Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Heston Blumenthal - In Search of Perfection
Well, it's taken a year for it to arrive in Australia, but better late than never, as Heston Blumenthal's new show, In Search of Perfection, premiered last night on Foxtel. It is a seven part series and it seems that Heston is keen to put his take on some pretty mundane, everyday dishes that any halfway competent home cook could deliver, but that is where any similarity ends as we are taken deep into the bowels of the HB Laboratory and shown some techniques that only the most truly dedicated disciple might attempt to replicate.
Which is not to say that the programme wasn't interesting or enlightening. It was fascinating to watch Heston's restless mind at work, but the fact is, he is a single minded food purist, and nothing gets in the way of where he wants to take a dish; there is no technique or process that is either too hard or too simple, if it gets the job done.
As a host, he is taking us on a journey and does so in a charming, straight forward manner - there is no talking down to anyone, in fact it may come as a complete surprise for Heston to learn that some may find his work the proverbial a bridge too far, no home cook I know is working with liquid nitrogen or dry ice for that matter. But watching him make ice cream in seconds with liquid nitrogen was amazing, he simply poured it into the bowl that contained the ice cream mixture, whisked, and voila, dessert was ready.
Even though many see Heston as one of the supreme molecular gastronomists, he doesn't actually see himself that way, a point he makes well. It would seem he is not about changing food into some sort of surprise, rather, he is more about finding a particular ingredient's pure expression, by stripping away the extraneous, or by combining things in a way that highlights certain flavours or characteristics.
It is worth watching this uber talented chef in his prime, the science isn't impenetrable, just don't blame me if you don't feel the same way about bangers and mash again...ever.
In Search of Perfection
Foxtel, LifeStyle FOOD