Two Michelin-starred French chef Claude Bosi has said he was left wondering if it’s “time to move on” after being denied permanent residency in the UK after 23 years in the country.
The chef-patron of Bibendum in Chelsea, who confirmed he would appeal the decision, shared a picture of a letter from the UK Home Office informing him that his application had been refused.
He told The Caterer: “Have not contributed enough in the 23 years I’ve been here? Am I not good enough to stay?
“Things like this make me think maybe it’s time to move on, if I’m not wanted here maybe it’s time to go.
“I’ll be honest, I’m pissed off and if I wasn’t at this stage with Bibendum, if I’d just sold a business and was looking to my next challenge maybe I would have said I’m changing country, but now I’ve put too much in. Two years ago, I could have.”
Bosi, who won the Chef Award at the 2018 Cateys, said he will appeal the decision but expressed concern that others would not.
He added: “I’ve got 85% foreign staff, a lot of restaurants have a minimum of 50% and if I was in one of my chefs positions, I’d give in my notice and go. Then you're going to find your business having to close because you don’t have any staff.
“I understand Brexit, why people want it, but please if you go for this do it properly.”
Born in Lyon, Bosi developed a passion for cooking at his parents' bistro before learning his craft under two legendary chefs in Paris: Alain Ducasse and his mentor Alain Passard.
Aged 25, Bosi moved to the UK and settled in Ludlow, Shropshire, where he worked as sous chef and then head chef at Overton Grange, earning a Michelin star almost instantly.
He then opened Hibiscus in Ludlow, which subsequently gained two Michelin stars. In 2007 he transferred the restaurant to Mayfair before selling up in 2016.
He opened Bibendum in Michelin House with business partner Sir Terrence Conran in April 2017, receiving two Michelin stars within months.
The Home Office has said Bosi did not "provide sufficient evidence to show he met the criteria" for permanent residence, adding that it had directed the chef to apply for the alternative settled status.
A spokesperson said: “We have spoken to him to help him to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, which has already guaranteed the rights of over 2.5 million people.
“It’s free, there is plenty of support available online, on the phone or in person and EU citizens and their families have until 30 June 2021 to apply.”
Earlier this year Fred Sirieix, front of house figurehead and former general manager of Galvin at Windows in the London Hilton Park Lane; Richard Bertinet, of the Bertinet Kitchen Cookery School in Bath and Damian Wawrzyniak, chef-proprietor of House of Feast restaurant in Peterborough were all initially denied settled status.
Wawrzyniak went on to launch a Facebook page to support those who, like him, were initially denied the status receiving hundreds of requests for support in just a matter of a days](https://www.thecaterer.com/news/damian-wawrzyniak-settled-status-granted).
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