Heston Blumenthal : The Fat Duck flies south
Celebrated British restaurateur Heston Blumenthal, his triple Michelin-starred establishment The Fat Duck and its entire team are relocating to Australia for six months – an unprecedented way of launching a permanent relationship stretching around the world.
A 35,000-kilometre voyage of gastronomic discovery
The bad news: Heston’s Blumenthal’s fabled restaurant The Fat Duck, an establishment the English village of Bray just outside Windsor that has held three Michelin stars for the past 11 years, is closing in December. The good news: The Fat Duck is reopening in February 2015 – in Melbourne, Australia. For six months the restaurant will operate within the Crown Towers hotel in Melbourne’s arty Southbank district, before Blumenthal and the team decamp back to the UK later next year. Why the 35,000-kilometre round trip? Blumenthal has long had the ambition to open in Australia, which he first visited in 2003; he wanted to celebrate The Fat Duck’s 20th anniversary in breathtaking style; the historic building in Bray, built in 1640, needed renovation; and the Crown Melbourne wanted to put itself on the global map as a dining destination.
Tapping Australia’s enthusiasm for good food
Ever since his first visit a decade ago, Blumenthal has nurtured the desire to run an establishment in Australia and capitalise of the country’s enthusiasm and discernment for good food, as well as its treasure trove of unique produce. The Fat Duck in Melbourne will offer the same experience for which the establishment in Bray is renowned, including its full Tasting Menu. For Crown Resorts, it is an opportunity to develop an international reputation that will attract visitors from far beyond Australia. Back home, the building in Bray will undergo renovation and modernisation of its interiors, the creation of new work areas and careful refurbishment that respects its architectural and historical heritage.
"Three Michelin stars for the past 11 years."
A growing empire
And when Blumenthal and his team return to the UK, a new restaurant will take the place of The Fat Duck. The opening of Dinner by Heston Blumenthal will create a lasting link between temples of gastronomy on opposite sides of the world, joining a growing empire that already includes a London-based Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (with two Michelin stars), The Hinds Head and The Crown at Bray. The most recent addition to Blumenthal’s portfolio, The Perfectionists’ Café, opened in June this year in the brand-new Terminal 2 at London’s Heathrow Airport. Drawing inspiration from his book series and UK TV programme, In Search of Perfection, it o ers a selection of Britain’s most popular dishes, prepared briskly for a clientele preparing to head o for far-flung destinations.