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Claude Bosi

Claude Bosi

It took Claude another two years until he was completely satisfied with his cooking style. ‘It’s only in the past five years I’ve really become happy with what I’m doing and know exactly what I want to do,’ he says. ‘I’ve had Hibiscus for fifteen years; for the first eleven I was cooking good food but I can’t say it truly represented my style. It’s only now that I have it the way I wanted it to be.

‘My style these days is very similar to what it’s always been like, but before there was a lot of complicated things on the plate which I’ve now taken off,’ he continues. ‘I went to Japan in 2008 and it was only there that I truly understood how important produce is. You always think you know, but in Japan it really hits you in the face. Ever since then I have had a new approach to cooking; get the finest produce and cook it as best you can.’

In 2012, Claude changed the look and feel of Hibiscus (‘it used to be a bit stuffy and traditional, and I wanted somewhere for people to relax and where the service is friendly’) to better reflect his approach to food, and built a development kitchen in the basement (‘so we no longer have to treat the diners as guinea pigs for some of our dishes’). The menu was also given a revamp. ‘We began focusing on two or three ingredients and made sure they were the best quality and absolutely bursting with flavour,’ he says. ‘It might have looked simple – someone might see a piece of fish and some puree and wonder why it is worthy of two stars, but to hell with them; it’s what we do. If it’s the best fish you can get and you make sure the flavours go together, then it will be perfect. I want people to see the simplicity in my cooking.’

In October 2016, Claude closed Hibiscus and moved onto Bibendum, a beautiful airy restaurant housed in the old Michelin headquarters in central London. Almost exactly a year later he was awarded two Michelin stars, a rare feat for any chef. It's here that Claude seems to have finally found his home, serving the food he always wanted to cook that's full of classical influences but still showcases his inimitable style. The dining room is flooded with natural light, making it one of the most beautiful places to enjoy a top-quality meal in the capital.

Many of Claude’s contemporaries believe he deserves a third Michelin star, and it can’t be too far from his mind when the results are released every year. But Claude says he is focused on other things. ‘I’m hoping for all sorts, but keeping busy is my main goal,’ he explains. ‘There’s lots of competition in London and it’s a tough market – places are closing every day.’

In 2018, Claude partnered with Rémy Martin to open La Maison Rémy Martin, a stunning Cognac cocktail and food pairing bar on the ground floor. Designed by Sir Terence Conran, it is one of the best places in London to enjoy cocktails and bar food, expertly created by Claude to pair with each drink. As part of a long collaboration with Rémy Martin, Claude has also become an ambassador for Rémy Martin XO.

Three things you should know

Keeping it in the family, Claude also runs a hotel in Ludlow with his brother Cedric called The Townhouse.

When on holiday, Claude will usually use the spare time to do a stage in a different restaurant around the world, to develop his style and discover new techniques.

Claude is an avid game hunter, and spends much of his free time during the game season in the British countryside on shoots.