MONDAY 08 OCTOBER 2012 A BUSY WEEKEND
A busy weekend
I have been very VERY busy recently, with so much going on at Le Manoir, at Brasserie Blanc. I am filming a new series for television, and working on lots of other projects too. This weekend was no different, with people to see and food to try, so I thought I would share it with you....
For 21 years now, we have held Le Festival aux Quat'Saisons at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons. Three nights of pure magic, where some of the greatest performers come and share their music with guests, performing at the beautiful little church of St Mary's in Great Milton, and then joining guests for dinner at Le Manoir. This year, we were hugely fortunate to have three of the greatest - and best loved - perfomers: Katherine Jenkins (see previous blog), Russell Watson and Elaine Paige.
RB with Russell before his performance on Friday 5 October at Le Festival
On Saturday I was delighted to spend some time with Oleg Ibragimov, who trained and worked with me at Le Manoir before moving on to work in several other world class restaurants. In 2008 he became Executive Chef at the Diamond Club at Arsenal FC - which I am proud to be associated with. We meet regularly to talk about what we have both been doing, and to discuss food in general and the menus at Arsenal and Le Manoir. This time, we had lunch at Brasserie Blanc in Oxford, tasting many of the dishes on the new autumn menu there. Although the food at Brasserie Blanc is not intended to be 'haute cuisine' - it is more reminiscent of my beloved Maman Blanc's cooking - of great French cooking.
We tried several dishes - some might say too many! - but it was in the interests of research! Look at this beautiful risotto with wild mushrooms: the grains of rice are shiny and the tastes blend beautifully.
Look at this beautiful piece of home, hot-smoked salmon with perfectly roasted beetroot:
Then, an absolute classic: boeuf bourguignon. Perfectly presented, the beef was meltingly tender with all the traditional ingredients: comfort food at its best.
Now it is time to try some dessserts: the perfect soufflé au chocolat - not too sweet, oozing molten chocolate in the middle:
Steamed lemon pudding with caramel sauce - more comfort food!
And a fantastic pear concoction, full of the flavours of autumn: biscuit amandine, rich and mellow under a Williams pear, with vanilla ice cream and citrus sauce.
I suggest that you all try and get to a Brasserie Blanc near you if you can. There are some fantastic things on the menu and a wonderful offer of a £10 voucher when you sign up for the Brasserie Blanc newsletter: www.brasserieblanc.com
Now Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, although this is not always the case, and I am often on the go all day. Yesterday, however, I did find the time to drop into the local pub in Great Milton, the Bull Inn, just a few steps away from Le Manoir. I enjoyed a half pint of fine beer and a chance to catch up with the landlady who has made this into a lovely little pub with a good restaurant. (The Bull Inn: telephone 01844 279726).
Now it is Monday, and we are back at work, preparing, tasting, trying new dishes and serving our customers. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.
PS Please tell me what you think of my blogs and my website: I want to hear from you!
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