One of the UK’s most respected chefs, Raymond Blanc was born in a tiny rural village in Besancon, in eastern France. While his two sisters were taught to cook by the inspirational Maman Blanc, his father taught Raymond and his two brothers to work in the garden and surrounding woods. His father gave him a calendar and foraging map for his 10th birthday, and what he collected his mother taught him to cook, filling her meals with fresh local and seasonal flavours. Raymond’s career began in Oxfordshire as a waiter; he worked at Le Palais de la Bière in Besancon. Fired in 1972 for upsetting the head chef (Blanc offered him advice on how to cook), the manager knew of a job in England. He worked in Oxfordshire, England, at the Rose Revived Restaurant. One day, when the chef was ill, Raymond took over and from then on he has gained the title as one of Britain’s most famous chefs. In 1984 Raymond fulfilled his dream of opening a hotel and restaurant that would take the world by storm. "I had in mind a small house in the country, but I fell in love with a much grander house the Great Milton Manor. With the help of a few friends it was transformed into a magnificent country house hotel, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons."
Why Raymond Blanc?
Why Raymond Blanc? Well, when deciding which chef to research I asked my mum who she thought the most inspirational chef. She said Raymond Blanc without a hesitation and proceeded to tell me that when she was younger she had actually worked for him in one of his restaurants in North Oxford. She said that Raymond Blanc had taught her that cooking was a pleasure not a chore, and not only that but how to do it so that she put pleasure into the food. She showed me lots of cookbooks by Raymond Blanc including a book called Mange and Recipes from Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons.
“When you cook it should be an act of love. To put a frozen bag in the microwave for your child is an act of hate.”