Archive for the 'Hibiscus' Category

Hibiscus, London

In Lyon, many years ago, a boy was born whose parents owned a bistro serving classic Lyonnais cuisine. Once older, his love of cooking led him initially to assume an apprenticeship at Jean-Paul Lacombe’s Léon de Lyon (2*) before making the big, bold move to chérie Paris where he undertook a grand tour of some of Paris’ best kitchens learning from France’s finest chefs. He completed stints at Savoy’s Le Chiberta (1*), Point’s La Pyramide (2*), the eponymous restaurant of Michel Rostang (2*), (beloved) l’Arpege (3*) under legendary Alain Passard and finally with Alain Ducasse (3*). By 1997, he craved change and decided to travel the world, but wanting to learn English first, he came to England for what he thought would be just six months. Here, a recruitment agency set him up as a sous-chef at Overton Grange Hotel in the food-famous market town of Ludlow, Shropshire.

Six months came and went, but Bosi remained; by 1999, he was head chef and had earned a Michelin star. During this time, he dined one night at the Merchant House, run by Shaun Hill, his wife and their assistant, Claire. Claude met Claire. They fell in love. In May 2000, Hibiscus was born. The pair formed a formidable duo: Bosi building a reputation as an original, talented chef and Claire commanding the front-of-house. Success followed success and after a single year, they were rewarded with a Michelin star; three years later, the men from Michelin returned to bestow a second.

Seven years on, that infamous itch set in and the husband-wife team decided to scratch it; they uprooted their beloved Hibiscus and transplanted it to Mayfair. With them, they brought many of their loyal Ludlow staff; five of ten FOH members followed and now share an apartment together in Hammersmith. Backed by some loyal customers/City financiers, they appropriated a modern office building on one of Mayfair’s quieter streets and hired Davies & Baron (who won the contract by being the only approached design firm who bothered to travel to the Ludlow restaurant) to transform it into a sleek £1m 45-seat restaurant, which fondly resembles the original.

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