Raymond Blanc: "Our industry has been self-harming for many years"

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Raymond Blanc: "Our industry has been self-harming for many years"

Related tags: Chefs, Michelin

Raymond Blanc has issued an impassioned call for the hospitality industry to continue improving its working culture.

Speaking at the launch of the Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland 2020 on Monday the French chef said the sector had been “self-harming for many years” and needed to become an environment “where every parent would want to send their kids”.

He told BigHospitality​ after the event: “It’s up to us to make that happen at all levels. We need zero-tolerance in the kitchen [for bad behaviour]. I’m sorry, zero.

“Things are changing but there’s still more to do. A revolution doesn’t happen fast, there’s a cost and time attached to it, but it’s happening. It’s exciting to see and to be part of.”

Blanc is chef patron at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire, which has held two Michelin stars since 1984 and acted as a training ground for numerous top chefs including Ollie Dabbous, Agnar Sverrisson and Bruno Loubet.

Blanc told BigHospitality​ the team has been trying to reduce working hours at the hotel-restaurant.

He said: “We are almost where we want to be, on 48 hours a week, hopefully we will be there at the end of the year, then we’ll move to four days a week."

The chef helped present the new Michelin stars this year, and said it was "brilliant" so many were awarded to restaurants outside London.

He added that consumers were becoming more “knowledgeable and responsible” about food.

“It shows Great Britain is moving on further and faster," said Blanc. "You have a luxury that is changing, it’s not about small plates anymore, it’s about purity of ingredients, traceability, management of waste and proper training and management of people.

“The vegan movement is not just a fashionable [trend], it’s a deeper movement to do with us being more conscious of our food.

“We should collectively be very proud of what we’ve achieved in 20 years, because food was not [such a big part] of our culture back then.”

To see the full list of new Michelin-starred restaurants for 2020 click here.

Related topics: People

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