The world’s most recognisable chemist, Heston Blumethal, will close the Fat Duck in Bray in December 2014, transport the team, warts and all, to Crown Melbourne, to open in 2015. In his first International foray outside of the UK, Blumethal announced the move to assembled media at Crown Melbourne earlier today.
Following the six month sojourn, where the entire award winning Fat Duck team from Bray in the UK will be in Australia, along with some of the other identifiers from the restaurant, the restaurant will evolve in to Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. Under the guidance of Group Executive Head Chef Ashley Palmer-Watts, Dinner will maintain lasting ties with Australia and with Crown.
Blumenthal said of the move; “This is an incredible opportunity and I am thrilled that it has worked out the way it has. The Fat Duck is part of a Grade II listed building, so I always knew there would come a time when it would need a little attention and the building itself would require a bit of modernisation – after all, it was built in 1640. I just couldn’t bear the thought of closing for an extended period, though. When we first started conversations with Crown, I saw the potential of the situation and really began to hope. I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome.”
As a self confessed ‘hestonophile’, I could not be happier. I have tried on numerous occasions to divorce Heston from my life via twitter, thanks to his association with the prices are down people. But to no avail. I am sure that the experience that they can replicate that of the Fat Duck in Bray, as best as possible. Its hard to take something that is so iconic from the other side of the world and make it happen in a venue like Crown, however I am sure many Australians will be delighted to see Heston in Australia – there are some who feel that they know him already.
Blumenthal came to prominence with dishes like snail porridge and bacon and egg ice cream, and is one of the most recognised faces in the culinary world. With a penchant for taking viewers of his TV program on journeys of great culinary adventure, often creating the unimaginable from the unrecognisable.
Blumenthal is only a few years older than I am, and maintains a remarkably youthful visage for someone who is so busy.