Chef name: Bastien Mouzay
How long have you been in your current post?
I have just launched The Sussex Arms Kitchen on 6th November, 2014…Before that I enjoyed being the food fighter head chef at The Ragged Trousers (the Sussex’s sister pub) since it opened 8 years ago…
How many years have you been in the business?
I started my apprenticeship when I was just 16, as a waiter in Moulin de Poincy; A place too fancy for my taste! So I finished my qualifications at L’Auberge du Marronier, in Seine et Marne. I entered a competition and did well, but realized that it was better to keep myself hidden from customers in the kitchen, where I could truly excel and be myself. By 18 I was given my first head chef job, I’m now 37, you do the maths…
What is your signature dish?
I like to let my customers argue about this amongst themselves!
Some say it is my Ragged cassoulet, others my famous healthy and tasty beef burger. A family came all the way from Belgium to eat my moules frites! Personally, I think it would have to be my Couscous Royal, but so far I only made it for friends and family. Watch this space…
Who is your Food hero/ biggest influence in terms of the food that you produce?
My former mentors Jacque Piard and Fabrice Bruneur, they have taught me everything I know… And my Mum. Her terrible cooking inspired me to do better and I wanted to save the family!
Do you have a favourite restaurant (other than the one you work in), if so why?
Not actually a restaurant, but every time I go back to France, I always enjoy a proper kebab with my best friend… Tasty food with family and friends always works for me; Nothing can beat home cooking!
Best & worst parts of the job?
The best part of the job is empty plates and full bellies! The worst part is ketchup and brown sauce… My name is not MacBastien!
What job would you have done if you hadn’t been a chef?
I am not a chef, I am just a cook. But if this hadn’t worked out, I would have wanted to play football for France.
Earliest food memory?
The very first dinner with my step dad Alain! Maman worked so hard to prepare a wonderful meal, she just did not realize that cheese must been taken out of the plastic before it is melted onto the main course!
My two daughters Lilly & Lola – They manage to get anything they like out of me!
Since only 5 and 6 years old they have demanded smoked salmon and eggs Benedict for breakfast!
Nickname at school?
Ideal dinner party guests?
French World War 2 hero Phillip Kieffer, Bob Marley, Ice Cube, Zinedine Zidane and my fellow kebab eating best friend Sory M’Bodge.
One essential quality every chef should have?
Two essential qualities – Love and care. They are my favorite ingredients.