Chef Revelations – Benoit Blin

31 May 2012
Chef Revelations – Benoit Blin

What was your first job in catering?
A two-year apprenticeship as a baker

What do you normally have for breakfast?
One Actimel, a cup of very milky and sweet coffee and one of our homemade Le Manoir viennoiseries

What do you do to relax?
Play the piano

What is your favourite restaurant?
I don't have one as I love many, but one of my best experiences was eating in the fish tank, as they call it, of Alain Ducasse's kitchen in Monaco, with my good friend Gary Jones (executive chef at Le Manoir), with Frank Cerrutti cooking for us

What is your favourite hotel?
Palazzo Sasso, Ravello, Italy

If you had more time, what would you do?
Find more young British talent who would commit to develop the necessary skills and get a UK pastry team representation at every world stage whenever possible

What is your favourite cuisine?
Bouchon Lyonnais

What newspaper/website do you read?
Le Journal Du Patissier and Caterer and Hotelkeeper, of course

What is your favourite drink?
I love a good bottle of Meursault or Condireu on occasion, but I really enjoy my small glass of Ricard when I am off duty

Which person in catering have you most admired?
Philip Rigollot, a brilliant pastry chef

Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?
Jean Creveux, who taught me how to pull sugar; and Gabrielle Paillasson, founder of the Coupe du Monde de Patisserie - he's the Paul Bocuse of pastry

What irritates you most about the industry?
Eating similar desserts in many restaurants around the UK, as we are getting rid of pastry skills and buying in more prepped desserts

If not yourself, who would you rather have been?
A GT car racing driver

What would be your last supper?
It would have to be my mum's buckwheat pancakes, with a dollop of slightly salted butter

What's your favourite book?
Grand Livre De Cuisine: Alain Ducasse's Desserts and Pastries

What is your favourite prepared food product?
Valrhona 60% praline paste

Who would be in your fantasy brigade?
For me not a brigade, but a dream team to enter the Pastry World Cup would include Philip Rigollot, MOF and world champion in chocolate work and chocolate entremet, Annecy, France; Emanuel Ryon, MOF and world champion in ice carving and frozen entremets, Cafés Pouchkine, Moscow and Paris; and Christophe Michalack, world champion in sugar work and plated dessert, Plaza Athenée, Paris

Benoit Blin, executive pastry chef, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saison

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