Restaurateur Mourad Mazouz…from borrowed money to great success

“Never think about money…never think about success… just do”… Restaurateur to the stars…Algerian born Mourad Mazouz

Speaking on the African Voices on CNN last year, Mourad Marouz took a flashback at the days when he struggled to become a restaurateur. How just armed with determination and the desire for hard work he struggled to pursue his dream. He said he didn’t have any money, but was determined to bring his dream to fruition. Without any money in hand, he borrowed money from friends which he used to start his business.

Mourad Mazouz, about 48, is the outspoken Algerian-born restaurateur behind MOMO and the famously-expensive SKETCH in London and DERRIERE in Paris. His guests have included stars such as Madonna, Sting, Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise and a long list of ‘A Class’ celebrities. He also has other restaurants in Paris, a restaurant in Dubai and Beirut. He travels frequently between the different establishments.

Mazouz has been described as humble and low profile compared to other restaurateurs of his calibre, some of whom would even hint the paparazzi when celebrities walk into their restaurants just to gain cheap publicity. To Mazouz, he believes in “being proud of himself and actions”. He also believes in protecting his customers and would not share information on stars that eat at or visit his high profile restaurants.

Despite his success and great achievements, living a luxurious life is not one of the things you can link Mourad Mazouz to. He confesses that he prefers cheap hotels to five star hotels because he wants to feel that he is living like a local person and absorbing the culture and not have a concierge greet him every moment he walks pass.

In London he uses an electric scooter to shuttle between his restaurants e.g Momo to Sketch. According to Mazouz, he still uses an electric scooter because he can park anywhere and at anytime. For the past 31 years Mazouz says he has been on two wheels. Travelling within Europe, he still uses the train especially the Eurostar to Paris for example.

To Mazouz, it is a good experience because in the train, he emails, works and doesn’t waste time.

The restaurateur has been quoted as saying that “Applause for me is bigger than money”. My ego explodes. But, after that, I go back to work for 10 to 15 hours a day. That makes my ego go down”. He adds that “The only applause I need is from customers. When they shake my hand, when they say to their wives: “This is Mourad!” I feel so happy I could cry”. He has been known of saying things as he sees it. No doubt he has been referred to as the outspoken Algerian-born restaurateur.

In relation to bringing up his children, Mazouz says “I don’t think too much”, “I am instinctive”. His restaurant Sketch is one of Britain’s most daring and expensive – restaurants.

Larry Bate Takang (Editor-in-Chief)