Raymond Blanc has won a special Lifetime Achievement Award from the Good Food Guide 2011 today, as it celebrates its launch and 60th anniversary.
Blanc was first listed in the guide in the 1978 edition, when he was awarded a top score. As the review pointed out, "even the loud American pontificating at the next table fell silent while eating."
Since then, Blanc has appeared in 32 editions of the guide. The Lifetime Achievement Award, the first to be handed out by the guide, recognises the chef's "unerring commitment to consistency, quality and seasonal produce and reflects the impact he has had on the UK dining scene".
For almost a decade (1999-2008), Blanc's restaurant, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, received one of the highest accolades - a cooking score of 9 out of 10. This year, the Good Food Guide 2011 named it the third-best restaurant in the UK, behind only Heston Blumenthal's the Fat Duck and Gordon Ramsay's Royal Hospital Road restaurant.
Elizabeth Carter, consultant editor of the Good Food Guide, said: "In its 60-year history, The Good Food Guide has borne witness to, and in part brought about, a changing approach to dining out in the UK. Few chefs have had more of a hand in shaping modern British dining than Raymond Blanc, a true culinary giant who has impressed diners and inspired fellow chefs since 1978."
Raymond Blanc said: "The Good Food Guide is one of the most valuable restaurant guides in the UK, and one that I am proud to be associated with. It is a personal honour for me to see so many chefs who have trained here at Le Manoir go on and be acknowledged in their own right in this respected guide."
Other award winners in The Good Food Guide 2011 include:
Best Chef Sat Bains, Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottinghamshire
â- Best up-and-coming chef Mary-Ellen McTague, Aumbry, Greater Manchester
â- Best new entry 2011 Artichoke, Buckinghamshire.
â- Best pub newcomer Simon Bonwick, The Three Tuns, Oxfordshire.
â- Best pub chef Jason King, The Wellington Arms, Hampshire.
â- Best fish restaurant Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Cornwall.
â- Best value for money delifonseca, Merseyside.
â- Best use of local produce Ode, Devon.â- Wine list of the year The Queensberry Hotel, Olive Tree Restaurant, Somerset.
â- Best family restaurant Cwtch, Wales.
Good Food Guide expands top restaurant listing to 50 >>
By Neil Gerrard
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