MONDAY 16 APRIL 2012 A VISIT TO DUBLIN WITH ANOLON
A Wonderful trip to Dublin with Anolon and Arnotts
Last week, I flew to Ireland for my first ever demonstration there - at Dublin's oldest and best known (and best-loved) department store - Arnotts. The event was organised by Anolon, who I have now been working with for over 14 years, creating what I hope is the best cookware in Britain: Raymond Blanc by Anolon.
When I say I have been working with Anolon, I do not mean that I have been rubber-stamping my name and my brand on saucepans, knives, bakeware and other items. I have been completely involved in the design, the look, the feel, the balance, length and strength of all the items, to ensure that they are the finest possible pieces. So much so that we are now able to give a lifetime guarantee on most of the Anolon cookware.
So, it was a genuine pleasure for me to be with my partners at Anolon for this very special trip to Dublin. I arrived the night before and was greeted by the whole team from Anolon and a group from Arnotts too. My trusty partners in crime, Adam and Kush, were also there and we were treated to a superb dinner at Chapter One, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Dublin headed by chef Ross Lewis.
This was a fascinating evening on three counts: Chapter One is located in the the basement of the Dublin Writers Museum on Parnell Square in Dublin’s city centre. This is a fascinating place, full of literary history.
We were fortunate enough to meet the great Nobel Prize poet, Seamus Heaney, who was celebrating his birthday. A great man, clearly still enjoying life, enjoying Ireland.
We were also close to the birthplace of the great Jameson's Irish Whiskey.
The food at Chapter One was excellent. One dish particularly stood out for me; a taste of my own country. It was a wild mushroom dish with a powerfully scented consommé, tasting and smelling of extracts of the forest - absolutely delicious!
As we were in Ireland, the home of conviviality, the evening was beautifully spiced with wines from the great wine list at Chapter One, and - of course - we had to finish with some Jameson Whisky. My mistake was to try and keep up with my Irish hosts but I realised very quickly that I couldn't! By 1 am I paid my respects and left them to it… I also had a demonstration the following day!
We arrived in plenty of time at Arnotts, and clearly news had spread. There were seats for 50 people in the demonstration area, but over 300 people, ranging in age from 5 to 100 years old! It was a marvellous atmosphere - very responsive, very festive and fantastic banter from everyone. Adam and Kush had done their homework and prepared everything perfectly. We had a marvellous cook off, and I enjoyed meeting all my new Irish friends.
That day with Anolon and Arnotts was a happy, special day with friends old and new. The Irish are very warm and engaging people: it reminded me why I nearly chose that country to apply my craft all those years ago!
Here's a list of the dishes we prepared at Arnotts. You can find most of the recipes on my website:
Chicken Fricassée with Vinegar & Herbs
Chicken with Morels & Sherry Wine Sauce
All my best
PS Please tell me what you think of my blogs and my website: I want to hear from you!
DVD of Raymond Blanc's hugely successful five part series - The Very
Hungry Frenchman - broadcast on BBC2 earlier this year, is now on sale.
To purchase your copy from Amazon, please click on the link below:
If you would like a signed copy of the DVD, this can be ordered via Le Manoir's website. Please click on the link below and request a signed copy in the 'special instructions' box at checkout:
Follow Raymond Blanc on Twitter
Contact Raymond via the Contact page of the website