Budding chefs get a Blanc slate

Raymond Blanc MK College
Raymond Blanc MK College

A dozen young chefs from Milton Keynes College met celebrity chef Raymond Blanc OBE last week.

The group visited Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, the two Michelin star Oxfordshire hotel and restaurant, before speaking to Raymond himself about his glittering career.

He told them: “It’s the people who work at Le Manoir who are at the very centre of what we do. Without my team, I am nothing.

“It’s a chef’s responsibility to pass their knowledge on to younger chefs. We invest in the right people and sharing the knowledge taught at Le Manoir is essential.”

The Level 3 students were also treated to a tour of the venue’s kitchens, gardens and luxurious bedrooms, as well as a special tutorial with executive head chef Gary Jones who prepared a dish from the lunch menu while sharing secrets from his rich working experience.

18-year-old Olivia Scarfe said: “It has been an amazing experience to witness how a professional kitchen like this operates behind the scenes. I was so excited to hear about Raymond Blanc’s career and to think about what mine could be like if I continue to work towards my dream of working in fine dining.”

MK College’s hospitality and catering programme manager Tony Oxley said: “We’ve taken many groups of students over to see what it’s like to work for such a refined and impressive establishment.

“Even our head chef Darren Klein, restaurant manager Sarah King, lecturer Seb Barboteau and I have been here for continual professional training sessions with techniques being incorporated into our training kitchens back at college.”

In MK College’s history, two former students have secured work experience which has led to full-time employment at Le Manoir. This April, student Michael Humble will also be joining the world-famous business. “