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Raymond Blanc: Old Amersham restaurant should have a Michelin star
TOP chef Raymond Blanc praised an Old Amersham restaurant at its 10th anniversary last week, saying it should have received a Michelin star by now.
The chef spoke ahead of a celebration evening at The Artichoke last Wednesday where he was cooking alongside head chef, Laurie Gear.
Together they put on a special six course tasting menu for guests at the popular restaurant in Market Square.
The restaurant has been awarded Two Rosettes by the AA and Two Couverts in the Michelin Guide.
It doubled in size after a fire which started in the adjoining property forced it to close for 18 months in 2008. Laurie and his wife, Jacqueline, who oversees the front of house, opened the restaurant in 2002.
Raymond Blanc, who owns Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons in Oxfordshire, said: "I am very happy to be here to support Laurie and Jacquie. I think they are a wonderful couple.
"A great chef and a great person."
The Frenchman first discovered the venue one Sunday lunch.
He said: "It was a Sunday lunch. Someone told me- a number of people have told me he is really good- you have go to go there. Very good food.
"it was enough to set me up and investigate the restaurant. I still remember what I had." It is continually praised by critics but is yet to receive a Michelin star.
Raymond said: "Sometimes the best doesn't always get the award."
He said a lot of money is invested in the restaurant and just from a Star revenue can double.
He added: "For the type of business he is it is important, but no I don't want him to look for a star. It will be a by product of his productivity."
Speaking of the tenth anniversary Laurie said: "It is a long time. It is good. After the first six years, after the closure, it was a real struggle, thinking about coming back. It is coming up for two years back.
"It seems a long way ago. When people are talking about the fire it is really something we want to leave in the past and move forward."
For more details go to www.artichokerestaurant.co.uk