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Meet the chef: Raymond Blanc interview

Raymond Blanc (Le Manoir, Brasserie Blanc) speaks to us about his favourite wines, what's always in his fridge and his go-to 15-minute supper. Plus, the French chef reveals his guilty food pleasure.

My favourite wine is Pinot Noir. My terroir has decided for me that this is what I will drink. I love all Pinot Noir, from the simplest to the most expensive. Occassionally, when I’m cold, I like rich Bordeaux or a 1999 Chateau Montus. I also enjoy Jura wines when I go back home to Besançon. Vin Jaune has so much character from barrel ageing that makes it the perfect pairing for Comté cheese.

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In my fridge there’s always avocado, garlic and eggs – the basis of everything! My mum’s raspberry jam is in there, and I always have some saucisson de morteau, gherkins and sourdough for an effortless dinner. With a bottle of red, of course.  

My favourite 15-minute supper to make at home is broad beans with olive oil, plenty of crushed garlic, water to steam, and salt and pepper to season. I love meaty, rich broad beans. We get through tonnes at Le Manoir.  

My guilty pleasure food is anything simple and starchy – chickpeas, lentils, beans… and sardines! I also love drinking red wine with cheese, even though they hate each other and the flavours clash. The French are very traditional, so we continue to pair them anyway!

If you gave me a tenner I‘d spend it on Glendale raspberries from Scotland (served with a dollop of crème fraiche). They ripen slowly, so the sugars have plenty of time to gather to create a sweet fruit reminiscent of cherries and mirabelles. Of course, if I have a nice bottle of red at home I would also spend it on cheese. 

A restaurant trend I see being the next big thing is cooking that reconnects with terroir and simplicity. Molecular gastronomy will give way to real, authentic cooking as consumers and chefs are becoming more and more knowledgeable about food and respectful of produce. Chefs will continue to reconnect with local values, along with the farmers and fisherman, as they gain more morality when it comes to food.

On a Sunday I like to get out and about and drive 20 miles or so. I love going to restaurants like L’Enclume, The Pig and Dabbous. Also my local Brasserie Blanc is very convenient.

Raymond Blanc is working with Kenwood to teach some of Britain’s worst chefs how to cook in just six weeks. The Kenwood Disaster Chef competition is open for entries via the Kenwood Facebook page.


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