The lovely Raymond Blanc OBE is a double Michelin-starred chef who is the acclaimed Chef Patron of Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Great Milton, Oxfordshire. He is famous for his passion for seasonal ingredients, often sourced from the estate's 2-acre organic vegetable garden which produces over 90 varieties. Here Raymond tells us some of the kitchen tools he couldn't live without.
He has appeared on our TV screens showcasing his passion for food for over 25 years, and has proved to be one of France’s most popular imports to the UK. Beloved by many for his warm on screen persona, and revered for his culinary skills by all, Raymond has influenced a whole generation of British chef’s and has been instrumental in the reinventing of British food on the world stage.
Here are Raymond Blanc's 5 Kitchen Essentials:
To use a grill pan effectively, the key is to get it HOT! All too often this means the pan warps or even develops localised heat spots resulting in uneven cooking. Specifically designed to withstand the heat both on the stove top and even in the oven. The pan is made from aluminium with a non-stick interior, giving it a light feel, perfect for cooking some of my true favourites… like 'Steak Maman Blanc’.
What many people don’t know is that Kenwood Chef machines are used in Michelin starred kitchens around the world and are often the 'go to' machines for professional chefs. When I look at using a piece of equipment I focus on quality, not only in its construction but in its function too. This new Chef Sense gives the closest planetary mixing and even senses when the mixing load is too heavy and adjusts the speed accordingly to protect the motor. With its sharp new design, it not only takes pride of place in my home, but in the Raymond Blanc Cookery School as well.
The perfect tool to ensure precision with your cooking, giving you a much better understanding of what's happening in the heart of your food. It means you can double check your recipes and predetermined timings in order to get the best results. It is easy for us to see what is happening on the outside of a soufflé baking for example, but how do you know when it is truly ready to come out of the oven and WOW your guests? Whether it be your Sunday roast or a Crème Anglaise, a food probe will help you to no end.
An essential for good quality home baking and one that I use often. Traditional baking ovens worked with stone bases and were fired from underneath, thus holding high temperatures and distributing this heat evenly. By having an oven baking stone, you can get the same results allowing you to make breads equal to that of your local artisan bakery or tart cases like that of a professional patisserie. It may take a bit of practice mind you, but you will not be disappointed.
A great tool for making your life easier when using your baking stone. From lifting a lined tart ring and placing it on your baking stone, to removing it without damaging the delicately thin golden crust... this tool goes hand-in-hand with the baking stone and a real must-have in all of my kitchens.