What’s a chef’s favourite place to eat in East Anglia?

Pascal Canevet of Bury St Edmunds restaurant Maison Bleue Photos by Lucy Taylor Photography

Pascal Canevet of Bury St Edmunds restaurant Maison Bleue Photos by Lucy Taylor Photography - Credit: Archant

Chef patron Pascal Canevet of the iconic Maison Bleue restaurant in Bury St Edmunds is running the London Marathon this weekend for Sarcoma UK. Pascal's French modern cuisine is full of flavour, beautifully presented and locally sourced and he is a champion of nutrition, supporting local schools and the West Suffolk Culinary of Arts Academy, helping to educate and share his passion for good cooking. He shares the things he loves (and hates) about East Anglia with Gina Long, MBE

Pascal Canevet running his first London marathon last year (2018)

Pascal Canevet running his first London marathon last year (2018) - Credit: Archant

What is your connection to East Anglia?

Initially my career. I moved to England to work in Ipswich in 1994 and fell in love with the county. Now I see this as my home with great friends and family and three lovely godsons.

What is your East Anglian Heaven i.e. what do you love most about East Anglia?

I love the contrast between the vast coastline and pretty countryside; the big open skies and of course the fresh local produce. There's a diverse wealth of crops, meat and fish; it's the perfect location for a chef!

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What is your East Anglian Hell i.e. what you hate most about living here?

I do a lot of running around Bury St Edmunds and I hate to see plastic bags, bottles, rubbish bags and old tyres discarded on the side of the road. Please respect our beautiful county and precious wildlife and bin your rubbish!

What's your favourite East Anglian restaurant?

I like to eat at Morston Hall for special celebrations, Galton is a good friend of mine. Day to day my favourites are The Unruly Pig and The Bildeston Crown; again, good friends and good food!

What's your favourite way to spend an East Anglian evening?

Very rarely Karine and I enjoy time out from Maison Bleue, but we like to go to our local pub, enjoy a G&T and a beer then walk home to enjoy a seafood plater together.

What's your favourite East Anglian landmark?

The award-winning Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds. I often take my dog for a walk after lunch service and love the heritage ruins and planting.

What's the best thing that happens in East Anglia every year?

The Bury St Edmunds Rugby 7s and Classic and Sports Cars by the Lake (on September 1 this year.)

What your specialist Mastermind subject?

Classic French cooking and cuisine.

What is always in your fridge?

Slices of local ham, good apricot jam and butter.

What's your simple philosophy of life?

Respect one another and always be true to yourself.

What's your favourite film?

Dad's Army.

What was your first job?

When I was just 12, I dug potatoes at my Aunt's Farm in Brittany. It was back-breaking work as everything was done by hand; but I think it helped me appreciate the importance of farming and provenance.

What is your most treasured possession?

A second edition of Auguste Escoffier 1912 the vintage classic French cookery book. Who do you admire most?

My mum and my wife.

What is your biggest indulgence?

Champagne, home-roasted chicken and chestnuts cooked and reared by my mother in Brittany.

What do you like about yourself most?

I am determined and keep going.

What's your worst character trait?

I'm a bit stubborn but I think sometimes this can be a good quality.

Where is your favourite holiday destination?

Brittany by the sea side. I love staying in a whitewashed beach house, taking a swim every morning and sampling the local Fisherman's catch.

Best day of your life?

Our wedding day, such a cherished happy memory.

What's your favourite breakfast?

Organic bacon and fried egg baguette.

What's your favourite tipple?

A good Scottish whisky shared with friends.

What's your hidden talent?

I'm not sure if it's a talent but I am training for The London Marathon which takes an enormous amount of will power and effort, especially when you're a chef!

When were you most embarrassed?

When someone recognised me at an event and I couldn't remember who they were! What's your earliest memory?

Playing under boughs of apple blossom in the orchard at home. I can still transport myself back to that sunny day.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

'Skyfall' and 'Without You' by David Guetta. I'd like a celebration with all my friends and family drinking champagne and eating very good food.

Tell us something people don't know about you?

I can't be serious for too long; I joke all the time and get bored easily.

What's the worst thing anyone has ever said to you?

It's easy to cook good food.

Tell us why you live here.

We simply fell in love with Bury St Edmunds, the friendly people and atmosphere. We are very happy here with life-long friends.

What do you want to tell our readers about most?

I am running The London Marathon on 28 April 2019 raising funds for cancer charity Sarcoma UK and would appreciate any support you can offer, including a shout-out to keep me going! It's easy to donate

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/pascal-canevet Follow me on Instagram, Facebook and twitter #runchefrun

Celebrate the seasons at Maison Bleue award winning Modern French Cuisine, Churchgate Street, Bury St Edmunds: 01284 760623 Reservations: info@maisonbleue.co.uk

You can read more about chef patron Pascal, Maison Bleue events and Pascal's recipes maisonbleueblog.co.uk

Follow Gina Long @geewizzgee1