Heston Blumenthal – is he a brilliant chef, or just plain bonkers?
In the sleepy village of Bray, in the county of Berkshire, England, you will find a very unassuming building that was once a village pub. Behind that rather drab façade, you will find delicacies like snail porridge and fish eyeball cocktail being served to discerning patrons who have forked out small fortunes to sample the culinary creations of the award winning chef Heston Blumenthal. If you want to book a table at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck restaurant, you will have to grab your reservation as soon as the dates are released, because they are nearly always fully booked. You’ll also have to fork out £255 per person too, and that’s before any drinks and the 12.5% ‘discretionary’ service charge! For the rest of us mere mortals, here are some of Heston Blumenthal’s crazy kitchen creations that you could savour for your £255.
Ice-cream Pork Pie
Edible candles and cutlery were just only first surprise for Blumenthal’s guests on his Channel 4 TV series ‘Fantastical Food’. The mad chef then followed that with ice-cream that looked like meat, served in a pie crust.
Bacon and egg ice-cream
Heston Blumenthal came up with this dish before he became really famous, and it’s a strange twist on everybody’s breakfast favourite. There’s a bit more to it than simply adding a fried egg and rasher of bacon to some vanilla ice-cream, but I still don’t fancy it myself.
Single bite fish and chips
In this recipe, Heston Blumenthal basically takes all the best bits from a traditional Friday Night meal from the chippy, he mashes it up, and then he turns it into a sausage! Seriously, is it worth all the effort? Just drop your fish and chips on the way home and you’ll get the same result!
Even Heston Blumenthal admits that this recipe for snail porridge doesn’t exactly sound appetizing, but he doesn’t let a little thing like that worry him. He says, though, that all the herbs and spices that are in the recipe make it taste great, if you can just get past the thought of that name.
Bull’s testicle fruit
In another of Blumenthal’s surprise dishes, he creates realistic looking fruit from meat and, guess what the plums are made out of!
Having found that people were none too impressed by an Edwardian recipe for chicken curry ice-cream, Heston Blumenthal creates his own curry ice-cream concoction with coronation chicken puree and liquid nitrogen. I can’t see this one catching on the local Indian takeaway either.
Whatever you may think about Heston Blumenthal’s recipes, he must be getting something right, because the Fat Duck in Bray has been voted the best restaurant in the world and it has three Michelin stars. It also employs the same number of staff as there are seats at tables, so you must get a pretty good service for your £255.
In the meantime, for those us who can’t, or just wouldn’t, spend £255 per head for a meal out, you can always try cooking some of Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck recipes at home.
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Main Image source: Heston Blumenthal By Brian Minkoff- London Pixels (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons