Heston Blumenthal’s Iconic Three Michelin-Starred Restaurant, The Fat Duck, Reopens This Month on Its 25th Anniversary
The iconic three Michelin-starred restaurant by Heston Blumenthal, The Fat Duck, in Bray, will be reopening on 15th August, following a 5-month closure – almost exactly to the day when it opened its doors for the first time 25 years ago.
Ever since, Heston Blumenthal has been at the forefront of the industry as the pioneer of multisensory dining, with techniques he created now commonplace in kitchens worldwide. The reopening signals the beginning of a yearlong celebration to mark the revolutionary restaurant’s silver anniversary, which will see the return of some of The Fat Duck’s most iconic dishes.
To celebrate 25 extraordinary years of The Fat Duck, the restaurant is launching the Anthology: a collection of iconic menus released over the course of a year. The Anthology will comprise a new, multi-sensory experience, where guests will tread in Heston’s shoes and be taken on a journey through his culinary history, experiences and influences, walking in the footprints of his career and experiencing some of the dishes which led to The Fat Duck’s world-famous success.
The journey will begin on 15th August with Volume I, a symbolic menu embodying Heston’s ethos to ‘question everything’ by harnessing the power of perception and memory. Guests will experience the milestones of The Fat Duck’s history by embarking on a gastronomic journey incorporating elements of Heston’s key achievements. Diners will begin their quest with the Nitro Poached Green Tea and Lime Mousse palette cleanser, a reflection of Heston’s first culinary breakthrough using liquid nitrogen in the kitchen. Other highlights include dishes which famously play with nostalgia and perception through sensory crossover, such as the ground-breaking Crab Ice Cream and Sound of the Sea. Throughout the meal, guests will be invited to make choices which will lead them on different paths to each dish, and much like Heston’s own journey of discovery, diners will never know quite what’s lying around the corner.
Each of the Volumes will feature the return of iconic classics from The Fat Duck’s past, old favourites reinvented, and previously unseen dishes. In Volume I, guests can expect to see the pioneering Snail Porridge, a dish famous for playing with expectation and reality, last seen on the menu as a regular dish in 2015. The famous multi-sensory floating dessert, Counting Sheep, is also back, but has been amplified even further, designed to transport guests to a different time and place, triggering emotions and memories. Guests can also look forward to sampling the historic Beef Royal, a long-time favourite of Heston’s, which has never featured on The Fat Duck’s menu.
Over the past 25 years, Heston has established himself as a unique creative force in the industry, using his fascination for art, science and history to challenge culinary norms. Completely self-taught, Heston was the first chef to affirm that eating is a multi-sensory experience. Through his approach to cooking via investigation and experimentation, he has developed techniques now widely adopted by kitchens worldwide; Triple Cooked Chips, invented by Heston, have become a staple in global dining establishments, and demonstrate the huge wave he has made in the world of modern gastronomy.
Having never worked in a traditional kitchen before, The Fat Duck was both his show piece and his training ground. His fascination with the evolution of our bodies and minds led him to devote his life to research, working with historians and scientists to question everything we accepted as the norm and cultivating a culture of childlike curiosity. This, in turn, has led him to become one few chefs in the world to hold the coveted three Michelin stars for over 15 years.
The dishes chosen for The Fat Duck’s 25th year embody the very heart of Heston and the restaurant: the magic of storytelling, and how playing with perception, allusion and nostalgia can have a profound emotional effect on how something is experienced by the individual. The Fat Duck is where this approach to food was born; the Anthology reflects on this journey of discovery and both honours and celebrates its origins.
Heston Blumenthal has said of The Fat Duck’s 25th anniversary:
“I am absolutely thrilled to be reopening The Fat Duck after so many months of closure, and even more thrilled that this reopening marks our 25th anniversary. The Fat Duck is my pride and joy; it has made me who I am today. It has allowed me to explore my curiosity, develop new techniques and concepts and understand more about the role of our senses, our imagination and ultimately our relationship with food.
“I am so honoured and humbled to be celebrating 25 years and I want to say a huge thank you to The Fat Duck’s phenomenal team – past and present – and to all the guests who have walked through our doors over the years, who I hope have been left with a little of the magic that we strive to deliver. It’s been an incredible journey so far, and I cannot wait to share what the next phase will bring.”
The yearlong Anthology will comprise four Volumes to reflect the four seasons, in addition to the Fable Tree Christmas menu. Volume I of the Anthology is available to book now until mid-November; bookings can be made online via the website here.