Heston was first bitten by the gastronomic bug at age 16 when his parents took him to a three-star French restaurant whilst on a family holiday in Provence. Taking in the whole scene, Heston fell in love with cooking and the idea of being a chef.
He spent the next decade working in a variety of unglamourous jobs while schooling himself at night through the classical repertoire of French cuisine. As he was developing his own style of cooking, he was inspired by Harold McGee and his book On Food and Cooking, which encouraged Heston to take nothing for granted, test the time-honoured “rules” of the kitchen and to use a scientific approach to cooking.
In 1995, Heston bought a 450-year old pub in Bray, England, and went on to turn the small local tavern (with only an outside toilet and no view) into the world-famous, three Michelin-starred restaurant, The Fat Duck, which is known for its inventive and unconventional dishes like sardine on toast sorbet, as well as its multisensory approach to dining, be it using smells to generate emotions or wearing headphones to add the dimension of sound. Ten years after its opening, The Fat Duck was voted the Best Restaurant in the World by Restaurant magazine.
Not bad for a chef who is entirely self-taught, apart from three weeks which he spent in professional kitchens.
EPISODE 1: BEEF
Heston challenges the way in which we cook beef and confronts one of the biggest culinary myths out there - searing a steak doesn't in fact keep in the meat's juices. The secret to frying the perfect steak is Heston's scientific, but super-simple, flipping technique. Heston also provides tips on how to choose the best cuts of beef, makes the best burgers in town with the local rugby team, and a juicy oxtail pudding, before revealing his secret to enhancing the flavour of mince by building a chilli bonfire in a bowl.
EPISODE 2: EGGS
Eggs – the most versatile ingredient in the kitchen. Heston reveals the secret to a great boiled egg, then showcases his special techniques for the perfect poached egg and his signature scotch egg – crunch on the outside with a runny yolk in the middle. He challenges his local Women’s Institute to scramble eggs, and gives a masterclass in how to achieve a perfect lemon-custard tart every time without fail. And finally, the members of the Women's Institute are invited to sample his famous bacon-and-egg ice cream made with dry ice.
EPISODE 3: CHOCOLATE
Heston lifts the lid on his magical popping candy, passion fruit gateaux with an exploding base, and an amazing flowerpot tiramisu with edible chocolate soil. The secret to success with cooking with chocolate? Gentle seduction – indirect head and away from moisture. Watch as Heston turns dark chocolate into rich chocolate wine. And what is he doing with a can of keyboard dust cleaner, a paint sprayer, and a pneumatic drill? Heston visits his local village hall to show the colourful characters from the amateur dramatics group the best way to make hot chocolate and then invites them round for tea to try his magical flower pot tiramisu.
EPISODE 4: CHICKEN
Heston attempts to revolutionise the way to roast a chicken by sharing his low and slow cooking technique. Then he gets to grips with the chicken's many delicious parts... via an autopsy. At his village hall, Heston challenges the local hockey team to a blind stock-tasting match before introducing his own super flavour-boosting stock – with a sprinkling of milk powder. He then reveals his guarded recipe for chicken and ham pie and demonstrates a shortcut for preparing a Michelin-star-worthy chicken consommé. Find out how you can use hot water, dry ice and essential lemon oils to flood your kitchen with chicken-enhancing aromas!
EPISODE 5: CHEESE
Heston takes on cheese - one of the most popular cooking ingredients in the UK. He reveals the key ingredient for the ultimate cheese fondue, turns a block of cheddar into a staggering four-meter cheese string, and also makes a dream cheese toastie.
EPISODE 6: POTATO
How many ways can you cook a potato? There's more to potatoes than just mashing, boiling or roasting. Heston reveals tips and techniques to transform Maris Pipers into mouth-watering main courses - from his legendary triple-cooked chips to potato donuts, the perfect mash and potato skin jam.