Raymond's Veg Plot For All Seasons October 2003
The Mail on Sunday, Mark Anstead
"You only have to watch Raymond Blanc trot enthusiastically among his vegetables to understand why dining at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons is such a memorable experience.
Blanc's attitude is not simply that he grows his own vegetables, rather that he bases his entire menu around his organic kitchen garden and he visits it numerous times each day to discuss progress with his head gardener. "Food is a big part of my culture. I came from a working class house and my father was a watchmaker but we grew our own vegetables,' her says.
"We had one acre of land and 90 per cent of that was for growing and only ten per cent for lawn. In England you have it the other way around. To pick food in the morning and serve it that very afternoon on your plate - that is an ultimate gift."
Working with heed gardener Anne Marie Owens and her team of five, Blanc devised a plan for growing 90 carefully selected varieties of vegetables as well as 70 herbs so that from May to December her has a rough idea of what will be available to him. The plan then becomes the basis of his menu ideas, making the most of the different flavour combinations he knows he can offer. He believes in having complete control over the process of growing, cooking and eating so that quality can be protected at every stage."
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