s your favourite dish on your current menu? 
Our house dry aged beef Chuleta to share – 1kg of meat cooked over charcoal, soy glaze, jalapeño chimichurri and patatas bravas. It’s something that we do really well here.    

What couldn’t you live without in your own kitchen at home?
A mortar and pestle. 

Are there any ingredients you can’t bring yourself to cook with? 
Happily, not that I know of. 

If you could dine in any restaurant in the world, where would it be and why? 
Burnt Ends in Singapore. It’s a fire cooking restaurant serving modern food, nice wines, and spirits in a fun, relaxed atmosphere. That’s all I want!  

You’re allowed to invite three guests to dinner – who would they be and why?
My wife, daughter and son – family time is short when you work as a chef.

Book a table to try Oscar’s firey dishes at The Stile Bridge in Marden, Kent

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