Overall ranking: 92
Chefs ranking: 16
Claude Bosi is the chef-proprietor of Hibiscus in Ludlow, Shropshire, where his wife Claire runs the front of house. The 30-seat restaurant is one of just 10 in England to hold two Michelin stars. Hibiscus also has four AA rosettes and an 8/10 rating in Good Food Guide.
Bosi, who is 33 this year, was born into a family of restaurateurs in Lyon, France.
He has worked in some of France’s top two- and three-Michelin starred restaurants including La Pyramide Fernand Point in Lyon with Patrick Henriroux and Restaurant Chiberta in Paris with Philippe Dasilva.
But he was most influenced by his stints in two of Paris’s three-Michelin star establishements – L’Arpège under Alain Passard and the Restaurant Alain Ducasse.
In 1998, Bosi moved to the UK and took on his first head chef job at Overton Grange on the outskirts of Ludlow in Shropshire. He won a Michelin star within 10 months of taking over the kitchens.
In March 2000, Bosi and his wife Claire (who had worked for three years at Shaun Hill’s Merchant House restaurant in Ludlow) opened Hibiscus on the site of the former three AA-rosette Oaks restaurant in Ludlow
What we think
After his speedy success at Overton Grange, Bosi was hotly tipped for two Michelin stars before he had even opened Hibiscus and he did not disappoint. He won his first star within eight months in 1999 and his second in 2004. This year Hibiscus was voted the Restaurant of the Year in the revived Egon Ronay’s Top 200 Restaurants guide and awarded three stars.
Bosi is a chef that other chefs like to keep an eye on, with a direct and balanced style that is viewed as exciting and ground-breaking. He combines his classical French skills with modern trends in an evolutionary rather than revolutionary way and is able to make something special out of the most ordinary ingredients.
The AA restaurant guide waxes lyrical about his daring and imaginative combinations and successful marriagesof sweet and savoury – for example, his freshwater eel cooked in a truffle jus and served with crispy pork belly, fondant potatoes, white bean and pineapple puree and an emulsion of coconut milk.
Bosi takes a personal interest in every dish leaving the kitchen and will finish, season and taste everything to ensure the balance of taste and texture is correct.
While seeking a site for his own restaurant, Bosi originally set his sights on Warwickshire, where he saw a gap in the market for a fine-dining restaurant. But properties in the area proved too expensive so he jumped at the chance when he was offered a 25-year lease on Oaks restaurant in Ludlow for £40,000.
He figured that Ludlow (home to two other Michelin star restaurants in the form of Merchant House and Mr Underhills) could provide him with a steady business for the next five or six years. Nevertherless, he has continued to harbour the desire to eventually open a restaurant in Warwickshire.