Orient Express, which operates 40 unique hotels around the world, acquired Virgin Hotels’ equity stake in Le Manoir in 2002, forging a close relationship between the two Michelin-starred chef and the company.
In his new position, Blanc will act as a consultant to the group’s food and beverage operation across its portfolio of hotels, trains and cruises, helping to improve and enhance their current offer.
As part of his first project, Blanc is working to design and develop the restaurant at Orient-Express’s latest property, El Encanto in Santa Barbara, California, which is due to open in 2012.
Blanc said: “Unlike many hotel companies, Orient-Express runs its own restaurants and the reason they are successful is because they really aren't hotel dining rooms, but restaurants in the true meaning of the word.
“There are still many ways to enhance these offerings and I look forward to this opportunity to get more involved with my Orient-Express colleagues."
Paul White, president and chief executive of Orient-Express Hotels, said the staff across the group’s portfolio would no doubt benefit from Blanc’s new found involvement in the company.
“Raymond is one of the world's most talented chefs and he has an amazing track record of encouraging his colleagues on to greater achievement. No less than 25 Michelin starred chefs trained with Raymond at some point in their careers.”