Interview with chef Georges Blanc: a legend in French cuisine

Feb 5, 2018

In a series on Singapore Airlines’ International Culinary Panel chefs, Georges Blanc talks about his life’s journey.

French chef Georges Blanc, whose eponymous restaurant in Vonnas, France, has held on to its three Michelin stars since 1981, very nearly did not enter the culinary world. “Like many young people, I wanted to travel and go on an adventure and do something different from what my parents were doing,” reminisces chef Blanc on his younger years. “Though I’m a fourth-generation chef, I didn’t want to enter the family restaurant business. I had always intended to be a pilot in the air force,” he shares.

Happily for fans of his haute French cuisine, and regrettably for chef Blanc, he did not pass the pilot test as he is colour blind. He did, however, fulfil his dream of taking to the air in 1962, when he became a cabin crew member for six months. “I’ve always loved flying, and joining the Singapore Airlines International Culinary Panel allowed me to marry my two loves.”

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From its humble beginnings with just seven staff, the family business that chef Blanc joined in 1965 has now grown into Village Blanc, a 120 sq m space with three hotels, two restaurants, a spa and even a cinema. The three-Michelin-star Restaurant Georges Blanc – run by three generations of women in the Blanc family since 1872, before chef Blanc took over in 1968 – is its centrepiece. “It contributes 20 per cent of the revenue, but takes up to 95 per cent of my time,” says the chef.