|The Essential Guide to Restaurants, Dining Out, Food & Drink and Eating in Leeds.|
|Michelin starred Chef Raymond Blanc discusses his latest Leeds venture.|
|Legendary Michelin starred chef Raymond Blanc launched his sixth Brasserie Blanc in the centre of Leeds last year. The 120 cover French Brasserie and bar is located on the former site of Leodis restaurant on Sovereign Street, within the historic Victoria Mill building. The Brasserie has a warm and stylish interior with banquette seating and contemporary art by acclaimed artist Jenny Muncaster.|
|Raymond Blanc, widely acknowledged as one of the world’s finest chefs has been at the top of the industry for more than three decades, and has held two Michelin stars at the famed Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, near Oxford for the last 22 years. Regarded as one of the most respected restaurateurs in the industry, his restaurant group Brasserie Blanc celebrates its 10th Anniversary this year, and Blanc has been the inspiration for numerous young hopefuls entering the professional kitchen.
Tim Bilton, now Assistant Executive Chef at Leeds’ buzzing Italian eaterie Bibi’s, had the opportunity to learn from his culinary hero when he was sent to Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons on a work placement.
Spotting his talent Raymond Blanc invited him back and offered him a job. “The year I spent there was unbelievable and enabled me to become self disciplined, hard working and passionate about what I do,” said Tim.
On course to be one of the city’s best known restaurateurs, Raymond Blanc said: “Leeds is celebrated for the richness of its cultural life, the wealth and breadth of its food and restaurant traditions, and the warmth of its hospitality. I am particularly happy to be associated with all these aspects of this great city.”
A spokesman added that Blanc was heavily involved in training the chefs and devising the menu for the Leeds venture, and although he couldn't be at the restaurant every week he does plan to be there at least four times a year.
Raymond Blanc said: “Leeds is a vibrant city bursting with culture, fantastic restaurants and bars, as well as a thriving business community, and I have already experienced the warm welcome that Leeds is so famous for! In an area so rich in high quality producers and growers, I am also keen to add ingredients with Yorkshire provenance to my menu.”
The flagship restaurant ‘Le Petit Blanc’ originally opened in Oxford in 1996 and it was Raymond’s aim to be the best within the Brasserie scene in England - serving good quality, freshly prepared food at affordable prices. The brand's slogan is "real French food, close to home" and the spokesman said there is also a real focus on local produce, served up at affordable prices in a relaxed atmosphere.
The wine list is predominantly French, featuring wines sourced and bought directly from young, energetic wine makers in various regions of France. The ‘Dine with Wine’ menu offers a two course lunch or dinner (£11.50 lunch/£15 dinner) and includes a glass of wine. Lunch is served from 12 noon until 2.45pm and for dinner from 5.30pm Monday to Friday. It is also open all day Saturday and Sunday.
The Leeds eatery is among other Brasserie Blancs located in key provincial towns and cities such as Manchester, Birmingham, Cheltenham, Oxford and Tunbridge Wells, with further openings planned in Milton Keynes and Winchester.
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