Raymond Blanc has lived and worked as a chef and businessman in the UK for 40 years but is still very much a Frenchman and instills his country’s influence wherever he goes.
Diners can expect this from Brasserie Blanc when it opens on the High Street in Berkhamsted on Monday, April 2.
The award-winning chef doesn’t want people to treat it as just a place for special occasions, nor does he want them to expect the kind of posh dining they would experience at his Michelin-starred restaurant Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.
He explained: “I want to create something which is a lesson in culture. My own simplicity.
“If Le Manoir is an orchestra, Brasserie Blanc is a French can-can.
“The brasserie has great values, good ethics and a bit of prominence with free range, organic and local food.
“Good food is often seen as a luxury but I want to demystify that and make it affordable to more people.”
The father-of-two is wasting no time spreading his word and will be making a visit to Berkhamsted School next Wednesday for the launch of its food technology kitchen and to cook with the pupils.
Raymond grew up cooking with his mother and believes early learning in cooking is an essential – the recipes Maman Blanc taught him have inspired many items on the Brasserie Blanc menu.
He said: “We have a problem with malnutrition in Britain. I think introducing young people to good food teaches them how food connects with everything in life.
“The growing of food from seed connects with soil, heritage and history. Even landscapes, traditions and crafts.”
Not only will it bring a little of Raymond’s celebrity sparkle to the high street but it will also, and most importantly, introduce diners to his way of thinking.