2 Michelin Star Chefs: Raymond Blanc OBE, chef patron, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

The Staff Canteen

Raymond Blanc is the chef patron of the Michelin starred hotel-restaurant, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

Born near Besançon in the Jura region of eastern France, Raymond was bound to be inspired by the rich local terroir, but his main inspiration was his late mother, who he calls Maman Blanc. The chef cites his earlier memories as her cooking - using fresh, local (often home grown), seasonal produce to create meals for him and his extended family.

Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

Le Manoir 1

Church Rd, Great Milton, Oxford OX44 7PD

Opening Times:
Monday- Sunday
Breakfast: 7:30am to 10:00am
Lunch: 11:45am to 2:15pm
Dinner: 6:30pm to 9:30pm

Contact Info:
Belmond Le Manoir Website

Belmond Le Manoir Facebook 

Belmond Le Manoir Twitter: @lemanoir

Belmond Le Manoir Instagram: @belmondlemanoir

Telephone: 01844 278 881

Email: [email protected]

His Early Career

Raymond trained as a waiter at the Michelin-starred Le Palais de la Bière in his hometown, but jokes about getting fired for offering the head chef advice on how to cook.

His manager knew of a job in England, and in the summer of 1972, Raymond arrived in Oxfordshire to work as a waiter at the Rose Revived restaurant in Newbridge.

He went on to to work under chef patron André Chavagnon at La Sorbonne in Oxford.

Raymond Blanc, Gary Jones and Benoit Blin
Raymond Blanc, Gary Jones and Benoit Blin

In 1977, Blanc and his family opened Les Quat’ Saisons in Summertown, Oxford. It quickly became successful, and won the title of Egon Ronay Restaurant of the Year, shortly followed by two Michelin stars and a cascade of other awards.

After his success with Les Quat Saisons, Raymond decided to open La Maison Blanc, a boulangerie and pâtisserie. in 1981, of which there are now 14 spanning the UK, and of which some products are available at the Waitrose and Partners supermarket.

Raymond’s Vision

Despite his successes, Raymond still wasn’t satisfied, and had a vision of a hotel and restaurant he just couldn't shake.

In 1983, he made his dream come to life when he bought a manor house in Great Milton, Oxfordshire, where he launched  Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons. Now two Michelin-starred, with an outstanding score of 19/20 by the French guide Gault Millau, as well as five AA Rosettes, Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons is an incredible success story that endures to this day.

This was not the end of the journey for Raymond. In 1991, he decided to open the Raymond Blanc Cookery School, where he allows food enthusiasts to learn how to cook in Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons.

Raymond decided to open a Brasserie which he called Le Petit Blanc in 1996. The first of what would eventually become a chain opened in Oxford with the aim to bring the French philosophy of “good food being central to good living” to the UK.

He wanted to create food that could be enjoyed by everyone.

What the guides say...


two stars.jpg.640x480 q80 .jpg.640x480 q80 .jpg.640x480 q80 .jpg.640x480 q80

AA Restaurant Guide

five rosettes 



Raymond was awarded the AA Chef’s Chef Award in 2005.

In 2008, he won an honorary OBE for helping to raise awareness of the importance of healthy food, in Britain by bringing variety to the UK and for the excellence and quality of the offering at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons.

In 2013, he won the Légion d'Honneur (Legion of Honour)for nurturing some of the countries most respected chefs, including Marco Pierre White, Heston BlumenthalMichael Caines, Éric Chavot, Ollie Dabbous and Bruno Loubet. Almost three dozen of his students have gone on to win Michelin stars of their own.

Television Career and cookbooks

Raymond's success gave him the opportunity to appear on television, and the chef has hosted a series of programmes including The Very Hungry Frenchman, Kitchen Secrets and How To Cook Well.

In 2015, the BBC aired his show ‘Kew on a Plate’ along with his book under the same name. He is also a best-selling author, with 12 books to his name.

Videos of Raymond Blanc:

In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall  – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 16 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 560,000 followers across Facebook, X, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.

The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 9th January 2021

2 Michelin Star Chefs: Raymond Blanc OBE, chef patron, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons