Raymond Blanc arrived in Britain in 1972 as a 22-year-old, unemployed French waiter, with only a shaky grasp of English. Ten years later he was a chef with two Michelin stars. While he has been successful in his adopted home, he has never forgotten his first love; the food and wine of France.
By
April Smallwood

UPDATED 9:31 AM - 6 Sep 2013

In The Very Hungry Frenchman, Raymond is going back to five of his favourite regions to re-connect with the wonderful food and people that have inspired him: farmers in Burgundy, chefs in Lyon, winemakers in Alsace, good friends in Provence, and cheese makers in Franche-Comté.

Raymond Blanc's recipes

Comté cheese soufflé tart
Braised rabbit with mustard
Giboulet of cherries
Fried fish with tartare sauce
Beef bourguignon
Blackcurrant vacherin
Salade Lyonnaise
Bresse chicken with red wine vinegar
Chocolate crumble tart
Onion tart
Pork chop "Maman Blanc"
Rum baba
Bouillabaise terrine
Fish from Sanary sur Mer, roasted fennel and red wine jus
Early season strawberries, raspberry tuile and wild basil gelee

Episode 1: Franche-Comté
Every great chef has a rich bank of memories that shape their love of food. For Raymond Blanc, it’s in the high green pastures of the county of his birth – a little known region of France called Franche Comté.

Episode 2: Burgundy
Burgundy – or Bourgogne as the French call it – has the most aristocratic of all France’s regional cuisines. It is considered to be the centre of French food.

Episode 3: Lyon
In the Rhone-Alps, gourmets regard Lyon as the high-altar at which they can nourish their gastronomic souls. Lyon is the home of the greatest living chef, Paul Bocuse, mentor and friend to Raymond since his earliest days as a chef.

Episode 4: Alsace

When the Black mountains of Germany are on the horizon and the Rhine, which marks the border with France, appears, Raymond Blanc can only be in one place – Alsace.

Episode 5: Provence
Amongst the wealth of experiences that have inspired Raymond Blanc’s passion for food and cooking, few can rival his first visit to Provence as a 14 year old boy. Raymond has remained fascinated with the region, and for him there is no better way to remind himself of his early love affair with the food, than to drop in at quayside restaurant and savour the flavours of Provence with an appetiser.

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