CHEF & CO-OWNER MIRANDA KAISER’S STORY
Miranda Kaiser went to culinary school in the UK and worked many culinary-based jobs. In 1988 she went to Israel for what was supposed to be 3 months. There she met her husband Philip Kaiser who is from Tulsa. Just to make sure that she really loved him, she went backpacking around Europe, ran a kitchen for an English company in France for the summer, worked some crappy jobs in England, and then came to the conclusion that she did in fact love him! So she went back to Israel where she worked a few culinary jobs, got married, opened the first Internet bar in Israel in downtown Jerusalem, and then had a couple of sons with Philip.
In 2002 the couple moved to live in Tulsa where they had yet another son and then opened Cosmo Cafe & Bar in 2004. This much-loved, quirky spot had a great run for 15 years until they closed it in late 2019.
Because three boys and a restaurant weren’t challenging enough, in 2012 they opened Laffa Medi-Eastern Bar & Restaurant which is located in Downtown Tulsa.
In her free’ish time, she is teaching an after-school cooking class at various Tulsa Public Schools or is drinking gin somewhere.
They are happy, exhausted, and never opening another restaurant but truly enjoy what they do.
111 N Main St
Tulsa, OK 74103
Q&A WITH MIRANDA KAISER
Story Plate: What are your top three go-to restaurants in your hometown (Tulsa)?
Miranda Kaiser: Covid take out: Sushi Hana. I need this now: El Rio Verde. Date nite: Docs Food & Wine
SP: What’s a must-have or your favorite kitchen item and why?
MK: For food it would be Maldon sea salt flakes. For equipment it’s my daily workhorse Dalstrong Gladiator 8” chefs knife.
SP: What is your favorite thing that you like to cook for yourself at home and why?
MK: An avocado toast of some kind. Why? Because there’s always avocados & bread in my house and always something in my fridge to fun it up – kimchi, poached egg, sautéed mushrooms, creamed spinach, crab salad. The list goes on…
SP: Where do you see yourself in five/ten years?
MK: Retired from the restaurant business I hope, but still participating in all the cheffy charity events we have here in Oklahoma – a lot! I’d also take on more schools where I teach an after school program called Chefs Club. I can only do two schools right now.
SP: What are your top five favorite foods/dishes of all time?
MK: That’s a crazy question, I’ve enjoyed so many and have so many more to experience! Theres always going to be a new favorite plus you have to take more into consideration. Is it winter? Is it summer? Am I on my period? Am I drinking heavily? Am I missing my mum? Did I just have a colonoscopy? Did Trump win? I have different food desires/needs for different occasions. Sorry, don’t like that Question…
SP: How do you manage stress, what advice can you give your fellow girl bosses?
MK: If it’s stress that has something to do with service, as in someone doesn’t show for work, someone chops off a finger, someone drops all the meatballs, the walk in dies, we run out of product or something else that pretty much often goes wrong in this industry, then I flip into Macgyver mode. That means I pull something out of my ass and solve the problem. I often amaze myself. Maybe it’s like the mom who can lift up a car to save her trapped child? I don’t know, but I thrive on figuring out a solution, I think I feed off the adrenaline.
If it’s stress like “holy shit we need more customers” then I have a few drinks, do some research then strategize the best I can. I NEVER give up.
As for advice… Don’t take no for an answer & always have a “can do” attitude. Remember, you have the added advantage of being a woman – you are therefore often more logical than them, you’re probably more practical than them, in fact you’re more often than not, smarter than them! Plus you have extra womanly stuff that you need to use when necessary – you can be motherly which often solves a problem, you can be claim “woman” and have them do stuff for you (boys LOVE thinking they saved your pretty butt) and my favorite, you can get all “grandma on their ass” if you have to. It’s a great way of discipline, they’ll take notice, they’re not going to land you a punch, they’re gonna shape up or ship out. You DO NOT fuck with grandma.
SP: What piece of advice would you give to other women that are looking to venture into the culinary industry?
MK: You can do both but one will suffer, don’t let it be your kids. Thank god I have an amazing husband, fantastic school and best friend/auntie figure that helped raise my kids. It takes a village right?!