Masterchef S02 ep4 : Anton Mosimann, Mosimanns Restaurant, [London]

Interview with Anton Mosimann

The "Master's Master". Mosimann is the only chef in the world who can boast 2 royal warrants and clients which include No.10 Downing St as well!

Trained in Switzerland by one of Escoffier's proteges.


Mosimann: Mosimann is a private dining club, it’s a members club and very exclusive, very
beautiful as you can see. Wonderful atmosphere, an old church been converted into a restaurant,
which is very unusual and here, been here now 19 years.

Mosimann: After 13 years at the Dorchester, very successful and very happy years, five owners,
ten managers, so I say to myself you know, I’m 40 years of age, what’s next? I could have gone to
Hong Kong, to New York, to Hawaii, but I say no, I like London and I stay in London and maybe I
should go solo. I had two stars in the Michelin Guide with them I left behind and I came here and I
mean I fell in love with this building.

Mosimann: When I saw the building I thought my God, here I can play music you know it’s like
seeing a big stage, and I found the stage in here and I said I keep it as a private club and just cook
for my friends. We have more than 2,500 members from nothing and it is, it feels like a big family
which is great.

Mosimann: I was so confident I felt so positive that I never thought it could be not successful. Here
is the proof. So I have been obviously quite lucky but also what I done at the time is to have
private dining rooms in the restaurant, in with at the club sponsored by different companies and
that 20 years ago was almost unheard of.

Mosimann: We had two to start or three rather we had Tiffany, we had Gucci and Wedgwood. And
now we’ve got seven and Matting and Webb will come in, in fact this weekend to start
refurbishing the top floor.

Mosimann: You need somebody who is a present member to recommend you as a new member or
indeed you need a reference or two from friends or business partners or a lawyer, just to be you
know recommended.

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

Would I have a chance? I know the owner.

Mosimann: I think you have a very good chance, we know each other long enough and I’m sure
there should be no problems whatsoever.

Mosimann: No you pay a fee per year, so much entrance fee first of all, and then you pay about
£500 for local members, people who live in England and it’s £350 for overseas members.

The rooms that are sponsored are they strictly for the sponsors to use?

Mosimann: Not at all, the sponsor can use them obviously, to have priority but they are used by
anybody else all year round so there’s no problem so if you have a business party for six people or
20 people like tonight everything is full tonight.

Mosimann: I learnt the basic cooking from my parents in Switzerland that’s right yeah and you
know I loved it, I always feel I was actually born on the kitchen floor, that’s how I feel and I never
left it, I’m still there. After an apprenticeship I then done different hotels. It was in mid 60’s.

Mosimann: He was a good classic, he was an honest, straight forward cuisine, more or less all the
hotel cooked the same thing at least used the same names, few adjustments, … classical cuisine is
a … at the Palace Hotel where I worked we would use cream every day by 10 to 1, so 10 litre to
one litre you know to make the sauces. Those were the basic sauces I mean it’s just incredible. And
of course in those days the chefs there tried to compete with each other and wanted to be better and
a bit more cream a bit more foie gras, that was you know, that was the system.

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

Mosimann: For me very exciting professional life because I went from the very classical to the
very modern, I mean like Japan, no cream, no butter, no who is right who is wrong, fantastic, after
three years in Montreal, one year in Italy, again Italian cuisine is very lively, it’s very straight
forward, it’s very healthy, so it was a good experience for me, but it was a turning point.

Mosimann: I came to London in ’75 and that was just the time when the nouveaux cuisine was
becoming fashionable and because of my Japanese experience, Italian touches, I whatever maybe
the first one who done serious nouveaux cuisine you know from the base, not just one piece of
whatever on a plate and that was it, but you know thinking about it, it was a great, great time for
me to explore and to invent and to create my own style of cuisine.

Mosimann: When I came to the Dorchester we had 132 chefs in front of me, and each one said why
are you, you are 28 years of age, so it was quite a challenge, but managed very well, I had the good
support from my manager at the time, very good support, I think it’s in the personality, I like to be
always a bit ahead of things, be better than anybody else, that’s you know when you’re young
you’re very competitive.

Mosimann: I also then of course created cuisine natural, that was the next stage at the Dorchester
so instead of cuisine with no cream and no butter.

Mosimann: A good piece of scallop you know steamed for 30 seconds, a few herbs, a bit of olive
oil or whatever and you know off you go, it’s fantastic, and that’s how I cook still, not all of it, but
I cook still a lot today, with that in mind, you know no fat, no cream.

Mosimann: So yeah, I like to have hands on still, but then it’s the management as well of course
there is the you know the actual executive position in that sense, but you know I’m very, very well
organised I think, I like to do my homework before hand and of course there is outside catering
which I just mentioned is big now, we got very busy here with party service and also the school, as
my travelling.

Jewellery Theatre Elements

Mosimann: It is a different world in many ways because obviously you’re talking you know 500-
600 people, on the other hand I try to cook exactly the same standard like we do here, it is not
always possible because you cook maybe in a field or somewhere, in a strange kitchen, but at least
we have recipes which we can multiply you know for let’s say 400 people. There are recipes like
this and it’s great fun, also a challenge and I love it too.

Mosimann: I did cook on a train once for a birthday party for about 120 people which was very,
very exciting, very challenging you can imagine it was on the old Orient Express and when the
train moved and you know soup goes up and down. I cooked once in a helicopter going up, up in
the glacier in Switzerland we do Cartier, Polloi every year about 800 people, every year has to be
much better, so it’s a challenge every year.

Mosimann: I just came back from a rally from Beijing to Paris, 60 days driving.

Oh, so you were driving?

Mosimann: Yes I was driving.

You’re still a driving nut right?

Mosimann: I love driving, yes I am and just imagine 60 days driving and we slept, we got lost in
the Gobi Desert for seven hours the first day.

What were you driving?

Jewellery Theatre Fairytales

Mosimann: I was driving a TR4. Triumph TR4, completely the wrong car because it was very low,
so we had many breakdowns but we made it, we made Paris on time.

Who was your co-driver?

Mosimann: My wife. Just imagine, my wife.

You torture your wife too.

Mosimann: And we still talk to each other after all that time. But it was fascinating and you know
you see, you see culture there you see food I mean we ate the Mongolian hot pot, you know in the
desert somewhere, very exciting, then you go on to Russia you, different style of food.

Mosimann: If I see happy people after a meal which I cooked, I was responsible, I am happy too,
that’s of course very important, and of course, yes, we have royalties, we have very well known
people, we also cook at Number Ten Downing Street quite a lot. I will say if they’re left or right,
they all like good food.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Anton Mosimann, Mosimanns Restaurant, [London]