Renowned chef Anton Mosimann talks about his life. Words by Jonathan Whiley.
One of my earliest food memories is going to the market every Saturday with my father. He taught me how to select fruits, how to smell, how to touch.
I knew I wanted to become a chef at five years old.
In Switzerland, you went to school from 8 am until 12. Then you had a lunch break so you would go home to eat and then go back again at 2 o’clock.
When I came home I remember the smell of the food. My father and mother were both in the kitchen. We had a restaurant with bistro style food.
I was an only child and we had no living room. So all my homework was done in the restaurant.
I was very young when I started at The Dorchester (as executive chef, aged 28) but I was ready.
I had worked all over the world and had a rucksack full of experience.
There were 132 chefs in one kitchen and most of them were older than I was.
I had to earn their respect.
“I went round every morning and shook hands with every member of staff. It took me about 45 minutes.”
Slowly but surely I earned their trust.
Having worked in Japan where the cuisine is light and fresh, I took that approach to The Dorchester and won two Michelin stars.
The Queen Mother would often come for lunch and go back to Clarence House and ask her chef to write to me for the recipes.
We had a lot of famous faces. Muhammad Ali left me star struck.
I saw his matches on television when I was very young and then he came to The Dorchester one day.
He ate his steak and was very happy and he shook hands with all the chefs.
I was 13 years at The Dorchester and I was very happy. When I left I was close to 40 and I was wondering what to do for the next 25, 30 years.
Then a guest of the hotel invited me here for dinner and the atmosphere, the building itself, I fell in love with it.
Six months later we signed the deal.
My two sons now work in the business – Philipp runs the outside catering and Mark runs the club.
I’ve always loved Belgravia; it’s like a village and I love the people.