Heston Blumenthal plans ‘story-telling' menu for Fat Duck
Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal is to offer a "story-telling" menu at the Fat Duck restaurant in Bray, Berkshire, when it reopens in September.
But two dishes that won't appear on its return will be the famous snail porridge and bacon and egg ice-cream.
The new menu, which has seen Blumenthal seek advice from magician Derren Brown as well as a creative team including Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall, aims to take diners on a journey aimed at capturing childhood feelings of adventure, discovery and curiosity. Precise details of what it will contain are being kept secret.
The restaurant has been closed for refurbishment for the last six months and all its staff relocated to Australia.
As the reopening of the Fat Duck in Bray draws closer, Blumenthal told The Observer's Jay Rayner that he was taking on the challenge of redefining the very nature of a restaurant.
"The fact is the Fat Duck is about storytelling. I wanted to think about the whole approach of what we do in those terms," Blumenthal said.
"[Lee Hall] looked at the menu and said that, with the ice-lollies and the sounds of the sea, this is basically a holiday. It's about those childhood feelings of adventure, discovery and curiosity.
"It means the menu will now be a story. It will have an introduction and a number of chapters and chapter headings that will give you an idea of what is coming."
Another new feature of the restaurant will be a mobile sweetshop that will go round on a trolley at the end of the meal. Shaped like a doll's house, it will puff smoke rings out of its chimney as diners choose their sweets. The creation is said to have cost £150,000.
As to the absence of the snail porridge and bacon and egg ice-cream dishes, the chef said they had been taken off the menu because both had "evolved as far as they could".
The 40-seat restaurant will have more than 70 staff at each service.
Leading chefs in hard-hitting Hospitality Action campaign >>
Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck to open in Melbourne on 3 February 2015 >>
Are you looking for a new role? See all the current restaurant vacancies available with The Caterer Jobs >>
Latest video from The Caterer