With his restaurants, bars and clubs (Momo, Sketch, Double Club…), Mourad Mazouz has left his unique mark on the London food and party scene. Here, the French-Algerian “restaurateur extraordinaire” offers us a glimpse of his personal world.
My main character trait: Curiosity, which makes me want to get up every morning. I believe this is one of the most beautiful qualities to have, as it means that you are interested in other people.
My main weakness: Laziness, even though I work very hard, and perfectionism. I find the latter awful because to want everything to be perfect means to live in a state of suffering, as one can’t achieve true perfection.
My main strength: Straightforwardness. I always see things through to the end, I always do what I say and I never let people down.
If I had to change one thing about my looks: I would be taller and a bit sturdier.
The quality I like most in a man: Honesty, which is a very rare quality.
The quality I like most in a woman: Subtlety and thoughtfulness.
What I like most in my friends: Loyalty.
The mistake I am most likely to forgive: I forgive all mistakes, because I believe that we all have a right to make them, as long as we don’t hurt others.
My favourite pastime: Watching television in bed.
My idea of happiness: Small pleasures and living from day to day. That said if I am still alive at 75, playing dominos in a sunny terrace with my mates, then I will be happy.
My greatest memories: Travelling. If I win the lottery, I will stop working and go travelling.
The worst thing that could happen to me (other than the death of a loved one): To lose the desire.
What I wanted to do when I was a kid: To live.
If I was an animal I would be: A tiger.
My favourite book: Le Petit Prince.
My favourite artist: There is always something I find touching in every artist but I don’t have a favourite.
My favourite actors: None.
My favourite film: L’Abécédaire de Gilles Deleuze on DVD, even though this is not a film strictly speaking.
My favourite songs: I don’t have any particular favourites, but I adore music, anything from electronic to traditional Indian music.
What I love the most in the world: People in general and my children and friends in particular. They keep going from one day to the next.
My favourite fictional heroes: None.
The people I admire most in real life: All those who might be considered by others as “nothing” but who are in fact extraordinary. I met those guys -Samir, Abdallah and Mohammed- in the middle of nowhere in Morocco last summer, who didn’t look like much, but who had travelled the world and were extremely talented musicians, with the most interesting stories, and I spent an unforgettable weekend with them.
My favourite first names: First names match the head of the people they are attached to, but are meaningless by themselves.
My most treasured possession: Nothing, I am not a collector. When I purchase something, for example a piece of art, it is usually as a gift.
My favourite place: I have lots, always linked to particular times of my life. But if I have to give one, I will say Grand Rivière in Trinidad: this place is so achingly beautiful, with its bay, river, forest, horses on the beach, tortoises, that I cried with happiness.
What I hate most of all: Meanness, malicious gossip, hypocrisy and cowardice, which all go together.
What makes me really angry: I can get very annoyed and openly angry by little things, but when it comes to important matters, I am more of the silent type.
My greatest achievement to date: If I have one, it is to have lots of friends. But the general idea of success doesn’t mean a lot to me.
My definition of love: Love itself, as a whole, doesn’t exist, there are only moments of it.
My definition of beauty: Everything that moves us.How I would like to die: In my bed.
How I would like people to remember me: I would prefer if people forget me.My present state of mind: I do what I can with what I have.
My motto: Just Do It.
Momo restaurant familial, tea room, bazaar and Kemia bar: 25 Heddon Street W1 (Oxford Circus)
Sketch: 9 conduit Street W1 (Oxford Circus)
Kemia Bar, Momo and Sketch