Heston Blumenthal earns Lifetime Achievement Award
Heston Blumenthal has been awarded the 2017 Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award, part of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards, which will take place on 5 April at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne.
Operator of of The Fat Duck and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Blumenthal, 50, is largely self-taught. Aside from a two week stint at Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons in the UK, the London-born Blumenthal has no formal training. “He developed his multi-sensory approach to cooking through investigation, experimentation and a single-minded vision to challenge culinary norms,” a statement announcing his latest accolade reads.
In 1995, Blumenthal opened The Fat Duck, a 40-seat restaurant in the UK village of Bray, where he earned plaudits for his playful, inventive multi-course tasting menu and curious flavour combinations with dishes including snail porridge and egg-and-bacon ice cream.
Bluementhal was awarded his first Michelin star in 1999, his second in 2002 and his third in 2004. In 2005, The Fat Duck secured the number one spot on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
William Drew, group editor of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, said “A pioneer, an entrepreneur and a creative force, throughout his distinguished career Heston Blumenthal has challenged the way we eat and inspired a generation of chefs. His passion, energy, imagination and thirst for change have enriched global gastronomy and make him a worthy winner of the prestigious Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award.”
In 2004 Blumenthal acquired The Hinds Head, a 15th century pub in Bray serving traditional seasonal cuisine and historic British recipes. In 2011, he launched his first restaurant outside Bray, Dinner by Heston Blumethal, at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in London.
Dinner’s menu mines historical British recipes from as far back as the 14th century and reworks them using contemporary cooking techniques. A year after opening, Dinner earned its first Michelin star and made its debut on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list at number nine, and it has maintained a position on the list ever since. His other restaurants in England include The Crown pub, also in Bray, and The Perfectionists’ Caf at London Heathrow.
In 2015, the chef temporarily relocated The Fat Duck to Melbourne for six months while the flagship restaurant underwent a renovation. Once The Fat Duck returned to its original location, the Melbourne venue was relaunched as the second Dinner with Heston Blumenthal restaurant.
As the 2017 recipient of The Diners Club Lifetime Achievement award, Blumenthal joins a group of international chef including France’s Paul Bocuse, Alain Ducasse, Alain Passard and Jel Robuchon, as well as Alice Waters, Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller.
The award is voted for by over 1,000 international restaurant industry experts and well-travelled gourmets who make up The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy.
“I am honoured, thrilled and really quite excited to be given The Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award. For me, this award is particularly special because it’s voted by my peers. After 20 years of The Fat Duck, I now feel like I’m just starting – and those 20 years were my apprenticeship. The future is very, very exciting,” Blumenthal said.