Heston Blumenthal, In Search of Perfection

Heston Blumenthal recipe fish & chips

My interest in food has always drawn me more to search out authentic, cheap, local food in a small trattoria off the tourist trail half-way up a mountain in Italy rather than the three star Michelin route to good food. Therefore, I had never been very interested by three star Michelin chefs such as Heston Blumenthal.  The descriptions of “molecular gastronomy” did little to further my interest.  When I heard that his restaurant had been named “best in the World”, I thought that it must have been due to some kind of  strange British modern phenomenon like the strange choice of so many Russian billionaires to base themselves in London.  I further disparaged the poor guy by referring to his restaurant, the Fat Duck with a rather unpleasant alliteration when talking to friends.

So, when I heard that Blumenthal was making a series of television programmes with the BBC, I was uninterested.  I think they were also on at a time that I rarely watched TV, so I never saw any of them by “mistake”.

Then, last year on a trip back to England, I happened to catch an episode of his programme “In Search of Perfection” and I realised I had made a serious error of judgement. In these programmes Heston brings such a great mix of energy, humility, knowledge, analysis, research and humour to the subject of cooking.  It is also clear that he has an incredible ability with food and taste and shares his way of thinking about food in a very generous way.

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Studying Beer

Forst Pilsener Beer

We just got back from a hard trip studying beer!  The travelling was a bit hard, visiting Alto Adige, Como in Lombardia and then near Alessandria in Piemonte in 3 days.  We visited Forst, Birrificio Italiano and Birrificio Montegioco.  Our lunch with Birrificio Montegioco was hard also, tasting for whether a beer or a wine went better with each dish – 3 dishes, 3 beers and 3 wines equalled a headache for me afterwards.  Photos are here. I found it difficult to find photos to take in a lot of the situations – difficult light and not very photographic subjects, so there are a few non-beer pictures.