3 Michelin Star Chefs: Heston Blumenthal, The Fat Duck

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 27th September 2017

Heston Blumenthal is the chef owner of three Michelin-starred Restaurant The Fat Duck.

Heston is a pioneer of a revolutionary culinary technique called ‘Molecular Gastronomy’. It is a completely new direction which focuses on the blend of the scientific approaches to food. Heston specifically focuses on the multisensory perception and how the brain influences our appreciation of food.

The Fat Duck, Bray, Berkshire

Restaurant Manager: Dimitri Bellos
Sommelier: Isa Bal
Group Executive Chef: Jonny Lake

Website: www.thefatduck.co.uk

Phone: +44 (0)1628 580 333

Address: High Street, Bray, Berkshire, SL6 2AQ

Reservations

Opening times

Tuesady - Saturday
12:00 - 13:15
19:00 - 20:15

Sun
Closed

Mon
Closed

In his restaurant, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, the focus is on reinventing traditional and historic dishes. The menu is one of balance and contrasts: old and new, modern and historic. Dishes include the likes of Powdered Anjou Pigeon, Mock Turtle Soup and the Beef Royal served at King James II’s coronation in 1685.

Heston Blumenthal - photo credit Alisa Connan

Heston Blumenthal

photo credit Alisa Connan

His signature techniques included the use of liquid nitrogen to ‘cook’ food or to disperse particular aromas during service as well as ice filtration to produce crystal-clear stocks and consommés and most recently pioneering the use of sous vide cooking technique.

How Heston got into the industry

It was in 1982, when he was 16, that he discovered he wanted to be a chef after he and his family went to three-star restaurant, L’Oustau de la Baumaniere, in Provence, France. He was breath-taken by the experience and since then has been interested in how our senses influence how we taste food.

However, it took more than a decade to realise this dream. It was only in his spare time that he could train himself through the classical repertoire of French cuisine, reading cookbooks like the series “Les Recettes Originales…”

He perfected dishes, improved his technique and tried to find the best ways to harness flavour. Apart from a one week apprenticeship at Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir, the majority of the time was spent around France, finding restaurants, suppliers and wine estates, learning about every aspect of the culinary world.

One day he picked up a book that changed his view on cooking for ever. The book was ‘On Food and Cooking: the Science and Lore of the Kitchen’ by Harold McGee. It challenged many kitchen practices and it encouraged Heston ‘to adopt a totally different attitude towards cuisine.’ The questioning and testing of culinary ideas became a key part of his approach, alongside the more traditional kitchen skills.

In 1995, he bought the 450-year-old pub in Bray, creating The Fat Duck as a simple bistro serving French classics. Inexperience and limited funds meant he put in a lot of hard work. It paid off when the restaurant began to get good reviews. By 2000, it received its first Michelin star and was refurbished with its first multi-course tasting menu that was anything but the conventional format. In two years, the freedom to explore and create new dishes resulted in a second Michelin star, and the year after that, the third. It is the fastest a restaurant has gone from one to three stars in the UK.

Food style

His multisensory approach that challenges our perception and how the brain influences our appreciation of food meant he had to seek out new ways to stimulate all our senses during the eating experience. He found out, in the late 1990s’ that diners tasted crab ice cream differently depending on what it was called. Heston was fascinated on how we perceive flavour, and by how subjective it is. There was further exploration of how nostalgia triggers, learned preferences and reward mechanisms can enhance enjoyment of a dish.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

In January 2011, he opened Dinner by Heston Blumenthal , his first restaurant outside of Bray. It serves dishes which are inspired by historic British recipes. It was awarded its first Michelin star in 2012, voted 7th best restaurant in the world 2013, and received its second Michelin star in 2014.

Most recently, it was announced that The Fat Duck was to relocate to Australia. And in June 2014, he announced he would launch a new restaurant, ‘The Perfectionists’ Café’ in London Heathrow terminal inspired by his ‘In Search of perfection…” TV Series. It intends to serve superlative versions of classic British dishes and other nostalgic favourites.

Accolades

Three Michelin Stars for The Fat Duck
Two Michelin Stars for Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
One Michelin Star for The Hind’s Head
Best Restaurant in the World (#1 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants) in 2005
Guild of Food Writers, 2014: work on British Food award
Fortnum and Mason food and Drink Awards, 2014: Visual Awards
Winner of 3 James Beard Awards, 2014: Cookbook of the Year (Historic Heston)
Third Best Restaurant in the World: Elite Traveller Top 100 restaurants 2014
Chef of the Decade: Observer Food Monthly Awards 2013
GQ Chef of the Year & GQ Man of the Year Awards 2010, 2011
Trophy Gourmand: Austria 2010
BAFTA nomination in the Features category for “FEAST”: BAFTA 2010
First, second, and third Best Restaurant in the World: San Pellegrino Worlds 50 Best Restaurant Awards 2010
The features and Lifestyle Award for Heston’s Victorian Feast: The Royal television Society Awards 2009
Winner of Design and Production, Photography, and Design Awards for The Big Fat Duck Cookbook: James Beard Foundation Awards 2009
Best restaurant in the UK and 10/10 Score: Good Food Guide 2008,09,10,11,12

Videos from The Fat Duck:

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 27th September 2017

3 Michelin Star Chefs: Heston Blumenthal, The Fat Duck