Childhood, Theatre & Food with OTTO Brisbane Head Chef


Inspired by our competition to win a Matilda the Musical Experience including flights and accommodation for you and three friends, we sat down with Will Cowper, Head Chef of OTTO Brisbane, to get his take on the ultimate chocolate dessert for Christmas (yum yum yum!) childhood dreams and the theatre of food.

Q. Most memorable chocolate eating experience?

A. 8 texture chocolate cake @ Quay restaurant.

Q. Best tip for cooking with chocolate?

A. Patience.

Q. White, milk or dark chocolate?

A. Dark.


Dark Chocolate Mousse

150 g Dark Chocolate
3 Egg Yolks
1 Whole egg
125 g Caster Sugar
40 ml Water
250 ml Thickened Cream
1 Gelatin Leaf


  • Whip cream and set aside.
  • Melt chocolate and set aside.
  • Place Gelatin in iced water.
  • Add water and sugar into a pot and bring to boil – when it reaches 120oc add gelatin and whisk in the egg yolks and whole egg, allow to cool a little. Then mix in the melted chocolate, and finally mix in the whipped cream.
  • When mousse is ready, place in piping bag, seal and refrigerate immediately.

Cocoa Nib Tuille Mix

100 g Cocoa Nibs
100 g Butter
60 g Cream
130 g Caster Sugar
2.4 g Pectin
50 g Glucose


  • Blitz cocoa nibs in a food processor.
  • Melt glucose, cream and butter together in a pot and then bring to the boil.
  • Mix sugar and pectin together then add to the mix, once it comes back to the boil, add the ground cocoa nibs and mix well.
  • When cold, roll the mix between two pieces of non-stick baking paper.  Remove the top layer of paper and place on a baking tray.
  • Place baking tray into 170oc oven for approx 7 mins.  Remove from oven and shape tuille so it resembles cannoli.

White Chocolate Crumble

250 g White Chocolate


  • Place chocolate on tray with non-stick baking paper and place in 160oc oven, stirring occasionally until it turns light brown colour.
  • Remove from oven, allow to cool and then cut into small pieces ready for use.

Ricotta gelato

625 g Milk
185 g Caster sugar
410 g Ricotta
50 g Skim milk powder
45 g Dextrose
6 g Stabiliser


  • Boil milk, trimoline, skim milk powder and half the sugar.
  • Once boiled add the remaining sugar, dextrose and stabilizer and stir until mixed. Remove from the heat and reduce temperature until warm.
  • Once warm add ricotta, mix well and pass the mixture through a sieve to ensure there are no lumps.
  • Refrigerate overnight.

To serve

Fill the cannolis with the chocolate mousse (fill one side with half and then repeat on the other side to stop it from breaking). Serve it with a scoop of ricotta gelato and a spoon of white chocolate crumble.

We squeeze in a cheeky few more minutes with Will to talk tips in the kitchen and reaching for the stars as a child. Here we go…

Q. Best person you've ever cooked for?

A. Marco Pierre White

Q. Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

A. Adam Scott

Q. What's your favourite dish on the menu and why?

A. Sardines. I love sardines.

Q. Any tips for budding chefs and home cook enthusiasts?

A. Seasoning is the key.

Q. Funniest incident in the kitchen?

A. One chef once dropped a bag of flour down stairs, it took him all day to clean.

Q How do you create theatre in your restaurant?

A. Energy from all the staff. And our dancing lamp shades

Q. What would be your theme song for your restaurant?

A. That's Amore.

Q. If you could have a magic power just like Matilda, what would it be?

A. Time travel.

Q. What mischievous thing did you do as a child?

A. I was always hiding from my mother.

Q. Favourite food to have in your lunchbox as a child?

A. Devon sandwiches.

Q. Favourite Roald Dahl book as a child?

A. The BFG.

Q. What was your best and worst subjects a school?

A. Best- maths Worst- History.

Q. Who inspired you as a child?

A. My yiayia (Greek grandmother).

Q. When did you realise you wanted to become a chef?

A. I think I was about 15.

Q. What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

A. Take more risks.

Q. Who are your heroes?

A. Adam Scott, Marco Pierre White.

Q. What quote do you live by?

A. Treat others as you wish to be treated.

Q. What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

A. I am half Greek

Q. Who's your role model?             

A. My father.

Q. What's the last gift you gave someone?

A. A jumping castle for my nieces and nephews.


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Mireille Kilgour

Mireille Kilgour

Mireille Kilgour has been an entrepreneur for 35 years in the hospitality sector. French born, she has been an accomplished business owner and operator for a number of Sydney venues. Leading the industry with high profile institutions such as Lamrock Café Bondi, she has endless passion for the industry, and now has the pleasure of supporting restaurants to fill their tables with the new Good Food Gift Card program.