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RacingThePlanet, epicurean style

RacingThePlanet, epicurean style

Words: Melanie Ho

Mark and Philipp Mosimann pack

mouth-watering eats for

RacingThePlanet: Namibia 2009


While most competitors only worry about the calories they are taking in and not about the actual taste of the food, Mark and Philipp Mosimann have managed to do both, combining calorie-dense foods that actually taste good as well. Of course, the brothers have a little help – their father is the chef Anton Mosimann and the two brothers are part of the family business.


Both brothers competed in RacingThePlanet: Vietnam 2008, while Philipp, 33, has also competed in the inaugural Gobi March (China) in 2003. Arguably the most creative chefs of the over 200 competitors in RacingThePlanet: Namibia 2009, both Philipp and Mark, 31, have opted to bring an array of foods that only leave the other competitors jealous.


Both have brought a selection of fresh salami, parmesan cheese, paprika flavoured potato chips, sachets of olive oil, salt and pepper and extra treats for today’s long 100 km stage.


“We have the parmesan cheese and olive oils for our pastas,” Philipp said, adding that he had also brought packages of fast foods from Singapore and Malaysia.


“We brought a lot of the same stuff, but I brought some freeze dried meals,” Mark said. “We add olive oil to them and before we came, we had a massive tasting of them, we tried about 30 meals. The parmesan cheese is nice on the spaghetti Bolognese, but I think it’s more because parmesan cheese is high in calories.”


In addition to bringing their own culinary treats, the Mosimanns decided to continue a Sunday morning race tradition of making baguette sandwiches for everyone in their tents. Back when they were still in Windhoek, they went to the supermarket and bought cheddar cheese, German smoked ham, baguettes, cherry tomatoes, gherkins, mayo and mustard.


“The sandwiches for the tent are our Sunday morning breakfast, a tradition we started last year in Vietnam,” Philipp said.


The Mosimanns, who rejoined the family business about two years ago after more than a decade each gaining international experience in the hospitality industry, have been talking about what they can do next.


“I mean, maybe not doing a freeze dried food, but there are so many things you can do for these kinds of trips, like hard-boiled eggs which you can boil ahead of time and then put into special containers or baked beans to make burritos,” Philipp said. “You could bring the Spanish wraps and they would hold. There’s no reason why you can’t have fresh food on these trips.”


For Wednesday and Thursday’s Stage 4, the 100-km stage, the Mosimanns brought a few extra things to get the through the day and night. Vacuum-sealed pita with cream cheese and duck parfait are one of their snacks, as are some Swiss pork sausages to put on the grill once they arrive at a campsite.


Just before coming out to Namibia, Philipp and Mark hosted a charity event at their restaurant in London, where they raised 40,000 pounds for Operation Smile.


“We actually saw what Operation Smile did while we were in Vietnam and so we thought it would be a good idea to support them,” Philipp said. “We thought we would only raise 8,000 pounds so we’re really happy with the result.”


The elder Mosimann was a chef who joined the Dorchester Hotel as the executive chef when he was 28. After 13 years, he opened his own restaurant, Mosimann’s, which has been open for 20 years. Both brothers trained as chefs, but according to Mark, the younger edges the elder.


“I think I’m the better chef, but don’t tell him,” Mark said.


Their taste in food, stemming from childhoods spent at nice restaurants and restaurants openings, has transferred to the races. Philipp said he can’t stomach the gels and after calling the bars “horrific”, he said he prefers a mix of M&Ms and gummy bears.


Of course, the food that the two have brought with them to survive for the week-long race isn’t anything similar to what they serve back in the family restaurant. However, they have managed to bring a few things that have at least an element of home.


“I guess the closest thing I have with me that I serve in the restaurant is Parmesan cheese,” Philipp said. “At the restaurant we have a great wild mushroom risotto and we use parmesan on that.”


Mark had a different take.


“Probably the Swiss pork sausage,” Mark said. “We have a similar one on the menu, but it’s veal. Our plan to grill these is an incentive to get us through the day.”



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