Michelin three-star award winning chef Heston Blumenthal believes the future of food can and needs to be developed from the past, but reinvented to modern sensibilities. He looks to ... See full summary »
Michelin three-star award winning chef Heston Blumenthal believes the future of food can and needs to be developed from the past, but reinvented to modern sensibilities. He looks to specific historic periods as the inspiration for a series of meals he hopes will be one of the most if not most memorable feasts his guests have ever had. He strives not only to have the food taste good, but for it to be inventive and fun. Going into the meal, his guests have no idea what they will be experiencing. Written by
This is a cooking show with only the vaguest resemblance to the conventional concept of a cooking show. Instead of introducing you to exotic regional cuisines or pretending to teach you how to make certain dishes, Heston treats his panel of 6 C-list celebrity guests to a themed dinner of completely new radical dishes unlike anything they (or anyone else) have ever seen before, or will see again. A typical trick is to make familiar-looking dishes taste like something totally unlike what they appear to be, e.g sweet dessert made to look like bangers and mash, or meat-flavoured "cocktails". He also scours cookbooks from centuries ago to make meals inspired by extinct cuisines.
In theory it should be gastronomically irresistible. In practice, watching this TV program, I am reminded a little of "Man vs Wild" in the way that Bear Grylls keeps introducing us to assorted local "delicacies" then struggles to avoid barfing as he consumes these prized morsels. Heston Blumenthal does a similar thing as he presents his guests with dishes that are just too weird or too disgusting to be easily palatable. Pig nipple scratchings, anyone? Fermented fish gut sauce? Didn't think so. It makes great gross-out television, but I wouldn't eat his meals if he paid me. Like John Cage's "music", they are a triumph of inventiveness and technical virtuosity over aesthetics, customer pleasure, good taste and commonsense, memorable for all the wrong reasons. As Nigel Molesworth would sa: "Just give me a suck at a tin of condensed milk".
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