Now boarding…eurostar’s new culinary director, Michelin starred chef Raymond Blanc, obe

31 Oct 2012
  • Sustainable, seasonal Business Premier menus bring together the best of Britain, France and Belgium
  • Eurostar becomes first transport provider to join the Sustainable Restaurant Association
  • New research shows majority of business travellers have maintained or increased their level of business travel in the past 12 months

Eurostar today proudly announces the appointment of world renowned Michelin starred chef, Raymond Blanc as its Culinary Director. The exciting new gastronomic partnership will see Raymond share his passion for promoting the very best in sustainable and seasonal food with Eurostar’s Business Premier passengers.

The announcement is supported by new research which reveals that despite the prevailing economic downturn, nearly two thirds (63%) of business travellers have either maintained or even increased their level of business travel in the past 12 months.

And while it’s good news that the wheels of British business are literally still turning, it appears it’s not such good news for business travellers themselves. The research also highlighted that over a third (34%) rated the quality of the meals they were served when travelling for business as below average.

When questioned further, these same travellers stressed the importance of good food and service on-board alongside more traditional considerations such as price and journey time. Two thirds (66%) highlighted the importance of eating sustainably sourced, seasonal and organic food, while over a third (35%) revealed that presentation of food was an important factor.

With these considerations in mind, Raymond Blanc is collaborating closely with Eurostar’s catering suppliers to help transform travellers’ perceptions of on-board catering. As a result of his on-going direction and work with Eurostar’s suppliers in Belgium, the UK and France, his new and exclusive Business Premier menus have been created to be innovative, seasonal and sustainable and feature several Blanc family recipes such as mackerel salad and chocolate delice with praline custard.

Raymond’s creative input has seen a renewed focus on locally sourced and sustainably produced ingredients of a local provenance.  The resulting menus combine rustic, traditional dishes with a fresh, modern element of surprise.

Commenting on his appointment, Raymond Blanc said; “As a chef, I’m always searching for the purest ingredients, striving to ensure that everything I use is traceable and responsibly sourced.  I’m delighted to work with Eurostar which shares these same values and was the first transport provider to join the Sustainable Restaurant Association. Together we’re working to change the perception of on-board cuisine and serving sustainable and locally sourced food which is at the heart of our new Business Premier menus.”

Reuben Arnold, Head of Commercial Development for Eurostar commented; “In the current climate many of our business clients have tough decisions to make.  We are committed to offering excellence at every step and continue to invest in our service to ensure it offers the best travel experience possible.  Working with one of the world’s most respected chefs we are demonstrating that we are genuinely putting our money where our mouth is…and delicious food on the plates of our Business Premier travellers.

The YouGov research also uncovered some of the ‘guilty pleasures’ business travellers enjoy whilst travelling on business.  These include snoozing on company time, using their headphones to drown out fellow passengers and getting stuck into complimentary magazines that they would never normally buy.

Top 5 travel ‘guilty pleasures’;

  • Enjoying an alcoholic drink or two
  • Putting  headphones in or shutting eyes to avoid talking to the person next to you
  • Getting stuck into complimentary magazines and newspapers
  • Having a snooze on-board when you should be working
  • Using bad signal as an excuse to ignore phone calls

In 2012, Eurostar became the first transport provider to join the Sustainable Restaurant Association and it will be rated over the coming months on its on-board catering. This commitment to achieving culinary excellence has followed on from a raft of other innovations to its Business Premier class including; the introduction of guaranteed boarding, quiet coaches and a new on-board taxi booking service.

Eurostar’s dedicated business class, Business Premier, offers the highest level of freedom to work in dedicated, comfortable surroundings. With fully flexible fares, Business Premier customers can enjoy a 10 minute express check-in, business lounge access, plus complementary drinks and fine dining.

For more information about Eurostar Business Premier to book Eurostar tickets visit www.eurostar.com or call 03448 224 777.

Ends

Notes to Editors:

  • Online survey by YouGov based on sample of over 1,000 business travellers aged 18 and above living in the UK. Fieldwork: 11 October – 15 October 2012

 

About Eurostar
1. Eurostar is the high-speed train service linking St Pancras International, Ebbsfleet International, Ashford International, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris, Avignon and the French Alps.

2. Eurostar was established in 1994 as a partnership between three railway companies: SNCF, SNCB and LCR (London and Continental Railways).  On 1 September 2010, Eurostar became a single, unified corporate entity owned by three shareholders: SNCF, SNCB and LCR.

3. The current Eurostar train was first introduced into service in 1994 carrying 750 passengers and operating at speeds of up to 300kph.  Since then, the fleet of 28 trains has carried more than 115 million passengers between London and the Continent.  Following their refurbishment these trains will continue to form a core part of the Eurostar fleet.

4. In 2012, Eurostar became the first transport provider to join the Sustainable Restaurant Association. In 2013, Eurostar will be rated by the Association for its work to source sustainable and locally produced food.

5. Eurostar and Eurotunnel are entirely separate companies.  Eurostar operates high-speed passenger trains, while Eurotunnel operates vehicle shuttle services and the Channel Tunnel itself. Eurostar is Eurotunnel’s biggest customer.

For more information:
Eurostar Press Office 
020 7843 5500 / press.office@eurostar.co.uk

About Raymond Blanc OBE, Chef Patron
Born in Besançon, France in 1949, Raymond Blanc is acknowledged as one of the finest chefs in the world.  His exquisite cooking has received tributes from every national and international guide to culinary excellence.

At the age of 28, Raymond Blanc opened his first restaurant, ‘Les Quat’Saisons’ in Summertown, Oxford.  After just one year, the restaurant was named Egon Ronay Restaurant of the Year and was awarded two Michelin Stars.

In 1984, he opened Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons in Great Milton, Oxford.  Le Manoir is the only country house hotel in the UK, which has achieved two Michelin Stars consecutively for 27 years.

In 1991, Raymond Blanc established The Raymond Blanc Cookery School, welcoming both enthusiastic amateurs and professional cooks to the kitchen.  The school provides the opportunity to develop their skills while learning some of Raymond Blanc’s kitchen secrets.
In 1996, Raymond Blanc opened his first Le Petit Blanc brasserie in Oxford.  His vision was to be the best within the brasserie scene in England, serving good quality, freshly prepared food at a price that was accessible and represented excellent value.  In 2006, Le Petit Blanc was re-launched as Brasserie Blanc. The group has already expanded to 18 brasseries throughout the UK including 7 new openings in London.
During his career, Raymond Blanc has written a selection of best sellers, including his recent autobiography ‘A Taste of My Life’. Raymond Blanc has also appeared on several different television series including, ‘‘The Restaurant’, ‘Kitchen Secrets’, which was accompanied by a best selling cookbook and most recently ‘The Very Hungry Frenchman’ series on BBC 2.

Raymond Blanc has won many awards and accolades in his career and he is a member of many different professional bodies and he is President of the Sustainable Restaurant Association

About the Sustainable Restaurant Association
The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) is a national, not-for-profit membership organisation providing more than 1000 restaurants with expert sustainability advice through a team of specialist account managers. The SRA helps member restaurants source food more sustainably, manage resources more efficiently and work more closely with their community.  Members enjoy the economic benefits of greater sustainability and the SRA promotes their activities to consumers.

How restaurants are rated:
The SRA Rating System involves Restaurants completing a rigorous survey, providing answers and evidence to 65 questions across 14 areas of sustainability. The SRA then assesses the results and rates the restaurants accordingly.

Three-Star Sustainability Champions – These restaurants have demonstrated exceptional all round sustainability, scoring consistently well across every category totalling at least 70%.
Two-Star Sustainability Champions – These restaurants have demonstrated excellent all round sustainability, scoring at least 60%.
One-Star Sustainability Champions – These restaurants have demonstrated good all round sustainability, scoring at least 50%.