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Claude Bosi's Christmas memories and recipes

The reknowned chef and father shares his seasonal secrets

Posted: 22 November 2012
by Fiona McKim

Claude Bosi is Chef-proprietor of Hibiscus and father of Paige, seven

What is your earliest food memory? My grandmother’s vegetable stew.

What foods did you like as a child? I didn’t like meat, only vegetables. My brother and I used to swap at the dinner table. He would eat my meat and I’d eat all his veg.

What are your best memories of Christmas as a child? My parents being at home. They ran a restaurant and it was about the only day of the year they were both at home. And my best present ever was my first Scalextric.

What was your typical Christmas dinner as a child? It was about four or five hours long and we had everything: fish, foie gras, snails, frog’s legs, roast capon and Bûche de Noël, a traditional Yule log. I loved it!

When was the first time you cooked a Christmas dinner? I was living in Ludlow, Shropshire, and was so excited. I got it all prepared, then went to the pub. The locals were friendlier than I had anticipated and by the time I got home the turkey and veg were like charcoal. It’s still one of the best.

Who is your greatest foodie inspiration? Alain Passard, chef-patron of the three Michelin-starred L’Arpèrge, in Paris.

What was the first thing you ever cooked? Probably eggs.

What’s your worst cooking disaster? I was 14 and trying to fry an egg. I got distracted and the oil over-heated. I almost burned the house down and my mother banned me from her kitchen forever.

What would be your perfect family Christmas dinner? A very long one – with friends, family and great food and wine.

What’s your food guilty pleasure? Mars bars.

What would your perfect Christmas present? No washing up!

What inspired you to support Action Against Hunger? After leaving home, I lived in Paris. I was isolated, had no money and got into debt. I will always remember that feeling of vulnerability. Of course, in comparison to those Action Against Hunger help, I was fortunate. I can only imagine their desperation and if the little I do helps just one person, I’m honoured to be involved.

What will be your New Year’s resolution? I never make them. I always have so much on I’d rather not set myself a to-do list.

What is your favourite seasonal recipe? I don’t have any favourites. I just love putting a dish together with the new season’s fresh ingredients, it’s just heaven. 

Get Claude Bosi's recipe for Mince pie ice cream

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