Raymond Blanc is among the world’s finest chefs and hoteliers. He is a pioneer of sustainability and an acknowledged champion of the great British food revolution.
A giant of gastronomy, Raymond is in fact entirely self-taught. He comes from humble beginnings. His first job in hospitality was as a 17-year-old, waiting on tables in a brasserie in Besançon, in the French region of Franche-Comté. He came to Britain as a young waiter in 1972, soon discovered a true passion for cooking – et voilà, as he’d say – the rest is food history…
Raymond is chef-patron of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, the hotel-restaurant in Oxfordshire which has retained two Michelin stars since it opened 39 years ago.
As a founder of Heartwood Collection, he is very much the guiding light of the business and what is on the menu each season. He inspires our brilliant teams both in the kitchens and front-of-house. You might also spot Raymond at a table – he’s a regular at two of his favourite locals, Brasserie Blanc in Oxford and the Black Horse in nearby Thame (he adores a dessert of blackcurrant pavlova).
He is President of the Sustainable Restaurant Association. He is also Culinary Director of Eurostar, creating seasonal menus for passengers of Business Premier, and Chef-Director of Arsenal FC’s Diamond Club. He is the author of many successful best-selling cookbooks and a well-known face on television, most recently presenting his ITV series, Simply Raymond Blanc.
But most of all, he loves his pubs and brasseries.
‘A good brasserie,’ says Raymond, ‘is all about comfort, informality, warmth, total relaxation, and fun with family and friends – as well as food that’s simple, authentic, wholesome and irresistible.’