THURSDAY 23 FEBRUARY 2012 SQUARE MILE SALUTE 2012
Square Mile Salute 2012
Last night I was honoured to be a part of the Square Mile Salute at the magnificent Guildhall, in the City of London. This extraordinary event was organized to honour and raise funds for our servicemen and women who give so much for their country.
The room was a wonder to behold: tables set for 450 guests in the palatial hall, the men in their finest black tie, the women looking beautiful in their fabulous dresses.
An amazing array of some of the country’s finest chefs and suppliers contributed to the event, ably assisted by the hard working students from two colleges: the University of West London and Stamford College in Lincolnshire.
I was fortunate to have the trusty Adam, assisted by Kush, to help with our part of the service – the main course – while I was enjoying myself on the floor. I was hugely proud of the boys, and to be part of the event: serving Boeuf Bourguignon to 450 people within 15 minutes is no mean feat!
Some of you may not think that food and suppliers are a natural part of the City environment, but in reality they have been inextricably linked for years. And of course the City workers are some of the best customers of all our restaurants: they are natural bon vivants, they enjoy celebrations and absolutely embrace L’Art de Vivre… and they usually pay their bills, too!
Even more importantly, the City is embracing the theme of sustainability – one of the key themes on the menu last night. The world is changing, and it is not business as usual. We need to protect our seas and the fish within them, and we need to do so actively, passionately.
On the menu last night, we had fantastic hand dived scallops, and juicy fat sea bass, line caught in Cornwall – examples of ethical, local sourcing. And I would just like to remind you that London is making huge efforts with sustainability. As part of this campaign, I am involved with Sustain, and the Sustainable Fish Cities initiative. In March I shall be presenting an award for the Sustainable Fish Restaurant of the year at the Sustainable Fish Cities awards, to be held at the Mansion House. There will be more news on this soon.
This wonderful evening was rounded off with a performance from the Military Wives choir – beautiful singing! Thank you to all who were involved in last night’s magnificent occasion, which raised so much for such deserving causes.
And thank you to Adaam for his photographs - is there nothing this man cannot do?
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Raymond Blanc's new book, Kitchen Secrets, featuring recipes from Kitchen Secrets Series 1 & 2 and many more, was published by Bloomsbury on 14 February and is available to buy online from Amazon, from Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Brasserie Blanc, Maison Blanc, and from online and retail bookstores.
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