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Raymond Blanc named VP at Orient-Express Hotels

Celebrity chef Raymond Blanc has been appointed vice president of Orient-Express Hotels Ltd.

Blanc is the founder and chef of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire, England, a two-star Michelin restaurant and 32-room hotel that Orient-Express acquired in 2002.

In his new role, Blanc will work with existing teams at the company's 46 hotels, trains and cruises to improve their culinary offerings as well as work on new ventures, Orient-Express said.

His first project will be El Encanto in Santa Barbara, Calif., which is scheduled to open in 2012. Blanc will design and oversee the execution of the hotel’s restaurant.

“Raymond is one of the world’s most talented chefs and he has an amazing track record of encouraging his colleagues on to greater achievement. No less than 25 Michelin-starred chefs trained with Raymond at some point in their careers,” said Paul White, president and chief executive of Orient-Express Hotels. “I know my colleagues in Orient-Express restaurants and kitchens all over the world will be delighted to have his input and benefit from his knowledge.”

Blanc said he was eager to work more closely with Orient-Express hotels around the world.

“Unlike many hotel companies, Orient-Express runs its own restaurants and the reason they are successful is because they really aren’t hotel dining rooms, but restaurants in the true meaning of the word," he said. "There are still many ways to enhance these offerings and I look forward to this opportunity to get more involved with my Orient-Express colleagues.”

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected].

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