Anton Mosimann OBE DL

Anton MosimannHow long have you been at the restaurant?
Last year, we celebrated 25 years of Mosimann’s; it is a wonderful landmark. I acquired the converted Scottish Presbyterian Church in 1988 and spent about six months making it my own.

Which was the first restaurant you worked in?
I started very young; my parents had a restaurant in Switzerland and I would often help them, cooking in the kitchen. I would pull up a chair so that I could reach the hotplates.

What was the last London restaurant you went to, apart from your own?
Every Sunday the whole family meet for Dimsum at a local Chinese restaurant; there are six adults and five grandchildren and I cannot wait for my youngest grandchild to be old enough to join us! My two sons are now very much responsible for the Mosimann’s business and this is an occasion when we eat together and no one discusses business; it is very much a family affair.

What or who has been the biggest influence on the way you cook and why?
It is impossible for me to give one name for the influence on my cuisine; when I was training I travelled extensively and frequently went back to learn more about an area of the kitchen that I had already excelled in. My answer would be that the time I spent in Japan influenced my style of cooking more than anywhere else. Their culture has a very healthy way of eating, with the freshest ingredients, locally sourced and prepared as honest food, full of natural taste.

What is your personal signature dish?
Two stand out as being always in demand: one dish that I have made my own is Bread & Butter Pudding; it is a twist on the traditional British dessert but much more decadent, the other is Risotto ai Funghi – consistently a best seller, even after all these years.

Which other chef(s) do you most admire?
I have worked with so many great chefs and each believed in my abilities and motivated me to the next stage of my career; it would be impossible to pinpoint anyone chef in particular.

What’s the best part of your job?
Putting on my Chef’s whites each day and also seeing our members enjoying the food so that they come back just to eat a particular dish that they want to remember those flavours again.

And the worst?
For me there is no ‘worst’; I just think that I am the luckiest person in having a job that I love so much; I look forward to every new day with the same enthusiasm.

What would your last meal be?
A whole grilled fish from the lake with black bean sauce and plenty or coriander, served with a nice bowl of salad – white asparagus, plum tomatoes and green salad leaves from the local farm, drizzled with the best olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Do you have a chef’s shortcut that you can share with us?
It is all in the mise-en-place, being prepared and doing as much as you can before service will ease much of the tension during service and that will enable you to be well-organised and in control of your dishes/recipes and cooking as much as possible ‘a la minute’ (to order), is very important, as that fresh taste is only obtained by being freshly cooked!