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Talking food & coffee with double Michelin starred chef Claude Bosi

Claude Bosi

Double Michelin starred chef Claude Bosi has ambitiously decided to close down his Hibiscus restaurant in Mayfair after sixteen successful years.

However, Claude has kept busy. As well as working towards a new restaurant launch in Bibendum this spring, he has continued to work alongside leading coffee brand Nespresso.

Natasha Heard, food and drink editor at Luxury Lifestyle Magazine, talks to Claude about his plans for Bibendum, the rise of coffee and food pairing, his influences and his love for London.

1. In October this year you closed your two-Michelin starred restaurant, Hibiscus. What was your motivation behind this big leap?
A new challenge. The opportunity came up, it was a good offer, and it came at the right time for me. As a Chef you are always striving to evolve, and this was a perfect chance for me to make that move on to the next stage in my career.

2. This coming spring you’re opening your new restaurant. Is this next venture about reinvention or refinement? And are you aiming for that third Michelin star?
The next step will be a continuation of what I was doing at Hibiscus, but refining it. I am using my time before the opening to research as much as possible. Travel is so important to me, for the simple reason it brings new ideas, experiences and ultimately learning from many different influences across the globe. You never stop learning, and it is always important to listen and take advice from others. We always strive to be the best in what we do.  And ‘yes’ aiming for the third star.

3. What inspires you when it comes to creating a new restaurant menu?
Seasonality. My time with Alain Passard really put a firm stamp on how I source my ingredients and how important it is to respect the seasons.

4. What trends are you noticing that are being introduced into the fine dining experience?
Focus has come back around to the front-of-house aspect of the customer’s experience. Traditionally this is where the ‘hospitality’ was from start to finish. Over time this had been minimalised, and more centred around the at-the-table dining experience (on the plate).

Now, the theatre of the restaurant staff being a key part of the guest’s dining experience by way of gueridon work and the physical presence of the service have been brought (rightly so) back to the forefront.

5. How important is pairing the right coffee with your food?
It is as important as wine. It keeps the continuity of a great meal. I enjoy working with coffee; it is a great ingredient that works with a wide range of foods.

6. What advice would you give to chefs using coffee as a food pairing or as an ingredient?
Don’t be scared of playing with the temperature. Make sure you do many tastings to really understand the flavour and make sure the ingredient has a purpose in your meal.

7. What is your favourite dish to cook?
Fish has always been a firm favourite of mine to cook.

8. What is it about London that is making you want to stay and reopen?
The buzz of the city is like nowhere else. As far as I am concerned, it is the ‘place to be’ for food at the moment. Its diversity means so much is available – and that in turn keeps the pressure on to always improve and refine what you do and how you do it.