The awards keep coming for this Suffolk restaurant
PUBLISHED: 12:36 12 June 2019 | UPDATED: 12:36 12 June 2019
Lucy Taylor Photography
Pascal Canevet of Maison Bleue has been named the top chef in the country at a prestigious national ceremony.
Fresh off the back of taking one of the most coveted prizes at the Eat Suffolk Food and Drink Awards 2019 (Best Restaurant), Pascal Canevet of Maison Bleue has just been crowned Restaurant Chef of the Year at the 'Oscars' of the food world - the Craft Guild of Chefs Awards.
The ceremony (at the London Hilton on Park Lane) was attended by more than 600 professionals and industry luminaries, with the award presented by the evening's host James Tanner. Other finalists included Jean-Philippe Blondet, Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester and Kuba Winkowshi of The Feathered Nest Country Inn.
Previous winners of the accolade have included Marco Pierre White, Alain Ducasse and James Martin.
Karine Canevet, Pascal's wife, said: "We are all so very proud of Pascal. His creativity and commitment to excellence is renowned - it's a well-deserved award."
Pascal's menus are known for their attention to detail, use of fresh prime ingredients and provenance. He's a champion of local produce, with his love of 'home-grown' coming from his childhood growing up in rural France.
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Talking about his Best Restaurant win (his first entry into the Eat awards) Pascal said: "It was very special. We are thrilled and I'm thankful to the team as well. It's all about the team. Without them Maison Bleue wouldn't be where we are."
The restaurant in Bury St Edmunds employs 12 people and has high staff retention, with chefs inspired to be working alongside creative Pascal every day.
"It feels like family," adds Pascal. "Winning these awards for the team makes me over the moon. It's like everything is so light…like you're flying."
It is innovation, flavour and masterful presentation that's helped put Maison Bleue on the map under Pascal's direction - as well front of house service, led by wife Karine.
"Front of house need to be as good as the kitchen," the chef says, "because they are the first impression the customer gets. They need to make the customer feel relaxed. It's so much more than just serving the food. It's that, when the customer opens the door, they are there helping, smiling, taking their jacket. My wife walks around a lot looking at details to make the difference. She's done a great job."