Yesterday I went to Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons for the launch of chef Raymond Blanc’s new cookware collection, designed with Anolon.
The range, which is due to hit the shops in August, consists of new Anodized Clad cookware with a special sandwich-style construction (an aluminium core with a stainless steel interior and a hard anodized exterior) for excellent durability and cooking performance. Another highlight from the new ‘Raymond Blanc by Anolon’ collection is a cast iron range – elegant deep casserole pots and grill pans which, we were told by an Anolon rep, are ‘set to rival Le Creuset’.
Le Manoir Aux Quat' Saisons – Blanc's heavenly hotel in Oxfordshire
Raymond’s passion for his range was clear – he is certainly not just slapping his signature on a product. He described how he has been involved with the design process at every stage and even mentioned a few ‘minor alterations’ he wanted to make to a new knife collection they’re still working on.
Raymond revealed that he has several exciting projects in the pipeline – he’s about to start filming a new cookery TV show for the BBC, and he’s planning to open two ‘Maison Blanc’ hotel restaurants, one in Winchester and one in Henley. When asked about the future of food in the UK, Blanc was passionate.
‘We need to reconnect with home cooking,’ he said. ‘There are so many cookery shows on TV, but the British still cook very little as it’s seen as too much effort.’
‘I think the economic situation will mean that knowledge and ethics will drive our consumer decisions,’ he predicted. ‘Over the past few years we have been shallow about many things, including food. People cared about what it looked like, not where it came from or the ethics behind its production.’
He believes that over the next few years, quality and ethical values will become more and more important. ‘We will be making decisions about food based on environmental issues, and there will be more emphasis than ever before on farming and organic standards. This can only be a good thing,’ he concluded. – Ellie
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