Heston’s Fantastical Food: Review

HESTON’S FANTASTICAL FOOD: Tuesday 6th November, Channel 4, 9pm

Anarcho-chef Heston Blumenthal rose to prominence cooking up absurd dishes using scientific methods at his expensive Fat Duck restaurant. I suppose his reliance on science makes perfect sense for someone who’s surname sounds like a brand of chewing gum you can only purchase with a doctor’s prescription. Over the last few years he’s presented shows on Channel 4 pushing the boundaries of food taste and presentation, from Tudor feasts to recreations of the Christmas story – gold, frankincense, myrrh et al. This time round he presents Heston’s Fantastical Food, creating supersize versions of everyday favourites.

This week Heston took on his favourite childhood meal: breakfast. With lattes and espressos all the rage, people tend not to eat the Most Important Meal of the Day anymore, so Heston pledged to put the fun back into cereals and fry-ups by going XXXL. During the programme Heston made the world’s largest egg and soldiers, a mind-fucking tasebud-switching fry-up, and a huge Shreddie crammed with every cereal imaginable. It’s a breakfast fit for the kid from Honey, I Blew Up the Kid.

Visually, the show is very entertaining. Watching Heston fry two 10kg sausages in a fuckoff frying pan was quite surreal, “like something from The Borrowersâ€? as one of the imagination-lacking tasting volunteers pointed out. He created a giant egg from yoghurt and gelatine, 800 times bigger than one laid by a hen. It was about as big as a loft extension on a decent-sized detached house.

Next up, Heston attempted to create the ultimate cereal, which involved cramming a giant Shreddie full of every cereal imaginable: Cornflakes, Cocoa Pops, even Kellogg’s Special K for God’s sake! The cereal was served with crackly Rice Krispie milk. I can’t see the appeal if I’m honest. I may not be the world’s biggest cereal fan, but surely mixing together every cereal imaginable is over egging the proverbial pudding somewhat? I love soup, for example, but mixing the full range of Covent Garden Soups into a bowl for lunch would be mental.

The show culminated in the Great Train Robbery of 2012. Inspired by a journey on the Orient Express and the 1930s golden age of travel, when people would routinely sit down for breakfast on their daily commute, Heston hijacked a steam train full of Brummie commuters to ply them with his breakfast delights.

None of the guests contracted salmonella and they all appeared to enjoy themselves, which is hardly surprising considering they were being served a free breakfast from a Michelin-starred chef on a steam train.