One of the most iconic restaurants in London, Sketch, owned by acclaimed Algerian restaurateur Mourad Mazouz and overseen by French chef Pierre Gagnaire just received three Michelin stars – making Mazouz the first African to receive this huge accolade.
While one Michelin star signifies a “very good restaurant,” two means it has “excellent cooking that’s worth a detour,” but three stars – the highest rating – mean that the restaurant offers “exceptional cuisine that is worth a journey.”
The toilets at Sketch Restaurant. Courtesy of Sketch.
Mazouz opened the restaurant in 2002, to an incredulous and reluctant public. It’s nestled in Mayfair, London, in a grand two-floor converted 18th century building – and it’s built not as a restaurant, but as a centre and “destination place,” that offers food, art and music in a variety of rooms. Each room is an entirely different experience - almost a standalone restaurant in and of itself.
The Lecture Room & Library, which received the 3 Michelin stars.
One of its most famous rooms boasts 91 original works by acclaimed artist David Shrigley on its walls, while its restrooms have pod-shaped toilets that look like something out of a sci-fi film.
The Lecture Room & Library, run by current head chef Johannes Nuding, was the winner of the 3 Michelin stars. While the restaurant serves European food, its design boasts an eclectic combination of influences – one of which is decidedly Middle Eastern.
On their website, the restaurant’s info reads, “a fusion of senses, tastes, colours & shapes” – a reflection of its mixed origins and its continued blend of concepts.
The restaurant joins only four other London establishments in its 3-star approval – one of which is Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, owned by the famed British chef.
Sketch is not the first of Mazouz’s restaurants, though – his career in the U.K. kickstarted in 1996 with the opening of Momo – named after his moniker – in Heddon Street, London, which offers Middle Eastern cuisine.
He also owns two restaurants in Paris, Au Bascou and 404, and one in Dubai, Almaz, which he opened in 2006.
Almaz by Momo restaurant in Dubai. Photo courtesy of Almaz.
“It’s a long journey from a small village in Algeria,” he said proudly during a ceremony in London where the award was announced, according to The Caterer.