Raymond Blanc is acknowledged as one of the finest chefs in the world. Completely self-taught, his significant influence on Britain’s culinary landscape has been vast.
Born in Besançon, France, Raymond’s passion for cooking was inspired by the local terroir and the formidable Maman Blanc, whose unwavering dedication to the seasons formed the basis of Raymond’s food philosophy.
In 1972, Raymond arrived in Britain to work as a waiter. One day, when the cook was ill, Raymond took over the kitchen. At that moment his career was born. Raymond soon opened his first restaurant, Les Quat’Saisons, in Summertown, Oxford. Triumph swiftly followed. Then in 1984, Raymond opened Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire, a stunning restaurant and hotel that worked in harmony with one another. Renowned for offering one of the world’s finest gastronomic experiences, Belmond Le Manoir is the only UK country house hotel to have retained two Michelin stars for an astounding 34 years. It is also home to the acclaimed Raymond Blanc Cookery School, welcoming keen cooking enthusiasts from around the world.
Raymond has championed and nurtured some of the country’s most respected chefs in his kitchens. Some 33 of these protégés have gone on to gain Michelin stars for themselves, including such names as Marco Pierre White, Michael Caines MBE, Ollie Dabbous, Bruno Loubet and The Curated Plate’s own Alejandro Cancino. In 2007, Raymond was appointed an honorary Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty the Queen in recognition of his services to the British food industry. In 2013, he was awarded the National Order of the Legion of Honour, the highest French order of merit for military and civil merits, in recognition of his achievements promoting French gastronomy in the United Kingdom.