At the age of fifteen Heston travelled to France with his parents for the first time.
On this trip he visited L'Oustau de Baumaniere one of France's greatest restaurants, located in a small village in Provence. Heston Blumenthal was exposed to the wonderful world of gastronomy and was immediately consumed by it.
On returning to the UK he tried to gain a position in the kitchen of Londons' hotels and retaurants but at sixteen this proved too daunting a task. Undeterred he spent the next decade learning the rudiments of French cuisine from books, and worked in various different jobs to fund his trips to France. On these trips he visited restaurants, vineyards, cheese makers, butchers and artisan producers. His research was extensive, thorough and determined, attributes which soon became the trademarks of his success.
In August 1995 this self-taught chef opened The Fat Duck restaurant, which gained three Michelin stars in January 2004. In April 2005 The Fat Duck received worldwide recognition for its unique approach to gastronomy and was proclaimed The Best Restaurant in the world by the "50 Best" Academy of over 600 international food critics, journalists and chefs.
In the early days at The Fat Duck one of the books he read during that time was "On Food and Cooking", by Harold McGee. The book McGee wrote questioned the fundamental rules of kitchen traditions. The theories within the book turned the cooking methods and processes that Heston had practiced previously completely on its head. Intrigued by this Heston began a journey exploring further the science of food and the effects of smell and taste on the palate, the senses, the memory and the emotions.
Heston Blumenthal has been described as a culinary alchemist for his innovative style of cuisine. His work has awarded him international recognition and his research into the sensory journey of gastronomy has enabled him to work with food historians, perfumist, food physiologists and biochemists from all over the world. In the New Years Honours list on January 1st 2006 Heston Blumenthal was awarded an OBE for his contribution to British Gastronomy by Her Majesty the Queen and later that year his papers written in partnership with the University of Reading awarded him an Honouray Doctorate of Science. His Television Programme 'Heston Blumenthal- In Search of Perfection' showing his unique approach to British classic dishes gained a GQ Glenfiddich award in 2007 and was voted The Best Restaurant in Britain by the customers of the UK Good Food Guide 2008.... Read more.
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