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Raymond Blanc, OBE: A Brief Biography

Raymond Blanc is a gastronomic icon, acknowledged as one of the finest chefs in the world. Yet his philosophy is endearingly simple: 'My team and I aim to excel in what we do, but never to take ourselves too seriously.' He is chef-patron and chairman of Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons, the two-starred Michelin hotel-restaurant in the Oxfordshire village of Great Milton. His significant influence on British cuisine has brought scores of awards, as well as decades of critical praise and glowing admiration from fellow professionals and food lovers. In July 2012 Raymond was appointed President of the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

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Raymond Blanc, OBE: A Brief Biography

Raymond Blanc is a gastronomic icon, acknowledged as one of the finest chefs in the world. Yet his philosophy is endearingly simple: 'My team and I aim to excel in what we do, but never to take ourselves too seriously.' He is chef-patron and chairman of Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons, the two-starred Michelin hotel-restaurant in the Oxfordshire village of Great Milton. His significant influence on British cuisine has brought scores of awards, as well as decades of critical praise and glowing admiration from fellow professionals and food lovers. In July 2012 Raymond was appointed President of the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

He has trained some 30 chefs who have gone on to win Michelin stars, though he is a self-taught chef. His burning passion for cooking - and eating - was inspired during his childhood in Besancon, France. In 1972 he came to Britain to work as a waiter at the Rose Revived in Oxfordshire. When the cook became ill, Raymond took over. From that moment he was a chef.

At the age of 28, Raymond opened his first restaurant, Les Quat' Saisons in Summertown, Oxford. Triumph swiftly followed. Soon he set up Maison Blanc, a patisserie-bakery: the start of a successful chain.

Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons opened in 1984; it was, he says, 'the fulfilment of a personal vision'. Raymond is the only chef in Britain to have retained two Michelin stars for the past 32 years. Hailed as one of the world's best hotels, the Zagat Guide says, 'At Le Manoir heaven doesn't seem so far away.' He established the Raymond Blanc Cookery School (at Le Manoir) in 1991.

The story continues. Raymond founded Brasserie Blanc (formerly Le Petit Blanc), a group which in 2012 has 18 restaurants, which offer affordable, delicious food and warm hospitality. 'If Le Manoir is a delicate waltz,' he says, 'then Brasserie Blanc is a glorious can-can.'

Raymond, 63, is a best-selling author, and his BBC television series have included the Very Hungry Frenchman and Kitchen Secrets.

 
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10TH MAY - 12TH MAY 2013

A Quintessentially FT Weekend in Paris with Raymond Blanc

Join Chef Raymond Blanc OBE, Quintessentially and FT Weekend for a luxury gastronomic and culture-fuelled weekend that will bring to life a truly exceptional weekend in the City of Light.

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paris with
Raymond
Blanc

10th-12th
may 2013
 

Friday

Start the weekend in style as you're collected in a chauffeur driven car and taken to the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London for a Champagne reception with host, Chef Raymond Blanc. You will then be then guided via a private security channel to your first class carriage aboard Eurostar, bound for Paris.

Following check in at the five-star Le Royal Monceau Raffles, Paris the entertainment will begin with a 'Fireside Chat' hosted by FT journalists featuring guests from the world of art and culture. Guests will then enjoy a decadent dinner designed by a renowned international chef. The evening will finish with late night drinks in Paris at a fashionable venue.

 

Saturday

Take part in an exclusive Parisian market tour hosted by Raymond Blanc. Raymond will bring to life his passion and Joie de vivre for the finest fresh produce that Paris has to offer. Brunch will be served at a beautiful location featuring special guests who will entertain and delight, making this a morning to remember.

A bespoke afternoon of relaxing activities will follow or just an opportunity to enjoy the world-class spa of the Le Royal Monceau, Raffles.

Saturday night will see the inaugural Quintessentially FT Weekend Gala Dinner. Raymond Blanc will design a spectacular menu created for this occasion.

FT Weekend journalists will interview special guests followed by a musical performance which will complete the evening.

 

Sunday

Sunday morning will give you the opportunity and time to relax and enjoy springtime in Paris including a number of Quintessentially FT Weekend hosted activities.

Following check out, you will be taken to the Seine to board a private charter for the final gastronomic lunchtime experience with Raymond Blanc as you travel around Paris's most beautiful places of interest.

Chauffeur driven cars will be waiting at the waterside to whisk you to your private carriage aboard the Eurostar bound for London.

 
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11th-13th October 2013

A Quintessentially FT Weekend in the Country

Join Raymond Blanc, Financial Times and Quintessentially Travel on our next culinary adventure at Raymond's beautiful hotel and restaurant "Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons" in Oxfordshire. The gastronomic weekend runs from Friday 11th until Sunday 13th October.

With Michelin starred food, live entertainment and a host of unique experiences, this will be a once in a lifetime weekend full of surprises.

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Weekend
in the
Country

11th-13th
October 2013
Access to the
ultimate bespoke
money-can't-buy
weekend
experiences.

Quintessentially FT Weekend is an exclusive collaboration between the Financial Times and the Quintessentially Group. Launched in 2013, Quintessentially FT Weekend brings together select groups of FT Weekend readers and subscribers alongside Quintessentially's global members who wish to experience the ultimate in money can't buy luxury weekends.

Providing access to the world's most interesting and sought after locations and people, Quintessentially FT Weekend brings to life the content of FT Weekend by collaborating with FT Weekend editors and guest contributors who host each weekend event and utilise their expert insight into topics, places and themes of interest which ignite the passions of the audience whilst granting ultimate access to five star locations and white glove service which Quintessentially is renowned.
A Quintessentially FT Weekend incorporates:

The finest food and wines

The world's most talented chefs

Arts and collecting with revered critics and commentators

Fireside Chats between FT journalists, contributors and high-profile guests

Musical performances from globally renowned artists

Luxury sporting pursuits and master classes with world-class professionals around the most exclusive tournaments
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