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Oct 31, 2009 12:25 PM

Big chef takes on little chef

My respect for Heston Blumenthal has increased exponentially since watching the second episode of this show. The man is so cool under pressure.

I do have to wonder why he didn't get a better contract to begin. It seems like a lot more things should have been nailed down from the start like his request to debut the breakfast in more than one place. Though I guess it never occurred to him that they might try to use him for publicity?

Nice, nice man but maybe a little naive.

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  1. "I do have to wonder why he didn't get a better contract to begin"

    It's a long time since the original programme was on, but wasnt his fee something of the order of £300K. Now, I'd have been happy to take that for 10% and could have come up with much the same suggestions. Presumably Channel 4 also coughed up some cash.

    For example, Little Chef's main selling time is breakfast and their main selling item is the "Olympic" breakfast. The reason the food was shit is because the ingredients were shit. In fact, the company had upgraded its breakfast produce a couple of years back and had used decent sausages and free range eggs before Heston went anywhere near the place. In fact the Olympic had become pretty tasty and worth stopping for.

    BTW. the Popham branch reached the new edition of the Good Food Guide (cooking score 2 out of 10 - pretty good, if surprising, when I see what other places score 2). The follow-up show, this week, showed the opening of the next two revamped branches (at York & Kettering)

    1. I know this is moving off topic, but really, why aren't people talking about Heston Blumenthal's feast series happening right now? These feasts and his processes can be something to behold.

      This programme is preceded by one chronicling his effect on Little Chef.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Lizard

        Yeah, all very clever stuff but would you want to eat it?

        We keep toying with the idea of booking for the Fat Duck and then, after a while, go off the idea for another 6 months.

        1. re: Harters

          Yes!!!! (In answer to your question, 'would you want to eat it?')

          The meatfruit from last week looked fascinating, and the dessert of edible tableware looked brilliant, and yes, I'm keen to try fried eel nerves now.

          Two weeks ago, the garden looked like great fun. As did the mock turtle soup. I wasn't keen on trying the jelly, but that's because I'm not a fan of jelly.

          Clearly, you and I are very different people. But that's been clear from the start, I suppose. (I only wish I had the dosh for a night at Fat Duck!).

        2. re: Lizard

          I've seen one of Blementhal's Feast series (didn't even know it was a series) but that was some time ago.

          The Little Chef series is playing currently here in Canada. We usually don' get British series in any sort of timely fashion.

          I know that only answers why I posted about this series but I have no guesses as to why other people aren't discussing something else.

        3. I thought the same thing watching this latest episode. I kept thinking Heston is a smart guy, I can't understand why he wouldn't pin down these things when the contract was signed etc. And then I thought, DUH! this is still a TV series and there still needs to be some 'drama', whether real or manufactured. So that's my theory that maybe they didn't work out all these little detail so that there would be some more drama. And I think he's either playing it up for the camera when he so innocently says he's starting to think this is for publicity for Little Chef. I can't imagine Heston being so naive.

          In terms of TV value, he's now 2 for 2 with me in Search for Perfection and now this one. I've also caught another one of his series on BBC when I was in London, but can't remember what that was called or if it was a one-off special. Anyway, for me at least he is one of the more highly watchable chefs I've seen in a very long time.