As the head of a two Michelin-starred restaurant, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Claude Bosi’s food is incredibly complex, with hundreds of ingredients and impossibly difficult techniques. This is still true to an extent, but in the past five years Claude has refined his style and now focuses on just three or four elements on a plate, served simply. By using the very best produce and packing as much flavour into the dish as possible, he continues to wow his diners and hold two stars at Hibiscus.
But how does Claude come up with such brilliantly simple flavour combinations? Dishes need tweaking in the kitchen before they’re ready to be put on the menu, but it’s the original concept for a recipe that he enjoys thinking about more than anything else. ‘When I’m coming up with a new dish, I usually have one ingredient in my mind and try to spread it out to see what I can do with it,’ says Claude. ‘It’s actually really easy – you just have to know what’s in season to match the ingredients, then know your classics very well so you can balance the dish and incorporate different techniques. You just have to be honest with yourself and know what you can and can’t do. Sometimes I can even taste a dish in my head.’
However, it doesn’t always go to plan. ‘Sometimes things don’t work – it took me three years to fine tune a dish of sea urchin and mint, for example,’ says Claude. ‘We were using the wrong varieties of mint, not balancing it correctly and all sorts of other things, but it’s ready now and when it comes back into season I’ll be putting it on the menu. But there are other dishes which work instantly, like our prawns with curried buerre blanc and Oscietra caviar. That took five minutes to create!’