Raymond Blanc has been awarded a special Lifetime Achievement Award by The Good Food Guide 2011 today, as it celebrates its launch and 60th anniversary.
Created in 1951 to raise the standards of dining out in Britain, The Good Food Guide has become indispensable for the UK’s restaurant lovers. Raymond Blanc has been a stalwart of the Guide since his first listing in the 1978 edition, when he was awarded a top score*. As the review pointed out, “even the loud American pontificating at the next table fell silent while eating.”
Since then, Raymond Blanc has appeared in 32 editions of the Guide. The Lifetime Achievement Award, the first to be handed out by the Guide, recognises the chef’s unerring commitment to consistency, quality and seasonal produce and reflects the impact he’s had on the UK dining scene.
When Raymond Blanc’s first restaurant, Les Quat’Saisons, changed location to become Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, it was given a provisional entry in the 1984 edition of The Good Food Guide even before it opened. This unusual entry was included due to the ‘enormous enthusiasm… for Mr Blanc’s cooking’, and included a glowing tribute from novelist Ian McEwan.
For almost a decade (1999-2008), Le Manoir received one of the highest accolades – a cooking score of 9 out of 10. Today, it maintains its stellar reputation, with The Good Food Guide 2011 naming it the third best restaurant in the UK, behind only Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck and Gordon Ramsay’s Royal Hospital Road.
Elizabeth Carter, Consultant Editor, The Good Food Guide, says:
“In its 60 year history, The Good Food Guide has borne witness to, and in part brought about, a changing approach to dining out in the UK.
“Few chefs have had more of a hand in shaping modern British dining than Raymond Blanc, a true culinary giant who has impressed diners and inspired fellow chefs since 1978.”
Raymond Blanc says:
“The Good Food Guide is one of the most valuable restaurant guides in the UK, and one that I am proud to be associated with. It is a personal honour for me to see so many chefs who have trained here at Le Manoir go on and be acknowledged in their own right in this respected Guide.”
Other award winners** in The Good Food Guide 2011 include Best chef Sat Bains, from Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottinghamshire, Best up-and-coming chef Mary-Ellen McTague from Aumbry in Greater Manchester and Best pub newcomer Simon Bonwick, from The Three Tuns in Oxfordshire.