WE ALL know he can cook but who knew Raymond Blanc of Oxford’s Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons could sing too.
The owner of the hotel with its two Michelin star restaurant showed off a new skill when he hosted a recent Martell Cognac Very Special Nights event.
The event was part of a promotion by the oldest major cognac house in the world.
Lucky prize-winners were treated to a money-can’t-buy night at the venue in Great Milton.
The evening began in the newly opened La Belle Époque conservatory and walled garden with an intimate live performance by mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins. She glided in looking like Opera Barbie in a halter-neck ice blue ballgown performing a beautiful version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.
More songs followed but the highlight had to be when she was joined by Raymond.
After sharing some banter that he was responsible for her recent engagement to New Yorker Andrew Levitas because he taught her how to cook, Katherine encouraged Raymond to sing La Vie En Rose with her.
But don’t expect to see the mezzo soprano trading places and appearing in the Celebrity Masterchef kitchen any time soon.
Despite Raymond’s urging she gave the idea of taking part in the show a firm thumbs down.
Following the performance guests were treated to a five-course meal – a beetroot terrine; Cornish crab with courgette flowers and ginger; salmon with cauliflower, horseradish and cucumber; Oxfordshire lamb with baby artichokes and a theme on strawberries for dessert – followed by a Martell Cognac masterclass.
The next Martell Very Special Nights series will be announced later this year. You can visit martellveryspecialnights.com for information on the events and also find recipes, playlists and other suggestions to create your own special night at home.
Below are recipes for cocktails served on the night.