How Mourad Mazouz Started his Restaurant, Sketch

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In 2001, just after signing the lease for 9 Conduit Street, London a Grade II listed building Mourad Mazouz went to Paris. Not yet knowing what he would do inside he went on a mission to find a chef to collaborate with. Mazouz was already a reputable and successful restaurateur with his celebrated restaurants Au Bascou and 404 in Paris as well as Momo in London. The listed townhouse was designed as the private residence of James Viner by James Wyatt in 1779. After that it filled many roles over the years including being converted into the headquarters of Royal Society of British Architects (RIBA) from 1887-1909. In 1954 it became Christian Dior’s first boutique where Dior stored his collections in London.

In Paris Mazouz set up a meeting with Pierre Gagnaire, “My plan was to ask if he had someone in mind in his kitchen for this venture, but he said, ‘Why not me?’ I freaked out, I had not planned to work with a master. But I said, ‘That's great!’”

It reminded Gagnaire of Saint-Étienne where his restaurant had gone bankrupt during the recession of the early 1990s. Mazouz later elaborated “His restaurant was doing molecular food before anyone else, so for me the story of Sketch, and our friendship, started with his old restaurant. He's told me a few times since, that for him, Sketch is like a revenge: while it couldn't work in Saint-Étienne, it could in London.”

Spanning two floors of this building, Sketch contains a tearoom, two bars and three restaurants as well as

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