Eurostar appoint Raymond Blanc, OBE as Culinary Director
Eurostar today proudly announces the appointment of world renowned Michelin starred chef, Raymond Blanc as its Culinary Director. The exciting new gastronomic partnership will see Raymond share his passion for promoting the very best in sustainable and seasonal food with Eurostar’s Business Premier passengers.
The announcement is supported by new research which reveals that despite the prevailing economic downturn, over half (53%) of business travellers surveyed say the economic climate has had no effect on their travel for business abroad and 8% say they travel abroad for business more.
And while it’s good news that the wheels of British business are literally still turning, it appears it’s not such good news for business travellers themselves. The research also highlighted that over a third (34%) rated the quality of the meals they were served when travelling for business as below average.
When questioned further, these same travellers stressed the importance of good food and service on-board alongside more traditional considerations such as price and journey time. Just over two thirds (67%) said sustainability was important to them, when it comes to things such as eating sustainably sourced, seasonal and organic food, while over a third (35%) revealed that presentation of food was an important factor.
With these considerations in mind, Raymond Blanc is collaborating closely with Eurostar’s catering suppliers to help transform travellers’ perceptions of on-board catering. As a result of his on-going direction and work with Eurostar’s suppliers in Belgium, the UK and France, his new and exclusive Business Premier menus have been created to be innovative, seasonal and sustainable and feature several Blanc family recipes such as mackerel salad and chocolate delice with praline custard.
Raymond’s creative input has seen a renewed focus on locally sourced and sustainably produced ingredients of a local provenance. The resulting menus combine rustic, traditional dishes with a fresh, modern element of surprise.
Commenting on his appointment, Raymond Blanc said; “As a chef, I’m always searching for the purest ingredients, striving to ensure that everything I use is traceable and responsibly sourced. I’m delighted to work with Eurostar which shares these same values and was the first transport provider to join the Sustainable Restaurant Association. Together we’re working to change the perception of on-board cuisine and serving sustainable and locally sourced food which is at the heart of our new Business Premier menus.”
Reuben Arnold, Head of Commercial Development for Eurostar commented; “In the current climate many of our business clients have tough decisions to make. We are committed to offering excellence at every step and continue to invest in our service to ensure it offers the best travel experience possible. Working with one of the world’s most respected chefs we are demonstrating that we are genuinely putting our money where our mouth is…and delicious food on the plates of our Business Premier travellers.”
The YouGov research also uncovered some of the ‘guilty pleasures’ business travellers have done whilst travelling on business. These include snoozing when they should have been checking their emails (24%), using their headphones to drown out fellow passengers (40%) and getting stuck into complimentary magazines that they would never normally buy (29%).
Top 5 travel ‘guilty pleasures’;
- Enjoyed an alcoholic drink or two on the way back from the business trip (47%)
- Putting headphones in or shutting eyes to avoid talking to the person next to you (40%)
- Getting stuck into complimentary magazines and newspapers (29%)
- Having a snooze when you should have been checking your emails (24%)
- Using bad signal as an excuse to ignore phone calls (15%)
In 2012, Eurostar became the first transport provider to join the Sustainable Restaurant Association and it will be rated over the coming months on its on-board catering. This commitment to achieving culinary excellence has followed on from a raft of other innovations to its Business Premier class including; the introduction of guaranteed boarding, quiet coaches and a new on-board taxi booking service.
Eurostar’s dedicated business class, Business Premier, offers the highest level of freedom to work in dedicated, comfortable surroundings. With fully flexible fares, Business Premier customers can enjoy a 10 minute express check-in, business lounge access, plus complementary drinks and fine dining. Eurostar Business Premier gives you the efficiency and flexibility to make the most of your time on board, which makes it the perfect place for business and pleasure to combine.
We have designed the Business Premier menus with our new Culinary Director, Raymond Blanc, OBE. We have designed a menu of rustic, traditional recipes with a modern accent. Dishes are packed with big flavours, light textures and clean fresh simplicity as the perfect interlude to your journey.
We have worked with Raymond to choose sustainable, seasonable and responsibly sourced ingredients for our meals, and we will continue to do so as a member of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, of which Raymond is President.
To read an interview with Raymond in the November issue of Eurostar Metropolitan, please click here
For more information about Eurostar Business Premier or to book Eurostar tickets visit www.eurostar.com or call 08432 186 186.