Be inspired by the Michelin-starred chef’s favourite Autumn feast ideas and enter our competition to win a signed copy of his new recipe book, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons: The Story of a Modern Classic
Raymond Blanc is one of Britain’s most respected self-taught chefs and owner of the Michelin starred hotel-restaurant, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire. To celebrate the start of Autumn, we caught-up with Raymond himself, who fed us with inspiration for comforting seasonal dishes to serve when it’s cold outside.
Autumn is one of our favourite seasons, but what do you love the most about it?
“Each season is very special to me but, perhaps, my favourite is Autumn. After all, it was one of your poets – John Keats – who described it as the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness – and how right he was.
Autumn is a time when nature bursts into a riot of colour. The leaves turn a vibrant red and orange, and I adore walking outside to observe the Autumn sun casting its very special light on the different hues and colours in nature.
My gardens at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons are looking beautiful at the moment. You will often find me walking through the kitchen gardens checking on all our seasonal produce we nurture and grow – I am still astounded at how many wonderful ingredients thrive during the Autumn months.”
Out of the fresh ingredients currently growing in your garden, which are you most passionate about?
“At Belmond Le Manoir, we are serious about our seasonal produce; my chefs and I love to experiment with ingredients to create wonderfully warming dishes that excite the eye as much as they do the taste buds. It would be a crime to choose one Autumn ingredient that I most love so here are a few of my favourites:”
1. Earthy beetroot
“Apart from the great taste, we must not forget the health benefits of beetroot – nutritionists believe they are important for cardiovascular health. My mother used to make a warm beetroot salad with just a little salt and pepper, dash of olive oil, vinegar and some crumbled feta cheese.”
2. Root vegetables
“Who can forget about pumpkin, squash and cabbages? Root vegetables add so much heart to a dish – they are nearing their prime at this time of year and are perfect for roasting, or using in comforting soups.”
“The perfect dessert – apple tart. Maman Blanc makes the best one and she also gave me an invaluable tip: You must choose the right apple. It should have great flavour and a perfect balance of acidity and sweetness. Opt for Cox’s Orange Pippin, Braeburn, Worcester or Egremont Russet.”
Which simple seasonal dishes should we try at home this weekend?
“I use the freshest ingredients from our kitchen garden whenever I can – I am lucky I can pick what I need and use it straight away. One of my greatest delights is to see a meal go from garden to plate in all its wonderful glory!”
Raymond’s top three comfort dishes:
- Beetroot tart with onions, served with a simple green salad
- Ironbark pumpkin soup
- Classic apple tart
Don’t miss your chance to win an exclusive signed copy of Raymond Blanc’s latest book, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons: The Story Of A Modern Classic. This landmark book collates 30 years of his experience and expertise through all the seasons – with 120 mouth-watering recipes to try.
For the chance to win, simply fill in the form below. Good luck!
Competition closes midnight Wednesday 26th October and is open to UK residents only. For full Terms & Conditions click here.