Raymond Blanc OBE
Born in Besançon, France, in 1949, Raymond Blanc OBE is acknowledged as one of the finest chefs in the world. His exquisite cooking has been the major force in Britain’s food revolution over the last twenty years, and as a result he is the recipient of tributes from every national and international guide to culinary excellence.
Raymond has never been formally trained. He began his career in England in 1972 as a waiter, took over the Rose Revived Restaurant when his chef became ill, and never looked back. He opened his own restaurant at the age of 28, ‘Les Quat’ Saisons’ in Oxford, and within just one year the restaurant had reached Michelin Star status.
In 1984 he fulfilled a personal vision, creating the hotel and restaurant, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons which is now synonymous with all that is finest in dining and hospitality, offering an indulgent, yet joyfully informal setting to savour gourmet cuisine and relax in charming, stylish surroundings. Belmond Le Manoir is the only hotel restaurant to have achieved and maintained two Michelin Status for 30 years and the only property outside of London (and one of only three in the country) to sustain 5 AA Rosettes for that period of time.
An extension of his passion to share great food and cooking was the opening of Raymond Blanc Cookery School at Le Manoir in 1991. As well as stimulating and exciting courses for adults, the school also offers courses for the younger members of the family. Indeed Raymond has always welcomed children, and Le Manoir was the first restaurant of its kind to do so, another example of how Raymond has pushed the boundaries of the restaurant experience in the UK.
Raymond is a firm believer in continuing to grow and develop and as he says; ‘I lead a dedicated and talented team, and all of us together aim to touch excellence in all we do. But we don’t achieve that by standing still – the atmosphere that I wish to foster here is one of learning and experimentation. True excellence lies in being bold, ambitious and hard working – and I believe it is this which distinguishes us as providing a superlative experience for all our guests.’
If you are inspired by Raymond and his love for British food then try his delicious recipe for Watercress Soup now.