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Tuesday 29 Jul 2014

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The Restaurant: Raymond Blanc

Born in Besançon, France, in 1949, Raymond Blanc is acknowledged as one of the finest chefs in the world. His exquisite cooking has received tributes from every national and international guide to culinary excellence.

Raymond Blanc arrived in England in 1972 to work as a waiter at the Rose Revived Restaurant near Witney. When the chef became ill he took over and, two years later, the restaurant gained entry into the Michelin Guide.

At the age of 28 Raymond Blanc opened his first restaurant, Les Quat' Saisons, in Summertown, Oxford. After just one year, the restaurant was named Egon Ronay Restaurant of the Year and a host of other accolades including Michelin Stars and Pestle & Mortar awards followed.

It was in 1984 that he fulfilled a personal vision, creating a hotel and restaurant in harmony when he opened Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons in Great Milton, Oxford. Le Manoir is the only country house hotel in the UK which has achieved two Michelin Stars for a total of 22 years.

In 1986, Raymond opened his first Brasserie Blanc in Oxford – his aim was to be the best within the brasserie scene in England, serving good quality, affordable food. He now has eight brasseries across the UK.

Passionate about sharing his knowledge, in 1991 Raymond Blanc established his eponymous cookery school, welcoming both enthusiastic amateurs and professional cooks to the kitchen. The school provides the opportunity to develop your own skills while learning some of Raymond's own kitchen secrets.

In 2008, he was awarded an honorary OBE (Officer of the British Empire) in recognition of his services in promoting culinary excellence and for raising awareness of the importance of healthy food as a central element of family life.

Raymond has also written a host of best-selling cookery books.

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