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Raymond Blanc gathers former protégés for star-studded anniversary dinner

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Raymond Blanc gathers former protégés for star-studded anniversary dinner

Raymond Blanc has assembled a star-studded lineup of former protégés for a celebratory dinner to mark the 35th anniversary of Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.

Five former chefs who came through the kitchens of Le Manoir – Michael Caines, Ollie Dabbous (pictured, right), Robin Gill, Agnar Sverisson and Clive Fretwell – will join current executive head chef Gary Jones and chef patissier Benoit Blin to deliver a celebratory seven-course banquet on 15 October.

Brasserie Blanc executive chef Fretwell was the first to join Le Manoir and spent nearly 12 years as head chef from 1986 to 1997.

Caines, chef patron of Lympstone Manor, was the next of the five guest chefs to work under Blanc, for three years from 1989 to 1991.

Hide chef patron Dabbous joined Le Manoir aged 20 in the early 2000s and spent two-and-a-half years in the kitchen, rising to chef de partie.

Gill, who opened the highly acclaimed Darby’s in May, initially joined Le Manoir as part of a stage on the butchery section but eventually rose to junior sous chef, before leaving to cook at Blanc’s private members club at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium.

Sverisson, chef patron of Texture, joined Le Manoir in 2002 and was promoted to sous chef and, in 2005, head chef.

Jones (below, right) and Blin (centre) have each worked alongside Blanc for more than 20 years at the five-red-AA-star and two-Michelin-star property.

RB, Benoit Blin and Gary Jones

They’re seven of a huge number of successful chefs who have learnt their trade in the kitchens of Le Manoir, with more than 30 going on to win Michelin stars in their own restaurants. Other protégés include:

  • Heston Blumenthal (the Fat Duck)
  • Marco Pierre White (Koffman & Mr Whites)
  • Eric Chavot (Bob Bob Ricard)
  • David Moore (Pied a Terre)
  • Martin Burge (Farncombe Estate)
  • Simon Haigh (Eden Hotel Collection)
  • Elisha Carter (Roux at the Landau)
  • JJ Goodman (London Cocktail Club)
  • Aaron Patterson (Hambledon Hall)
  • Paul Heathcote (Heathcote & Co)

“I really wanted to train, train, train,” says Blanc, who credits his “values of provenance, a full year-round programme of development, looking after these young people, growing them and involving them in the detail” for his prolific development of highly-acclaimed chefs.

Each of the seven chefs will be rejoining the kitchen where they received their training to create a dish for the autumnal feast. Tickets are £345 per person including wine pairing and can be purchased here.
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