Brasserie Blanc’s birthday celebrations got into full swing in Leeds recently, when legendary Chef Raymond Blanc OBE introduced children from Manston St James School in Crossgates to a ‘Taste of France’.
The county’s favoured Frenchman, Raymond Blanc, set up ‘L’école de Raymond’ at Brasserie Blanc with the help of a team of students from Leeds University, which is home to the largest French Department in the UK. The children learnt French words and phrases, including the ingredients for traditional French dishes, and even got the chance to try out some French delicacies.
Since Brasserie Blanc opened in 2007 over 70,000 baguettes have been baked, 11,980 portions of mussels munched and 32,244 snails swallowed. Whilst the children all knew what ‘une baguette’ looked like there were a few squeals when ‘les escargots’ were served up!
Watch this Face-contorting video as Leeds pupils sample the snails
Raymond said: “We’ve had a great time today and who knows, escargot could be on the menu at Manston St James in a few weeks. The children told me they are going to start growing their own produce too, so I’ll look forward to hearing about how they get on. I always enjoy my visits to Leeds, the wonderful people of Yorkshire have made me very welcome here and supported so much over the past five years.”
Headteacher, Mark Edwards said: “What a start to the new term. The children have had a fantastic time and have learnt so much. The students from Leeds University have been excellent and we’ve picked up some useful tips from Raymond about our new kitchen garden. We hope that the produce we grow will go straight into our own tasty recipes in the school kitchen.”
Raymond Blanc has had a strong association with Leeds even before Brasserie Blanc was opened. His son was a student at Leeds University, earlier this year he added his support to Welcome to Yorkshire’s ‘Back Le Bid’ campaign to bring the Tour de France to Yorkshire, he is also patron of local initiative Pedal for Yorkshire which raises money for Marie Curie Cancer Care.
As part of his visit to Leeds, Raymond joined Liz Green on BBC Radio Leeds for a One to One. You can listen to the interview for the next six days here: www.bbc.co.uk/LizGreenRaymondBlanc