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Stir it up magazine May 2014

LEADING LIGHT Claude Be Bosi Leading Light... Claude Bosi’s culinary infl uences come from having lived two lives – in France and England. Moving from Ludlow to London with his restaurant Hibiscus in Mayfair, he attributes his success of two Michelin stars to his experience of the rare ingredients and ultra-modern techniques of England and the classical grounding he had in France, and he has earned himself the reputation as one of the best chefs in Europe. Not bad for a former cleaner on the French TGV! You say you had a ‘classical grounding’ in France. What were the key things you were taught? At Michel Rostang’s in Paris, I discovered a major international capital, and what that means in terms of customer expectations; at Alain Passard’s L’Arpege, I learnt total respect for the seasons and for ingredients. Passard is a genius on the stove. 32 MAY 2014 “I’ve learned that cooking is not just about heat – it’s about passion, seasonality, the way you move throughout the kitchen.” Can you expand on your respect for ingredients? Is there one particular ingredient that you could never do without – and why? The ingredients change every season so I can’t choose one ingredient... but as a spice I couldn’t live without black pepper. It helps to enhance the flflflflflavour of other ingredients. You were infected with a love of cooking from your mother’s enthusiasm – did you always dream of being a chef? I grew up in Lyon, surrounded by vineyards, markets and my parents’ bistro. In an environment like that it’s hard to resist. I was determined to be a chef! I followed a traditional career path and fifi nally had the opportunity to fulfifi l my childhood ambitions: to become a chef in my own restaurant, fifififirst in Ludlow and then in London. Hibiscus is in the heart of Mayfair and I own two pubs with my brother Cedric – the Fox and Grapes in Wimbledon and The Malt House. What three secrets to running a successful kitchen have you learned in your career? I’ve learned (fromPassard) that cooking is not just about heat – it’s about passion, seasonality, the way you move throughout the kitchen. FromDucasse I learnt that it’s vital to get the best products you can possibly fifind – luxury and excellence. Also, responsibility – you have a responsibility to use the right produce and cook in the right way. You have a serious responsibility to make sure what you cook is worth every penny that the customer is paying. What is it about British food that you like? I like British tradition but I cook the food from where I’m from. I do enjoy the odd pork pie but I don’t put vinegar onmy chips! In my cooking, the food reflflflects where I amand where I have been. My food is defififififinitely French, even if I’m cooking with British ingredients. What does owning a restaurant and pubs mean to you, and being a head chef – in terms of developing the right team around you? Every chef dreams of having their own restaurant one day. It’s important to have a great teamthat understands what you want. As a diner with your professional hat off, what do you enjoy most? If we are withmy nine-year-old daughter, we go somewhere relaxed for pub food and, if I’mjust going out withmy fififi ancé, we’ll go to a fififi ne dining restaurant. I don’t have a favourite but like going toWild Honey, also in Mayfair. Is there a dish that you are particularly proud of or that has become a signature dish for you? “....I learnt total respect for the seasons and for ingredients. Passard is a genius on the stove.”


Stir it up magazine May 2014
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