The gal loves her comfort food, and when it is gourmet too, that is all the better. There was time for dinner in London at the luxury Mosimann’s Club, with the joint managing directors, brothers Mark and Philipp Mosimann.
It was really lucky timing as they were just about to fly to Nepal for yet another mammoth run, RacingThePlanet. This involves a six-day three-dimensional competitive run, a total 250 kilometes in all, carrying your supplies. Yes, they say, they are taking dried funghi to add to their Meals Ready To Eat. Yucks. Mark’s wife, whom he met on a similar run in Vietnam, is going too, leaving their seven month old daughter with paternal grandmother Kathrin Mosimann in London.
The Mosimanns are an extraordinary family. Daddy Anton was highly-respected Executive Chef of The Dorchester. He left one of Europe’s pre-eminent luxury hotels to do his own thing. He opened over-the-top gothick Belfry in Belgravia’s West Halkin Street into Mosimann’s London, a private members’ club, with sponsored private dining rooms.
It has grown to include outside catering, and an Academy with cooking lessons for individual consumers and business groups learning team-building. Anton has acquired an OBE and Prince Charles’ Royal Warrant. In 2007, his two sons, who had variously been working in hotels and freestanding restaurants throughout Asia, joined Mosimann’s London. There is always one of the three – Anton Mark or Philipp – personally supervising the Club. This weekend, Anton and Kathrin are returning from feeding the homeless in the Swiss captal, Bern – they worked with the (Leading Hotel) Bellevue Palace – so that the boys can go off for their little run.
So – dinner, and what a delight. Upstairs in the mezzanine bar, it was glasses of Mosimann’s Champagne with canapés that included one-bite sandwiches of Mosimann’s smoked salmon and blini. Then we moved down to the main dining room, where each table has a big silver centre-piece, a Patrick Mavros sterling silver bird intricately fashioned, as a I saw a couple of months ago, at the Mavros compound in Harare, Zimbabwe.
So – what is the gal’s ideal comfort food? These are all perennial best-sellers on the Mosimann menu (short, and easy to read, and vegetarian included). I started with an Autumn (Fall) salad, went to a half-portion of risotto with wild mushrooms, before my main course. Wow, no wonder many say this is the world’s best beef tartare. I was asked how spicey I wanted it, not very, and it came, on a big glass plate, with sides of bibb salad and shoestring fries.
The 2007 Riflisse d’Epoca, a Merlot from Ticino, southern Switzerland, was, well, divine… After that, of course, there was only one finale, Mosimann’s world-wide-famous bread-and-butter pudding. Oh wow. There was not room for even one of the home-made pralines offered from a metre-long box.
The Mosimann entourage cooks for the best, including HRH the Prince of Wales, also known as Prince Charles. Their outside catering has accommodated dinner for two, at a couple of hours’ notice, through to long-planned galas for 5,000. During the London Olympics, July to August 2012, they will be cooking for the Swiss House, for the USA team and its followers, and for many of the sponsors, who include BMW, British Airways, EDF and Visa.
They are not new to the Olympics. Anton cooked at Tokyo’s World Expo and the entire family has cooked at Beijing in 2008 and at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010 – and yes, they are already talking about Sochi in 2016. They can do anything, even luxury meals-ready-to-eat. I will stick with luxury comfort food, Mosimann style.