Next time you find yourself in a pub tucking into delicious triple cooked chips, or come across an otherwise run of the mill chef dallying with crazily flavoured savoury ice cream, you have one person to thank: Heston Blumenthal.
The British chef, a commited modernist who is most readily associated with 'molecular cuisine,' though he hates the term, currently holds three Michelin stars at The Fat Duck in Bray, while Dinner by Heston in London, helmed by friend and protégé Ashley Palmer-Watts, currently holds two.
Earlier this year, Blumenthal, a frequent face on British TV and famous the world over, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Here are some of his and Palmer Watts's most iconic dishes.
Images: The Fat Duck/@dinnerbyhb/Instagram
A chicken liver and foie gras parfait encased inside a 'peel' of mandarin orange jelly. The recipe appears in Blumentha's Historic Heston cookbook, published in 2013.
Chicken liver and foie gras parfait, with mandarin jelly. Dinner by Heston
A vibrant green parsley, ham and almond-infused porridge with snails, more ham, and shaved and dressed fennel.
Snail porridge and frogs' legs at Dinner by Heston
Watch how Heston makes snail porridge in the clip below.
Sound of the Sea
A seafood dish presented on a glass-topped wooden box containing sand and seashells and consists of what looks like sand but is in fact a mixture of tapioca, fried breadcrumbs, crushed fried baby eels, cod liver oil and langoustine oil topped with abalone, razor clams, shrimps and oysters and three kinds of edible seaweed served with a conch shell containing an iPod. The guests listen to a sound of waves crashing and seagulls flying overhead as they enjoy the dish.
Mixed sashimi, sea vegetables and 'sand' at The Fat Duck
Savoury Ice Cream: Egg and Bacon
Blumenthal is well known for creating a number of savoury ice cream pairings, egg and bacon ice cream is probably the most famous of these, but there have been many creations including the rich brown bread ice cream seen below.
Brown bread ice cream at Dinner by Heston
Watch how egg and bacon ice cream is made in the video below:
Mock Turtle Soup
In Blumenthal’s dish, a beef consome is poured over a mock turtle egg made of turnip and turnip gel, and features a consommé and gold leaf pocket watch that dissolves when a teapot of hot water is poured over it. It even features as an exhibit in the Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum Alice In Wonderland exhibition.
Calf's head consommé, root vegetables, truffle
Watch as Blumenthal describes his fascination with The Mad Hatter's Tea Party and how he was inspired to create his own version of Mock Turtle soup.
The potatoes are first simmered and then fried twice, but crucially placed in the fridge in between cooking stages to remove all the moisture. Watch how it's done in the clip below:
A grape rot that produces some of the sweetest dessert wines in the world. The dessert contains elements such as aerated grape juice, pear balls infused with saffron, vanilla and fenugreek, a roquefort powder and a peach wine gum.
Aka the noble rot, a dessert involving over 50 different stages of preparation.
Savoury Ice Lollies
Blumenthal serves up gourmet versions of his all-time favourite boyhood lollies with a twist, in that they're all based on 1970s canapés.
Think 'Tangle twister' made from smoked salmon and avocado. A classic garish 'Zoom' rocket lolly based on a Waldorf salad and a savoury Wall's 'Feast', aka chicken liver pate.
Watch Blumenthal work his magic making savoury ice lollies in the video below: