An Introduction by Chef David Nicholls
I started cooking with Anton Mosimann some 26 years ago, after leaving Buckingham palace and joining the Dorchester Hotel, where he had just been appointed to replace the great Eugene Kaufler as chef de cuisine and all at the tender age of 28!
He was the most amiable of chefs that you could wish to meet. He had a great style and understanding of food and set out to transform the Dorchester to a hotel unequaled in the world. He appointed a young team of Sous chefs and chefs and gave them all direction and scope to work and prove themselves under his command.The result was a 1st Michelin star and a few years later a 2nd. Two years after leaving the Dorchester I opened a restaurant and won my first Michelin star in 9 months, the reasons for this disclosure is that nine of the other chefs that were at the Dorchester at the same time all won our Michelin stars within 2 years, this is a testimony to Anton, his leadership and style.
After leaving the Dorchester he has always kept all his ex-chefs close to him and continually arranges get together and has first hand knowledge of all their developments. He is a great mentor and someone always on hand to help, council and advise.
I believe that Anton was one of a few chefs across Europe that raised the profile and standing of chefs in the media and public eye and I am sure that a lot of today's "stars" are there because of the great work of a really great chef and true gentleman.
When I entered the culinary world in 1986, Anton Mosimann was King of the Kitchens. To join his kitchen would first mean joining the one year waiting list and when a job became available it was probable that it would be at a lower position than you were currently holding. In the eighties Mosimann was "The Boss", he was the leader of the London culinary scene and lead the way in man management. Like his food he developed his own style of leading people. Once you had worked for him success would follow. At this time you would have said that he was at the peak of his career, little did we know that to Mosimann it was a plateau and bigger success was to follow. Here lies a lesson to all aspiring chefs that the road does not come to an end when we gain that desired position of Executive Chef, that is if we choose to learn the lesson's of Mosimann.......
Swiss-born Anton Mosimann is world renowned for his culinary career, having worked throughout Europe, Canada, the Far East and Japan. Appointed Maitre Chef des Cuisines of The Dorchester at the age of 28, he was the youngest ever to hold such a prestigious position. During his thirteen year tenure at London's leading hotel, he achieved 2 stars in the Guide Michelin, the first occasion that such an accolade had been awarded to a hotel restaurant outside France.
In 1985, Anton created a new healthy style of cooking called Cuisine Naturelle, which avoids the use of fats and alcohol. This type of cuisine has become increasingly popular, along with the focus on health and fitness. Loyd Grossman, social commentator, has said that the history of food in Britain divides neatly into two periods - before Mosimann and after Mosimann. In 1988, Mosimann opened, his private dining club in London's Belgravia, membership of which is coveted.
Television and Radio: Anton Mosimann has been the subject of two television series. "Cooking with Mosimann" attracted an audience in excess of 2 million, and was repeated. "Anton Mosimann - Naturally" was broadcast nationwide in the autumn of 1991 for an eight week series, achieving a total viewing figure of 14.9 million. He has made numerous television appearances and radio broadcasts worldwide, including BBC2's Food and Drink Special, "Anton Goes to Sheffield", which won the Glenfiddich Award 1986. His latest series, "Mosimann's Culinary Switzerland", is shown prime time on Swiss television.
From the foundations of the Mosimann's club a church built in 1830 and now Mosimann's world famous dining club, The Belfry sprung many new Mosimann industries. In 1989, Anton Mosimann brought together a team of professionals to form Mosimann's Party Service. Mosimann's Party Service provides total party management. Many of the clients return because of the continuous new styles and venues. Mosimann's Academy - a center of culinary excellence for amateurs & professionals. Mosimann's Creative Chefs - a unique executive recruitment consultancy for world leading Food & Beverage personnel. Mosimann's Merchandise includes Champagne, Wine, Biscuits, Spices and a range of Sauces, Mayonnaises, Mustards and Dressings, which are available from Waitrose (U.K) and other selected retail stores. 2001 will see the birth of Chateau Mosimann, a Swiss castle that has been converted into a hotel and private dining club similar to Mosimann's in London.
We shall have to wait and see what else Mosimann will bring us over the next few years, and if we learn the lesson's of Mosimann who knows what we might bring him.
Who was your mentor?
Difficult to single out one person. I have been lucky enough to appreciate and learn about good food from a number of people.
Who will you leave your eulogy to?
My sons and in my museum.
At the height of nouvelle cuisine where did you find your inspiration?
I was lucky enough to work in Japan for one year which inspired me and then I came back to the UK was one one of the first here to practice nouvelle cuisine in a serious way.
In retrospect do you smile at nouvelle cuisine or do you feel that it has influenced today's food?
It has certainly influenced today's food.
Did you have to be a hard taskmaster to get the results you wanted and the success that came with it, or did you motivate your team in other ways?
I motivate with dedication and enthusiasm.
Tell us about Mosimann Industries, your various operations and spin offs?
We have Mosimann's Party Service in order to take the Mosimann style anywhere, in a private home, on a mountain, in a marquee. The Mosimann Academy for those within the industry and the general public to attend courses and demonstrations. Mosimann merchandising an ever expanding range of products - biscuits, sauces, Christmas puddings, china, champagne, chocolates....
When you were a commis would you ever have imagined that you would build such an empire?
I have been lucky, always a dreamer and very lucky that some dreams come true.
How do you beat stress?
I am very well organized and do not like mess. I go to the gym everyday, even if just for twenty minutes and always have five minutes shut eye to relax.
I know you love cars. Do you collect them and if so would you tell us about your collection?
I love to drive, my collection is very small. I am very proud of my e-type Jaguar and my Vauxhall 1936.
In the mid eighties when I first got into the business you were first recognized as being progressive. You would shake hands with your chefs each morning and know their names. Do you think that the industry has progressed any further?
Some things have and some have not.
Finding entry level chefs seems to be a global problem. In a city like London where the cost of living is very high and entry level salaries are somewhat modest the problem is compounded. What do you think the culinary community can do to improve this?
Improve the image and improve conditions. Give better motivation and incentive to travel within the industry.
What is next for you?
Early 2001 we will be opening Chateau Mosimann in Switzerland - a wonderful castle perched high on a hill with 360 degree views. It will be a private dining club similar to Mosimann's London.
I am always creating and innovating, so there is more to come... wait and see.