Claude Bosi of Hibiscus on why lunch is the most important meal of the day - Spear's Magazine

Claude Bosi of Hibiscus on why lunch is the most important meal of the day

We all know that the more miserable we are the less productive we become and I believe that we are not only ‘what we eat’ but ‘when we eat’

An article in the Telegraph that was published last spring declared that eating lunch at your desk, or rather not leaving your desk at lunchtime, makes workers less happy.

We all know that the more miserable we are the less productive we become and I believe that we are not only ‘what we eat’ but ‘when we eat’. My brigade at Hibiscus have a slap up lunch at around 11.30am each day to prepare them for a busy lunch service. With food and fire in their belly I get 100 per cent performance from each and every one of them.

The busy Maddox Street, on which Hibiscus sits, is typically swarming with office workers between 12 and 1.45pm. With such a short time for lunch, it seems that many of them spend at least half of that time queuing for a salad, a panino, a bento box or some other, ready to run back to their desk and hurriedly eat it before time runs out.

So, as a restaurateur, I have taken steps to adapt what I offer at lunch to accommodate the changing face of London’s office dwellers and their lunch time habits. Although, still popular and extremely enjoyable, the luxury for some of a two and a half hour lunch meeting has sadly passed by the wayside. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that an overpriced salad at your desk or a ramen slurped while answering the phone is the only option out there. Especially when you have patiently waited 25 minutes to get served in the first place.

At Hibiscus, and similarly at most of the higher profile restaurants in London, lunches have become a faster, less expensive experience. Alongside our usual menus, we now offer a daily ‘Plat du jour’ for £19.50. The inspiration for this came to me from my memories of my parents’ busy brasserie in Lyon and my mothers’ trips to the market each day to source her ingredients for that days menu. In under an hour, my mother would feed 50 or so busy Lyonnaise workers and have them back at their desks, satiated and productive.

Orson Welles famously quoted ‘Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what's for lunch.' At Hibiscus, it’s a decent lunch for under twenty pounds, in a calm and relaxing environment. And back to your desk in under an hour.

Claude Bosi is chef/patron at Hibiscus Restaurant, Mayfair

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