FRIDAY 21 JANUARY 2011 • TALKING MICHELIN STARS
Michelin Stars 2011
Yesterday, the Michelin guide announced the stars for Great Britain & Ireland for 2011. There was much anticipation surrounding the announcement. Like it or not, the opinion of the Michelin guide still counts for a great deal to chefs and restaurateurs. And this was the 100th edition of the guide – so they must be doing something right! So the opinion of these anonymous inspectors – and a cartoon character made up of tyres – is very important.
First, very many congratulations to all those who won a star – or two – for the first time. Particularly to my compatriot, Hélène Darroze, who won two stars for her outstanding cooking at the Connaught. She is a truly talented chef and a very nice person – this is a well-deserved award. Congratulations, too, to Skye Gyngell at Petersham Nurseries: we filmed at her beautiful garden restaurant during the first series of Kitchen Secrets. Of course, I must mention some of our Le Manoir protégés: Alan Murchison earned a star for his latest venture, Paris House, and Adam Simmonds at Danesfield House.
As you probably know, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons keeps two stars – for the 27th year. We first earned two stars at Les Quat’Saisons in Oxford which was the precursor of Le Manoir. So, altogether that’s 32 years… that feels like a VERY long time! But we’re still having fun, loving the work, the constant development and invention – and most of all, we love cooking, serving and looking after our wonderful guests. My congratulations must go to Gary, Benoit, Philip and the whole team at Le Manoir who keep everything running so smoothly and to such high standards – every day.
The night before the awards, Michelin held a little party to celebrate 100 years of the Guide. It was a great evening, very relaxed, in the company of so many of my friends. We took the opportunity to raise a glass to M. Michelin, and let us do so again: 100 years – that’s a great achievement!
PS I have so much news coming up in 2011: the opening of the London Cocktail Club with JJ & James, a new series of Raymond Blanc Kitchen Secrets on BBC2, and a book – Kitchen Secrets by Raymond Blanc, published by Bloomsbury – all of this is happening in the next few weeks, with much more to follow. I’ll be keeping you all informed… Best RB
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