Masterchef S04 ep7 : Claude Bosi, Hibiscus Restaurant, [London]

Interview with Claude Bosi

The Lyon-born chef Claude Bosi has cooked in some of the best French kitchens in the world, including those of Alain Ducasse and Alain Passard, but he's been making a mark on his own in England for over a decade. At his London restaurant Hibiscus, which first opened in Ludlow twelve years ago, Bosi continues to make French food, but in a way that reflects his city and his travels. He's earned two Michelin stars there and a reputation as one of the best chefs in Europe.


Hibiscus is my life and it took every minute of my life for the last 12 years and it has been a
fantastic travel.01:09

I just finished in Paris, I wanted to travel. I was working for Alain Ducasse, I worked at Point
Carret ,I worked with Jocelyn who is the chef at Ducasse London and we worked together. Ok I
was in Paris, border of Paris, wanted to travel a bit. I say I'm going to come to England for six
months and I think that's the story of one thousand French people who are in London. Only
come here for a bit and end up staying there for a while. 01:49

My idea was to come here for six months, learn as much as I can, then go travelling a bit. But I
find this job in Ludlow, a town of eight thousand people. It was a hotel, it was doing good food
and that's where I started, it was fun. I mean there were two chefs there, there were two of us in
the kitchen, Lucky was I like this position of sous chef with two people, but it was fun. Three
months I was there, the owner asked me if I wanted to take the job of head chef. 02:32

When I start it was very English here. Bread and butter pudding and people asking for a glass of
orange juice for a starter,you know the old tradition. But it was quite fun to see it and after I've
done in that hotel and I've done two years in this hotel and after two years I decided to open my
own restaurant and I bought Hibiscus. 03:10

I love the flower. You can cook with it, it's a beautiful flower.The flower can open in a day, it
dies the next day and start again.03:44

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

My parents used to have restaurant in Lyon where I'm from. They ask me if I was, I finish
school and I did not know what to do and I said I'm going to be a chef and my dad have good
connection in France and say ok I'll get you a job and he find a job in a bastry, I start at a bastry
in Paige inside of Leo while I was waiting a hundred and twenty guests. I was even not an
apprentice , you know, I start doing the washing up, start doing bit by bit, how to turn a
vegetable, do this thing, but it was quite an interesting part and that's, I've done a year there and
after a year there, the chef from there put me somewhere else.04:41

I was working at Lapis at the time. I was there in 94,yea, with Pastel Babul, we were working
together at the time. I wanted to work for him because the way he was cooking the meat.
Everybody said to me, if you want to learn how to cook a piece of fish or piece of meat, that's
the place to go.As his way was thinking about the produce before he cook it and the respect
towards it. Cook big piece of meat, big piece of fish. My dream was to have a restaurant one
day where you cook big piece of meat on a fire and look I say, I want to learn how to cook
big.And that's why Gonzaga and that guy teach me everything I know. I mean I've done a lot of
good places through my travel.Ducats was fantastic.05:41

Passer is what we call undercooking. You got produce, pan, you put it. Ducats is really worth
thinking about it, is taught you about you had it day and night.It was Ducatsalone, the quality of
the produce was best but is not object. I don't know how to work in big brigade, discipline and
Lapis was the same quality to the produce too is best but we didn't have to have trouble on the
menu or forgot to do something good. We could have a nice piece of, is the first time I worked
at a two star at the time and you could see a big piece of cut on the menu. 06:34

It took me a while to find good produce. I go straight to France that's it, that's where the
produces come from and after that I use to start finding some local supplier, local produce. Now
I've been in England for fifteen years, we don't, the way our money is done; we don't chose the
produce, my supplier gives it to me. I ask them what is in season and they give it to us. After we
do the menu. 07:25

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

The menu change quite often because it's not a set up menu, I only have the produce. After we
do what we want to do with, it could be partridge today, egg whites tomorrow. It could be like
this and after this we could just see what's on the market and do what we can do with it. I mean
partly you got too many more choice, because you got a bit of you know, people love vegetable,
now you get this one but you don't have enough here.08:05

For business, I didn't come with any expectation. I just wanted to have a busier restaurant,
where it has been definitely morebusier than I was in Ludlow and just open the door and just
start cooking. 08:44

I never would regret roasted scallop with pork spices. Pork pie was a great tradition in English,
with a great pattern cooking in French.It was always the meaty part of the scallop with the
richness of the pork pie; grease it with a bit of English mustard and some hazelnut.It is quite an
interesting dish. We have a recent tart pudding that is one of our classic. Every second we've
got a vegetable on a pudding and we start to aspire the business of, springs of business, summer
is set, set mushroom now. It come in a little case, individual, with set custard in the bottom and
finish with milk jam.09:42

It's French foundation, but I love travelling.I mean I just come back from China last weekend
and did get so many different ideas and so many different flavor, but that's my fusion, you
know, I love, I would say it's very French. 10:14

You know I don't understand what medical gastronomy is. I know it has been used. A journalist
keeps asking me that last week. I think it's got a name which is very hard to explain. I just cook
meat and free veg, the way I see it you know. Just that and label we're done.I think that's what
people want; they want to be able to recognize what they're eating. Even if the mix of flavor are
a bit different.The two flavor must, know what flavor work together or match each one, use
individual flavor but you have to use them together to get your own dish.11:03

Jewellery Theatre Elements

You have to look outside. You have to see what's going on. If not you stand still and we don't
say I will go to Sweden or Copenhagen and see a dish there and put it on my menu. But you
have to look what's going outside.Would be stupid to say, I don't know, I'm doing my own
thing. What I think is the best because after a time the time just moves and you stand still. 11:43

I think people who come to a restaurant like this, expects something different. They expect
something they can't do at home or they will think it will work, but give them the surprise
effect. Result is the key or pushing the boundary too and the end they're paying a lot of money,
but you still want them to enjoy themselves.12:28

For one truffle always on the menu when they are in season, but I only use truffle when they are
here, I don't use tea nor truffle, nor free lettuce, I think is it's a sacrament to start doing free
lettuce. 12:59

Jewellery Theatre Fairytales

In London the people would come to you because they heard of you and have no idea what they
want. Or the restaurant they just can't see something to eat. Or they will come and say can I
have a free eggs on a bit of fresh ambience, of course you can. That's no for them.You know,
that's tough customer you can get, but most of them come for the food. 13:38

Well I don't miss Paris. I like being there most of the time but I don't miss France, not at all.No,
not, I would see my friends, two three times a year. I go skiing in France, but that's it. I'm not
really.I'm happy here. If I start missing my country I will go back there but I'm not, I'm really
glad to be here. 14:13

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Claude Bosi, Hibiscus Restaurant, [London]