Chef’s Special: Stephen MacKenzie

Stephen MacKenzie, Head chef, West on the Corner Glasgow

Stephen MacKenzie

West on the Corner is the second bar restaurant from Glasgow-based brewer West to open in the city. The restaurant offers a range of German fusion food, with dishes ranging from beef goulash to Bratwürst burgers, and stocks a full range of West beers brewed to the Reinheitsgebot – the German beer purity law.

How long have you been in the catering business and how and when did you start?

I started working in hospitality 13 years ago in the hardest job in the kitchen: a kitchen porter. This was in a small restaurant in Inverness called Barbazza which has changed ownership since I worked there.

What’s your career highlight so far?

Being involved with West on the Corner has been my highlight
so far. It was great to be involved in the opening of a brand new restaurant and to see the hard work that is involved in this.

How would you describe your food?

I would say the current food I am creating is German fusion cuisine.

What’s the price of a typical three-course meal (without wine)?


Why should someone visit your restaurant?

For the authentic German brewed beer, great food and a superb atmosphere. The feedback has been superb – people seem to love our open kitchen and the bar is really sunny. I would also recommend trying my favourite beer, Hefeweizen.

Describe your staff?

I have a great team of staff, for a newly-opened restaurant everyone has pulled together to make it a success. My sous chef Dominic McGeechan in particular has been outstanding with all the work he has put in.

Not counting your own, which is your favourite Scottish restaurant?

The Mustard Seed in Inverness – it is a converted church and the interior is stunning.

What’s your favourite Scottish ingredient?

Heather honey and raspberries.

What makes a good chef?

Being clean, organised, focused and having a passion for food. Extreme hard work does not go amiss either.

What’s a tip every chef should know?

Clean as you go – it makes life a lot easier in the kitchen!

Who do you admire in the industry and why?

Tom Kerridge is one. Mainly for the way he revolutionised pub food.

What makes you (or has made you) laugh in the kitchen?

Many, many things. When you work with so many different characters there’s always a laugh to be had.