Heston Blumenthal is one of the UK's most well-known celebrity chefs. He is famous for his scientific approach to the creation of delicacies and his unusual taste combinations.
Heston opened his own restaurant, The Fat Duck, in Bray, Berkshire in 1995 and this gourmet mecca has since been awarded some of the most desirable culinary honors. It was voted Best Restaurant in the UK by the Good Food Guide 2007 and 2009, and voted Best Restaurant in the World by fellow chefs in 2005. It has been awarded three Michelin stars, not bad going for a 450 year old village pub with a tiny kitchen!
Heston Blumenthal was born in Londonin 1966 and spent most of his childhood in Berkshire, where he still lives with his wife and three children.
It was a family trip to a restaurant in Provence when he was sixteen which first sparked an interest in fine cuisine in the young Heston. He was amazed by the food served in France, so different was it to what he had previously experienced. Falling in love with Provence resulted in Hestons desire to become a chef as he wanted to bring some of his favorite culinary experiences home to the UK.
Although he already had his dream career in mind, Heston originally worked in a variety of jobs in order to support himself, whilst practicing his cooking skills in the evening. Although he received no formal chef training, Heston did spend two weeks in France every summer, getting further acquainted with the chefs, recipes and ingredients which were involved in the making of the food he so admired. All this time, he was perfecting his own cooking techniques and coming to understand the way in which chefs work with colleagues and producers.
Heston purchased what was to become The Fat Duck in 1995. The 450 year old pub was tiny and the kitchen space was limited, plus the fact the place had a reputation as a hang-out for heavy drinkers, however Heston liked the building and its location, the Berkshire village of Bray.
It took some time for the inexperienced Heston to get the place running as he wanted it. He spent up to twenty hours a day in the restaurant, sleeping there if necessary. The French inspired dishes were popular, but the lack of space and facilities in the kitchen led to Heston having to investigate some novel ways of cooking. It was at this point that his interest in combining science and cooking was born and he came into contact with Dr Peter Barham and Professor Tony Blake. Together, the three pioneered scientific ways of producing the best cuisine.
With new cooking techniques and new confidence, Heston began to transform The Fat Duck into one of the most talked about restaurants in the UK. It has been awarded three Michelin stars and the tasting menu offered draws customers from around the UK and the globe. Both Heston and The Fat Duck have received numerous awards.
Heston has become well known to the public due to his TV appearances. His interest in unusual cooking techniques and historical menus intrigue viewers who are often bored by conventional cooking programs.
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