10 June 2007

Is it a bird? Is it food? Is it philosophy?

Daily Telegraph's Matt Born on intellectual mastication at The Fat Duck:

What flavour is the sea? How does Spring taste? What indeed is food?

Dinner at even such celebrated restaurants as Gordon Ramsay's Petrus or Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons may thrill the palate, but it won't induce the sort of philosophical reverie you get after a meal at El Bulli.

Indeed, only one restaurant on these shores comes close to the insane, brilliant, joyous world of Ferran Adria's restaurant and that is Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck in Bray.

But which restaurant is better? It's a bit like comparing Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. But having been lucky enough to eat at both, I'd have to say the judges have probably got it right.

Make no mistake, The Fat Duck is an extraordinary, fabulous restaurant. When I ate there, Blumenthal tested a new dish on us which involved one person holding a microphone to their mouth while eating a chewy morsel. Meanwhile, the rest of the table donned recording headphones so that we could hear them masticating in all its amplified glory.
A number of doctoral philosophy theses no doubt loom. We also look forward to the new live CD — "Blumenthal: The Basement Tapes", or perhaps "More Sounds about Food and Buildings"?