Food & Drink

Monsieur Bou – Spicing up your Party Levantine Style


Monsieur Bou is the playful moniker of top-class catering specialist Mansour BouKaram who promises to bring a wealth of scrumptious goodness to tables within the Royal Borough.  Having had some prime culinary and catering experiences in France and The Netherlands and not to mention London,   Kensington and Chelsea Review readers will be excited to know that he loves K&C and is keen to help make your parties and events sparkle with a touch of his Levantine magic.  We caught up Monsieur Bou to find out about his various inspirations and persuasions.


Q: Can you fill us in regarding you background and childhood in Lebanon to your current culinary adventures in the UK?


My culinary journey began in my childhood in Lebanon, where my mum used to cook two types of dishes for each meal: one Lebanese and one “western”. This exposed me to different cuisines and flavours, and sparked my interest in blending them. I started cooking when I was younger, but I faced some challenges as a boy who wanted to be in the kitchen, that’s a no no. I didn’t let that stop me, and I cooked more and more as I grew up and specially when I had my own kitchen while living in France and in Dubai.  I realised that cooking was more than just a hobby for me, it was my passion. After 18 years of working in marketing and cooking on the side, I decided to make a bold move and pursue my dream of becoming a chef. I left my job and embarked on a new culinary adventure, exploring varied ingredients, techniques, and cultures. Food is what makes me happy and and I want to share that joy with others.


Q: How did your childhood experiences in Lebanon influence your approach to food and cooking?


Lebanon fascinates me for many reasons. It is a very small country, but it has always been influenced by both the east and the west in all aspect of culture from pop to culinary styles. Because of its location and role in the world, it is exposed to all kinds of trends. That sparked my curiosity to savour new and different flavours, inspired by the Lebanese spirit of adventure and openness. Perhaps the most essential aspect of being Lebanese is that you become someone who enjoys hosting, serving and feeding people, without even realising it. It is an innate part of us – the sheers sense of joy derived from entertaining guests.


Q: How did your professional career in marketing influence your culinary journey?


As the head of marketing for a large international group, I used to travel a lot for work. My trips were not just filled with meetings and tasks, but also with opportunities to learn about new cultures through food. I loved to explore the little markets and eat local dishes with the local people, before returning to the formal banquets. Working in marketing, I saw how different and diverse cultures can be, even among neighbouring countries. But the one thing that always connected and communicated with everyone was food!


Question: Can you share some memorable experiences from your time in France and Dubai?


My cooking journey began in my dorm room in France, where I had a tiny kitchen to myself (just two heating plates and a sink). I thought that making a good meal was easy for everyone, but I soon noticed that people kept requesting my dishes and eagerly joining me for dinner. That’s when I realized that I had a knack for cooking better and tastier dishes than my peers. I found out later that they even made up excuses to come and eat at my place! In Dubai, I found a rich diversity of ingredients and flavours from all over the world. This inspired me to continue to experiment with combining different elements, recipes, and cuisines, and to create amazing new dishes.


Q: What inspired your decision to transition to a culinary career in London, and how did your marketing background assist in this venture?


Before I made the leap, I had spent 8 years in London and 12 years working for the same company. It was not an easy choice, but I knew it was the right one. I had achieved my goals at the company, building a strong brand and a capable team to sustain it. My passion for food kept growing, and in London I saw both the potential and the gap for a high-quality Levantine catering service. That made my decision very clear. My career in marketing and branding helped me tremendously in transferring knowledge, research capability and aesthetic eye from boardroom tables to dining tables. 


Q: Can you share some of your culinary achievements and your philosophy when it comes to cooking?


I’m not afraid to spice things up and try new things, but they have to make sense. If the dish becomes more yummy, more pretty, more awesome, I’m all for it. But I cringe when I see people messing up perfectly good dishes just for kicks. I’m lucky enough to be a resident chef and a guest chef in cool places in Amsterdam and London, but my proudest moment was when my friend’s super fussy mother liked my food. I was sweating bullets because she was an expert on the cuisine and I had changed some stuff, but she gave me a thumbs up.


Q: How do you perceive the local culinary scene in Kensington and Chelsea, and how does it influence your work?


Chelsea was where I got my first client, and I often cook in Kensington and Chelsea kitchens. The area is full of great restaurants and flavours, and the residents have a refined palate and high standards. They value the quality, research and passion behind the dishes I serve them. I think people hire a private chef to give their guests a new and exclusive experience, with food that they can’t find elsewhere. Some of my clients wanted me to stay hidden, while others wanted me to explain the dishes. My philosophy is to tailor and craft a different menu for each client, and I love working with people who seek something different and unique.


Q: How do you engage with the Kensington and Chelsea community through your culinary endeavours, and why is this important to you?


Kensington and Chelsea is my favourite place to hang out, whether it’s for the food, the drinks, the culture, the fun, or just the company of friends. I love the variety and the quality of ingredients I can find here, unmatched by any other place. I’m a frequent visitor of the area’s markets, carrying my tote bag and picking the best produce. When I need extra hands for events, I always hire from the local community, to show my support and involvement.


Monsieur Bou is eagerly awaiting your orders at

You can also call him on +44 7961 645 523


Latest News

Contact Us: All Editorial Enquiries to: Lisa Curtiss Editor in Chief Advertising Enquiries to: Sid Raghava

Copyright © 2023 Kensington & Chelsea Review

To Top