What’s in my kitchen: Raymond Blanc
Written by Greg Sunning
Responsible for having trained some of the world’s greatest chefs, who between them have amassed 35 Michelin stars, Raymond Blanc’s own two-Michelin-star restaurant Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons has retained its stars for a staggering 32 years.
Blanc has long been an advocate of seasonal ingredients, nurturing a kitchen garden, and working in harmony with the land. Meanwhile his approach to cooking, hugely influenced by his mother, he says, has long celebrated the seasons. He adores regional cuisine and holds a healthy disrespect for modish fashions.
Famously a perfectionist, his passion for food is relentless. This May he is serving over 4,000 guests within the hospitality area ‘Jardin Blanc’ at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London. From there he heads to the horse-racing at Royal Ascot to cook for excited race-goers.
In October his next book, four years in the making, will launch. “This is no ordinary book,” he says. “More than 550 pages dedicated to the history, food, life, gardens, and rooms of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons. It has caused me many late nights along the way... and I cannot wait.”
Which items will you find in his kitchen? These five must-haves:
A thermometer is an absolute must in my kitchens. It tells you exactly what is going on inside your food. As your roast beef rests, your probe will show the temperature rise to 55°C which is perfect for medium rare.
My favourite griddle pan (it even has my name on it!) to do Steak Maman Blanc. Simple, quick, and delicious. Gives great markings and fabulous taste to the meat. A taste of home.
My favourite olive oil is produced by Vittorio Cassini. I have truly found this Ligurian oil from northern Italy to be one of the best and use it all the time. You will always find it in my kitchens, and you may even catch me dipping my bread into it now and again. Irresistible. We test it every year against other top brands, and it always keeps winning.
I fell in love with the Kenwood mixer over 30 years ago. I’m completely amazed at the quality and durability of it. Even if your Kenwood is a pensioner, they will repair it for you. Be it at Belmond Le Manoir or the Raymond Blanc Cookery School we always have a Kenwood to hand.
What Frenchman would not have garlic in their kitchen?! It is especially good for you in the winter to fight off illness and colds.