10 Mins with: Heston Blumenthal

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 31st March 2017

Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal OBE is renowned for his scientific approach to cooking.

He is also the owner of several successful restaurants including his famous three Michelin starred The Fat Duck in Bray, two Michelin star Dinner in London and The Crown at Bray and The Hinds Head, both of which hold one Michelin star.

The Staff Canteen spoke to Heston about his unique relationship with food in the recently renovated garden at The Crown at Bray, where he was celebrating the launch of his new barbecue range, in association with Everdure.

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Wild berry crumble with

Marmalade on toast ice

cream - The Crown, Bray

Most famed for The Fat Duck, Heston and his team there recently regained its three Michelin star status after a temporary closure, and is one of only four restaurants in the country to have received this award in the 2017 Michelin Guide UK and Ireland.

“If someone had asked me: keeping things the same as before and keeping the three stars, or evolving what we were doing with the risk of losing, I’d have still done what I’d done,” explained Heston. “Because it’s a belief and that’s when I realised your belief is stronger than your fear. I don’t think any restaurants have ever done that before – one, two, three, then out of the guide for a year because we were closed, and then back with three!

I don’t think there’s any restaurants that have actually got six Michelin stars in two years!”

>>>Related: The Fat Duck reopens after nine months with a new menu

Born to Jewish parents, Heston Blumenthal grew up in London where he found an affinity with food, even from a young age. A pioneer of molecular cooking and ‘foodpairing’, Heston’s most famed recipes include Triple Cooked Chips, bacon and egg ice cream and ‘Sweet Shop’ petit fours. The whimsical dessert trolley, like many of his playful dishes, is a tribute to the nostalgia of childhood.

heston speech
Heston Blumenthal at The Crown

When asked for his earliest food memory, Heston said: “Maybe this is just the magical way that our memory can work, because over the years, you can look back at a memory and have a different perspective on it. It was every Saturday morning, my Gran would take my sister and I to church up the road.

On the way back, we went past a place called Regent’s Snack Bar, an art deco ice cream parlour on the side of the road. We had a tub of ice cream each and we walked home with it, and we weren’t allowed to eat it until we got home. It seemed like a day just walking and looking at it. It was the reward I had worked for and it made it taste so much better.”

On a family holiday to Provence at the age of sixteen, Heston visited L'Oustau de Baumanière, which at the time held three Michelin stars, and was fascinated by the multi-sensory food experience he received there. He has since found fame with his own multi-sensory approach to gastronomy, serving non-traditional food combinations including Roast Foie Gras ‘Benzaldehyde’.

Heston opened his flagship restaurant, The Fat Duck in Bray in 1995 and it quickly gained the attention of many with its experimental menu. The quirky opulence of dishes like Mock Turtle Soup, where a freeze-dried watch made of beef stock is served in a tea cup and has beef stock ‘tea’ poured over it led to the restaurant winning first place on ‘The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ list in 2005.heston grill

>>> Related: Jonny Lake, Head Chef, The Fat Duck, Bray

He is also the proprietor of five other food establishments which have also received numerous accolades; Dinner by Heston London and Melbourne, The Hinds Head and The Crown at Bray and most recently, The Perfectionists’ Café at Terminal 2 of London Heathrow Airport.

The celebrity chef has been awarded honorary degrees in science from numerous universities for his scientific approach to food. He was recently diagnosed with ADHD and spoke of the stigma that he believes children with the condition receive from the education system. He stressed the importance of remaining positive about the diagnosis and how it can bring out creativity in his work.

He said: “I wouldn’t change it for the world because it means I can join the dots and see things that other people can’t see. I would however suggest that possibly sometimes I might be slightly difficult to work with!”

By Jenna Lloyd

@canteenjenna

 

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 31st March 2017

10 Mins with: Heston Blumenthal