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Raymond Blanc: “Why winter ingredients are so underrated”

Publisher - Great British Food Awards
published by


Jan 14, 2020
5 minutes to read
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Raymond Blanc leads us on a journey through the joys of winter cooking and ‘conscious indulgence’

For me, winter is one of the most exciting times of year. Interesting, when you would imagine that very little is happening in the garden – but you would be surprised! When it’s grey and miserable outside, magic is happening beneath the earth. As a child I remember our family cellar, which ran the whole length of our house. It was a wonderful place where we stored all the fruits and vegetables for the winter months – which in Besançon could last from November to April!

Even though times have changed and we don’t need to store food like we used to, now is the time to think of delicious, hearty dishes to prepare for friends and family. Winter flavours should be warm and comforting, and root vegetables bring flavour and character to the table. Think leeks, carrots, cauliflower, pumpkin, celeriac and beetroot – but you don’t need to settle for heavy dishes. Delicate recipes like watercress soup, beetroot salad with hot smoked salmon or celeriac purée served alongside roast wild duck also hit the spot.

“When it’s grey and miserable outside, magic is happening beneath the earth”

During the winter months of a new year, we also have a desire to turn over a new leaf – to reset our body clocks in readiness for spring – and at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, we are celebrating with our take on conscious indulgence. But what does that actually mean? Simply, that you don’t have to sacrifice taste and quality when you want to choose healthier dishes. To demonstrate this comforting fact, we are presenting a winter vegetarian menu at Belmond Le Manoir, including seasonal favourites like spiced cauliflower soup, terrine of garden beetroot, horseradish sorbet and a warming winter risotto.

We also have a vegan cookery course at The Raymond Blanc Cookery School in February to show that whether you’re a flexitarian, vegetarian or just want to try develop your skills, there’s no better time to try something new.

Raymond Blanc is chef-patron of Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, a seasonally-focused Michelin-starred restaurant and hotel in Oxfordshire. For more information visit

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