Airport Food - But Not As We Know It!
Forget a spare £300 or months of waiting for a table at Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck in Berkshire’s famous culinary village - all you need to taste the work of Britain’s top chef, is a flight leaving from the revamped Terminal. Among the duty free shops and airport bookstores, the Daily Telegraph reports spirals of white smoke spilling out from Blumenthal’s Perfectionists' Café, where liquid nitrogen-frozen ice cream is topped with popping candy and freeze-dried raspberries. The first tranche of customers report that a 500-degree centigrade pizza oven (below) stands in the centre of the restaurant, a testament to Blumenthal’s perseverance against health and safety legislation, where each pizza is cooked for just 60 seconds before emerging crisp but still light.
Apparently the menu at The Perfectionists' Café is not be as adventurous as his earlier snail porridge or meat-fruit pâté creations and each dish is the product of extensive research. All the main courses are based on his 2006 television programme In Search of Perfection, in which Blumenthal spoke with scientists, travelled the world and even sent a potato into space in an attempt to create the perfect version of each dish. Several million pounds has already been invested in The Perfectionists' Café, with the custom-made liquid nitrogen pipes alone costing £50,000. The restaurant hopes to serve 1,300 to 2,000 diners a day and so some of the more elaborate processes from the TV show have been pared down. According to a Daily Telegraph reporter, Blumenthal has upped the competition in Britain’s gourmet burger craze. I look forward to tasting The Perfectionist’s Burger when I am next at Heathrow’s Terminal 2. But then again, a pizza topped with truffled culcatello salami, roast portabello mushrooms, fior di latte cheese and truffle oil sounds great. As for the chips? “The fries are just fries, they’re bought”, says Ashley Palmer-Watts, executive head chef of the Fat Duck Group. “Making triple-cooked chips on site is just not possible. We don’t have the kitchen for it.” Well that’s a disappointment, Heston – not quite perfection at the Perfectionists’ Cafe!