Top Chefs Profiles

Heston Blumenthal

Heston Blumenthal
Written by Aksel Ritenis
Heston BlumenthalHeston is a completely self-taught chef. Before opening his restaurant 10 years ago, he had only spent a week working in a professional kitchen, with Raymond Blanc at “Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons”. He was inspired to be a chef after visiting the three Michelin starred “L’Oustau de Baumaniere” in Provence, when he was a boy and was in awe of the beauty of the cuisine and the restaurant itself.

He read every cookbook he could find and began experimenting with traditional recipes, breaking each dish down to its constituent parts so that he could re-build the dish in his own style. His interest in the chemistry of food was sparked by a visit to a food laboratory in Geneva. He began reading scientific journals which broke down foods to their chemical elements and discovered that seemingly very different foods actually shared qualities, so he started combining those foods in his recipes with great success. His use of science in the kitchen, known as “molecular gastronomy”, comes from his interest in understanding what happens when you cook food and when you eat it. His favourite diner is the sceptic who leaves the restaurant delightedly surprised by the new experiences offered from his menu.

Heston explores the idea of “memory taste” in food which comes from his belief that certain tastes and flavours can evoke strong memories of a time and place. In addtion, he experiments with different tastes and flavours of sweet and savoury to show that they have no boundaries.

Heston’s latest venture is a more informal restaurant at a pub in Bray called “The Hinds Head” where he is exploring medieval dishes for the menu and resurrecting lost historic English recipes such as a “quacking pudding” – a bread and milk jelly flavoured with almonds and spices.

Likewise, Heston has written a range of books including “Formulas for Flavour: How to Cook Restaurant Dishes at Home” and the famous “The Fat Duck Cookbook”.

He has made numerous television and radio appearances and writes for several newspapers and magazines. He also had his own television show called “Kitchen Chemistry” on the Discovery Channel and currently presents “Full on Food” on the BBC.

In conclusion, his unique style reflects the emergence of British cuisine on the world restaurant stage. Heston is at the forefront of modern cuisine.


ADDRESS: 1 High Street, Bray Berks SL6 2AQ
01628 580333
Tues-Sat noon-1:45pm and 7-9:45pm; Sun noon-3pm
Reservations required
Dinner menus £80-£98 ($160-$196); set lunch £35 ($70)
Leave the motorway at exit 4. On the roundabout, take the exit to Maidenhead (A404M/M4) and follow the dual Carriage Way to the roundabout at the M4. Take the 1st left exit to Maidenhead Central. At the 2nd roundabout, take the exit to Bray and Windsor (A308). Continue for 1km (a half-mile) and turn left at the sign to Bray Village (B3028). After entering the village, continue past the bottleneck; the Fat Duck is on the right-hand side adjacent to the Hinds Head Hotel

About the author

Aksel Ritenis

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