The weird and wonderful cooking world of Heston Blumenthal

If you’ve ever fancied snail porridge or Ice cream that tastes like Egg and Bacon then a trip to the Fat Duck in Bray might be the place for you. It’s the invention of the experimental chef come chemistry boffin Heston Blumenthal. Blumenthal ‘s restaurant’s are some of a handful in Britain that has a Michelin Star one of the highest food awards in the world and certainly the most prestigious. So how did this culinary genius get to where he is now? It may have been through using a Lincat LMR9 6 Burner Gas Oven like the one you can see at of course, but let’s delve into his story for some clues.

Image credit

His love of food and its preparation and creation started early at the tender age of 16. A visit to a 3 stared Michelin restaurant inspired the young Heston to embark on a world of culinary adventure. The whole experience of the environment of the restaurant in L’Oustau de Baumanier, the serving of the food and its quality all contributed so that a young impressionable Heston decided that the dining experience was not just about the food, although this is very important, but begins the moment that the diner enters the restaurant. The sights and sounds, the very aesthetic of catering was all important.

Image credit

His first port of call was also France and he began to heavily study and be influenced by series of cooking manuals Les recettes originales. At Eighteen Heston left school to go straight into a coveted spot in Raymond Blancs Le Manoir. He only managed to see though a week at the school and undertook a series of jobs and low paid work in a variety of sectors not related to catering. He never forgot his dream of being a chef and in the night he would study French classic cuisine and refine it in his head. However the moment of change in his life when he chanced upon the book On Food and Cooking: the science and Lore of the Kitchen. This changed the whole perception that Heston had over food and its construction. He began to challenge everything he had read and decided that it was time for a change and by using chemistry and food science he would effect that change.

He purchased the Fat Duck in Bray and completely reinvented the food it served. He was determined to introduce a multi-sensory approach to food. For example he would use smell to increase taste i.e. the smell of the sea when eating a fish dish. Food is also educational. His Mock Turtle soup for example has references to history and he also reawakens past food after studying recipes from the fifteenth century. I quick note it’s very, very expensive to eat there.