While the Fat Duck is well known in culinary circles, Blumenthal is best known for his TV work. As would be expected from the visual world of television, when it comes to his series of “Feast” shows, practicality is far from a prerequisite. The emphasis is on the spectacular, including in some cases spectacular failures, and on upending expectations.
Perhaps my favorite example, and sadly one for which a clip is not yet online, was his attempts to bring the 70s classic duck à l’orange. Blumenthal initially tried visiting a fire brigade training tower to attempt to cook a duck in what was effectively an orange-infused smokebomb inferno. The results were neither appetizing nor in any way safe.
Instead, Blumenthal quite literally inverted the dish, producing a duck parfait encased in an orange jelly (Jello), packaged in the style of the British confectionery classic of a Chocolate Orange. (To round out the confectionery theme, he also served duck flavored pastilles and smokey duck flavored potato chips.)
Here are some other examples of the pure insanity of Heston Blumenthal’s cookery: