Heston Blumenthal’s mock turtle soup dish is to feature as an exhibit in the Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum as part of their forthcoming Alice In Wonderland exhibition
The exhibition, Alice: Curiouser And Curiouser, will examine Blumenthal’s famous recipe, and how he conceived it using the book as source material. The chef was inspired to make the dish at his restaurant, The Fat Duck, by the Mock Turtle character from Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland, modernising the popular Victorian-era dish, which lent the character its name.
In Blumenthal’s dish, the mock turtle egg is 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.
As part of the Reimagining Alice section of the show, the exhibit will feature a life-sized Mad Hatter’s tea party, a film about the scientific process and a 3D recreation of the dish.
Blumenthal said: “The character of Alice makes logic out of surreal situations, turning things on their heads, which is my biggest source of creativity.
“Situations are only surreal because we make judgments on things based on what we’ve already been told, that’s why my motto is ‘question everything', and why the Alice In Wonderland books have provided endless sources of inspiration for my work.
Illustrations detailing the creative process behind Heston Blumenthal's Mock-Turtle Soup, part of the V&A's Alice Curiouser and Curiouser exhibition (c) drawings by Dave McKean. Image courtesy of Heston Blumenthal
“Discovering the use of cold temperatures to reduce liquid for the Mock Turtle soup is a perfect example of Alice-inspired logic, so I’m delighted the stories behind it will go on show as part of the V&A’s Alice: Curiouser And Curiouser exhibition.”
Alice: Curiouser And Curiouser opens on 22 May, and delves into the origins, adaptations and reinventions of Alice In Wonderland over 158 years.