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

Executive Head Chef:
Gary Jones

Sommelier:
Lukas Hyner

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...

Michelin

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AA Restaurant Guide

five rosettes 

Harden's

Achievements

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:

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 9th January 2021

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