Raymond Blanc: Michelin stars 'less important' than offering good training opportunities

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Chef, Chefs, Michelin

Raymond Blanc picked up his Lifetime Achievement Award at Hotelympia
Raymond Blanc picked up his Lifetime Achievement Award at Hotelympia
Raymond Blanc has called on the industry to do more to ensure young staff are getting the right training and are being properly developed so that they are equipped with the right skills to progress through the industry.

Speaking at Hotelympia earlier today, the chef said that while Michelin stars are an important credit for restaurants, young chefs should seek out establishments with good training opportunities and that employers should ensure they were getting them.

"Michelin stars are important but not that important," he said. "I would advise a young student to go into the right establishment which has good training and will give them a proper introduction. That young man or woman should choose their employer very very well.

"At the same time we are having problems finding the right level of skills in young chefs and restaurateurs and that's wrong, so we must do something as employers to fix this.

"We as hoteliers and restaurateurs are responsible for working better with colleges. If we want to create a modern industry there is work to be done."

Long hours culture

Blanc, who was picking up his Lifetime Achievement Award at the trade show​ said more needed to be done also to reduce the long hours that chefs work in the kitchen.

He said he and his head chef at Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons Gary Jones were currently looking at simplifying certain procedures to free up time among members of his kitchen brigade.

"We work too long. Looking at procedures and making some things less intensive could give our chefs two hours rest a day," he said.

TV chef

The chef, who counts the Roux brothers and Anton Mosimann as big inspirations and whose TV series The Very Hungry Frenchman is currently airing on BBC1, said he was initially reluctant to appear on TV because of the bullying culture it seemed to highlight in some kitchens.

He said: "I didn't want to do TV. I didn't want to be part of these shows where chefs were undermining young people and shouting all the time. I didn't want to be part of this rock n roll celebrity chef culture. I thought those programmes were creating damage to our industry.

"If you saw them you wouldn't send your child into that industry."

He said he had now decided to partner with the BBC because there was a greater emphasis on showing quality food and a more positive view of the industry.

BigHospitality also caught up with Blanc later at Hotelympia for a video interview. View it by liking our Facebook page​.

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