Ain’t it always the way? The more successful a person is, the easier they are to talk to, be with, listen to and appreciate. And so it was with Anton Mossiman. For the last five years we have always had our Christmas lunches in his restaurant. His bread and butter pudding is legendary – I always have at least five portions. I snap them up while the suits are discussing budgets.
I have found out from my notes that his place is a club – an eating club. If you have £500 and come with a recommendation, you can eat there and be wined and dined in style.
And Mr. Mossiman certainly has that. He has style and discipline:
- He runs every morning for thirty minutes.
- He has a bow tie for every day of the year.
Today he wore a shiny multicoloured affair that matched his shiny mono-coloured head. He has just celebrated his 60th birthday – 300 guests including heads of state ate with (and for) him. When I’m 60, which will be in 18 months time, I’ll be lucky to have 30 people visit me, of which not one will be a head of state.
Mr. Mossiman is very, very, clean with a relaxed manner, though don’t be fooled – he’s in there at the coal face and ready for anything. He leads my example. Pristine, Swiss, gentle and firm.
He cured a salmon – no it wasn’t ill – by marinading it over night in a simple combination of luscious lemons and botanicals. Then he sprinkled crabmeat, green herbs, and a few more essential elements on it before Lesley Waters, Wayne Collins and I attacked it. It was lovely.
Any food left over goes to the crew. The joke is that they all have forks in their back pockets. The food is always second to none on the show and if I haven’t scoffed it, they do. Smoked salmon is Sooooooooooooooo me that there were only a few slivers left for anybody.
We have four cameras, but a rolling gang of operators: Cutesy, Dan the Man, Biggy Small, Gaylord Hauser, Sherry Sherry, Biggin Hill, Pat, Nick, and of course Saff who has just moved to Tunbridge Wells. We used to have five cameras, one hand held that we called RON so that we could get Ron to run. But over the five years we have been bled dry.