Agnar Sverrisson

Agnar Sverrisson

Agnar Sverrisson

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After nearly three years of planning, Agnar opened his restaurant, Texture, in 2007. A few months later, Texture was named New Restaurant of the Year by The Independent and a Michelin star followed in 2010 as well as an impressive four rosette rating from the AA, which it still holds.

Agnar describes the food at Texture as 'modern European with Scandinavian influences' and as the name suggests, there is a focus on 'combining and emphasising different consistencies'. The very best seasonal British produce is at the heart of his cuisine, which is more rustic and closer to nature in its unfussy presentation than the fine dining of Agnar's past. While it isn't an Icelandic restaurant, there are subtle hints of the country's influence, with ingredients from his native land such as lamb, cod, langoustine, skyr (a cultured dairy product like yoghurt) and wild herbs sprinkled throughout the menu. Traditional Nordic techniques such as salting cod also make an appearance, but they are used with a judicious hand. The food is light and healthy, with no cream or butter used in the menu, and the flavours are clean and pure.

Seafood is a speciality, accounting for around two-thirds of the menu – Raymond Blanc has described his restaurant as being 'to fish what St John is to offal' – with plates such as Icelandic cod loin with cod brandade, avocado relish and chorizo, and Skate with barley risotto, prawns and Sauternes sauce. Vegetables are also celebrated at Texture and the restaurant features vegetarian tasting menus with dishes such as English beetroot with goat cheese snow, oat biscuits and mizuna and Cauliflower textures (florets, pickles, ‘couscous’, purée) with quinoa and barley.

In 2010, Agnar opened 28º– 50º Fetter Lane in Holborn, a wine bar and restaurant that offered a programme of wine tastings, workshops and themed dinners. A second branch, 28º– 50º Marylebone Lane, followed in 2012 and a third, 28º– 50º Maddox Street, in Mayfair in 2013. The Fetter Lane and Marylebone branches has since closed, but the other remains open.

Despite his role as head chef at Le Manoir, Agnar was relatively unknown until he opened Texture. Today he is renowned as a highly skilled and accomplished chef, as well as an astute and successful business owner with several establishments under his belt. His creativity and technical skill ensure intense, unadulterated flavours grace every plate that leaves his kitchen and the rustic influence of Nordic cuisine continues to dazzle.

Three things you need to know

When Agnar was taken sick once in Chicago, Raymond Blanc had a ten-course dinner from the city’s best restaurant sent to his bed.

Agnar says he is not a fussy eater, but he absolutely hates jellied eels.

Although Agnar loves using British produce, he still harbours ambitions to bring traditional Icelandic dishes like roast puffin to the UK.

Agnar Sverrisson