Raymond Blanc and Nick Clegg promote school meals at Brasserie Blanc Oxford

05 November 2014 by
Raymond Blanc and Nick Clegg promote school meals at Brasserie Blanc Oxford

French chef Raymond Blanc has teamed up with school chefs and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg to promote healthy eating at the start of National School Meals Week.

The chef, who runs the two-Michelin-starred Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat' Saisons in Oxfordshire, invited local school children to breakfast at the Brasserie Blanc site in Oxford city centre, before leading them through a pumpkin pie masterclass.

Raymond, Clegg, and the children then took part in a "pancake-off", which saw everyone make and flip their own pancakes.

The move comes in light of Brasserie Blanc's recently-launched new children's menu, based on children's app Henri Le Worm, created by Blanc's son Olivier. Dishes include mini moules-frites, and smaller charcuterie platters.

Children dining at the group's restaurants also receive a puzzle sheet with healthy recipes and food tips designed to help them know where their food comes from.

Blanc is well-known for his hands-on approach to gardening and food sourcing; the two-acre kitchen garden at Le Manoir is said to produce 90 different kinds of vegetable and 70 sorts of herb.

Brasserie Blanc currently operates 20 French-style sites across the UK, including seven in London, plus others in Portsmouth, Bath, Bristol, Winchester, and St Albans.

The 21st annual National School Meals Week is running from 3-7 November, in a bid to highlight the importance of healthy school meals to children.

Chefs Kenny Atkinson and Dave Coulson have also stated support for the awareness week, having recently opened their kitchens to two north-east-based school cooks in a bid to share knowledge and tips on how to produce top-quality, nutritious food in a high-pressure environment.

Blanc, Atkinson and Coulson join the Square chef patron Philip Howard in helping develop ways to make school meals more appealing; Howard recently revamped secondary school dishes for foodservice firm Cucina (for British Food Fortnight), while John Vincent and Henry Dimbleby have also addressed the issue via their Independent School Food Plan.

Kenny Atkinson takes part in North East school meals training event >>

Cucina and chef Phil Howard create new school meals for British Food Fortnight >>

Leon's Henry Dimbleby insists review of school meals isn't driven by money >>

39 steps to improve school meals uptake >>

Brasserie Blanc rebranded to reflect more casual tone >>

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