WEDNESDAY 10 OCTOBER 2012 CELEBRATING TALENT & PASSION
Celebrating talent & passion
If I am ever asked what I consider to be my greatest achievement, my answer is always the same. The greatest possible reward is to see the young men and women we have trained at Le Manoir over the last 28 years turning into wonderful, confident chefs. To see some many young – mainly British – chefs connecting with food, with farmers and with a sense of place – this is pure pleasure for me.
Yesterday was the National Restaurant Awards 2012 ceremony, where the top 100 restaurants in the UK were voted for by their peers, and rightly celebrated. My congratulations go to every single restaurant and chef on the list but it is not without pride that I say I am happy to see so many of our protégés from Le Manoir there: my dear friends Bruno Loubet, Michael Caines and Alan Murchison; young vital talent in Aggi Sverisson and Xavier Rousset and Ollie Dabbous to name but a few.
For many years, it seemed that British cuisine and British chefs had lost their identity; their sense of place. But now, British chefs – and chefs from elsewhere who have made their home here (like me!) - are leading the consumer revolution: customers are choosing their food more carefully, more seasonally.
It is a great honour that, with my Executive Head Chef Gary Jones, Le Manoir has been a school, training not only over 27 Michelin starred chefs but also many others: chefs who have chosen a route other than Michelin stars, and other craftsmen who have pursued a different path, such as the sublime chocolatier, William Curley, the gentle giant Alex Mackay teaching and writing and too many others to list.
So, I send them all my heartfelt congratulations and my warmest wishes. They are all dear to me and at the heart of what we have always tried to do at Le Manoir: pass on our knowledge, our passion and our beliefs.
It is timely to be writing this blog on the day the new series of the Great British Food Revival begins on BBC2 (starting on 10 October). This wonderful series celebrates so much that I believe in: seasonal and local produce, reconnecting with the land, the sea and the rivers around us. My own segment of the programme looks at the magnificent trout. I have to confess that my reasons for choosing the trout were in part selfish: I absolutely love fishing, and trout fishing in particular, so it was a great pleasure to indulge my own passion in the cause of this great television series! I hope you will watch the whole series, where great cooks and chefs look at particular ingredients and show just what wonderful things you can create.
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DVD of Raymond Blanc's hugely successful five part series - The Very
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