Although you might not have eaten at Heston Blumenthal's three Michelin-star rated restaurant, The Fat Duck, which offers a tasting menu for £195 per person, it's pretty much certain you've heard about the chef and the restaurant.
Located in the town of Bray, about a 45-minute train ride from London's Paddington station, The Fat Duck has won nearly every award possible and Blumenthal has been named GQ's chef of the year several times. Other honors bestowed upon Blumenthal include a "Honorary Doctor of Science degree by Reading University for recognition for his unique scientific approach to food and long-standing relationship with the University's School of Food Biosciences" and Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty the Queen, a title of honor bestowed upon some of England's most popular celebrities.
Besides being a self-taught genius in the kitchen, Blumenthal is obsessed with the history of gastronomy, specifically the history of British cooking. That interest has now been turned into a book. Historic Heston, which is slated for an October 10 release, will track the history of British cooking from medieval to late-Victorian times.
Part history lesson, part cookbook, the book is illustrated with lush photography and includes Blumenthal's modern takes on dishes like rice and flesh and sambocade, the earliest version of cheesecake, both of which were fashionable around 1390.
This history book comes as no surprise to Tongue & Cheek's chef/partner Jamie DeRosa, who spent several months at The Fat Duck as an apprentice, working under the master chef's tutelage. DeRosa recalls his daily five mile bike ride to the restaurant as, "dark, cold, and rainy almost every morning." DeRosa said that, "Every morning I was the first to arrive, not bad for the oldest "stagier" in the kitchen of 30 cooks from around the world. And every morning Heston would beat me there, not bad for the best chef in the UK!"
DeRosa said that Blumenthal, "always led by example and took the time to understand an ingredient before transforming it into something modern. At age 34, he taught me to reinvent the way I looked at ingredients."
Long before Historic Heston became a book, DeRosa noticed the chef's hunger for the stories behind the plate. "His dedication to the history of food was something I've never seen before. Always keeping a journal, notations of his thoughts and ideas of how to bring this ingredient to life. A true master of our craft and brilliant historian in the art of food. "
Historic Heston lists for $200 and is available for pre-sale directly through Bloomsbury Publishing.