Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons hosts Adopt a School Fundraising Dinner

Publish Date: October 11, 2018 Posted By: Alys Bannister

On 25th September, Raymond Blanc’s Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons opened its doors to welcome guests for an exclusive dinner in aid of the Royal Academy of Culinary Art’s Adopt a School Trust. The annual dinner is one of Adopt a School’s most popular fundraising events, with the limited number of tickets selling out almost instantly. Once again, the event provided an unrivalled experience, highlighted by a luxury four-course menu designed and  prepared by chefs Gary Jones and Benoit Blin.

The evening was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and witness the impact the Adopt a School Programme has on children’s lives. Pupils from Chalgrove Primary School, whose school is adopted by Gary Jones as part of the Adopt a School Programme, were invited into the kitchen to help prepare and serve canapés to guests upon their arrival, emphasising the raison d’etre of this fundraising event. Chef Thomas Marriage, who also received Adopt a School sessions from Gary Jones when he was at Chalgrove Primary School was so inspired by the programme, he trained to become a chef; seven years later, he has now become Commis Chef Apprentice at Le Manoir. Tom reflected on his experiences of the programme that the evening: “if it wasn’t for Adopt a School, I wouldn’t be here…I thank the programme for where I am now.” Raymond Blanc later described  Tom’s experience as a “wonderful local story”.

A  phenomenal team of chefs generously gave up their time to produce a sensational menu for the night. Gary Jones and his team initiated proceedings with a terrine of garden beetroot and horseradish sorbet. This was then followed by Cornish crab, kaffir lime, coconut and chilli and then a main of jambugo ham, hen’s egg, watercress puree, and toasted hazelnut. The sublime menu was finished off by Benoit Blin MCA, with a bitter chocolate marquise with soft caramel and Curcuma ice cream.

A special thanks to Raymond Blanc OBE, Gary Jones, Benoit Blin MCA, Jan Paul Kroese, Tom Marriage, and their teams, as well as Alison Friend and Chalgrove Primary School for making the evening such a success. Congratulations and thank you to Geoffrey Harrison who won the evening’s auction, securing a day with Gary Jones at Le Manoir.