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RAF Northolt chefs help top chef Raymond Blanc celebrate his 70th birthday

Two chefs from RAF Northolt delivered a cake to chef Raymond Blanc as part of this year’s The Beaujolais Run® launch. The Run, which raises funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund, called in at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Oxfordshire on their way to France for the world-famous motoring event.

The Beaujolais Run 2019The 49th trip to ‘bring home the Beaujolais’ will pay tribute to the 76 men who escaped 75 Stalag Luft III 75 years ago and raise funds for the charity which has stood side by side with RAF personnel ever since.

Cpl Vishwaananda (Lvai) Kisten and SAC Ross Haynes presented Raymond with a three-tiered red velvet cake featuring the RAF Northolt crest and RAF Benevolent Fund roundel to mark his 70th birthday. By way of thanks, Raymond will host the chefs at his Michelin-starred kitchen for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to practise their skills alongside some of the best in the country.

It seemed a great tribute to bake a cake for such a renowned chef as not only is it Monsieur Blanc’s 70th birthday this week, this year marks the 35th anniversary of Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.

The Beaujolais Run 2019

Cpl Kisten said: “We are both honoured and delighted to make this cake for Raymond Blanc on such a big occasion. We both feel privileged to have been given the opportunity and have spent most of the weekend making sure it was just right. As RAF chefs we cook lots of different meals for lots of different people, but this experience has been quite unique.”

The Beaujolais Run® is a distinct driving challenge involving drivers travelling through the vineyards of France. Much of the route is held in secrecy until the event launch, this year at RAF Benson, but participants can be assured of a ‘money-can’t-buy’ experience for which the Run is renowned. Previous Runs have included meeting the Red Arrows at RAF Scampton, driving the Goodwood hill climb and visiting the private Chateaus of Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, and Louis-Fabrice Latour.

Gary Axon, Beaujolais Run spokesman, said: “We are proud to be supporting those who gave everything to serve their country and the personnel serving today who continue to make sacrifices on our behalf.

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“This year’s Run promises to be as spectacular as those which have gone before it, all the while offering its participants a unique insight into the audacious mission to dig out of one of the Nazi’s most notorious prisoner of war camps.”

Air Commodore Paul Higgins, RAF Benevolent Fund Chief of Staff, said: “The RAF Benevolent Fund has stood side by side with the RAF Family for one hundred years, providing them with practical, emotional and financial support. But we simply could not do that without the backing of events like The Beaujolais Run. The Run has raised thousands of pounds of vital income for the Fund to allow us to continue our work.

“This is all the more important this year as we mark our centenary celebrations by pledging to double the number of people we support. Fundraisers like the Beaujolais Run and its participants make it possible for the Fund to make these kind of promises.”

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