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Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons
Personnel, Alain Desenclos
Restaurant Director

Monsieur Alain (as we all know him) was actually Raymond Blanc's first boss when he started as the most junior member of the waiting staff at La Sorbonne in Oxford. In 1967, Alain enjoyed the success of a first Michelin star at Le Sorbonne: at the time it was only one of eight restaurants in the UK to be awarded.

It was there that he first met and worked with RB and 1979 joined him at 'Les Quat'Saisons' in Summertown, Oxford, as Restaurant Manager. After just one year, the restaurant was named Egon Ronay Restaurant of the Year and a host of other accolades including Michelin stars and Pestle & Mortar awards followed. That was the start of a great friendship and partnership that has survived and grown through all the changes over the past twenty years.

"There is no such misrepresentation with true maitres d'hotels: they really have your well-being and interest at heart, fight for you with the kitchen if necessary, stand on their head to turn your meal into a satisfying, interesting, stylish and sophisticated event, making it all seem a matter of course. Still representing such values in this county is the intelligent Alain at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons…' quoted from Egon Ronay.

When RB opened Le Manoir in 1984, Alain was naturally appointed Restaurant Director. All these years on, he is responsible for all aspects of the restaurant operation. With him, Restaurant Manager, Gurval Durand and Chef Sommelier, Rachel Pacquelet lead a team of forty five staff, including seven Sommeliers.

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