Historic Heston by Heston Blumenthal

The greatest British dishes, as reinvented by Heston Blumenthal, chef and proprietor of the three-Michelen-starred Fat Duck — presented in a gloriously lavish package.

British gastronomy has a grand old tradition that has been lost over time. Now England’s most inventive chef is out to reclaim it. Heston Blumenthal, whose name is synonymous with cutting-edge cuisine, nonetheless finds his greatest source of inspiration in the unique and delicious food that the sceptered isle once produced. This has been the secret to his success at world-famous restaurants The Fat Duck and Dinner, where a contrast between old and new, modern and historic, is key.

Start with thirty historic dishes, take them apart, put them together again and what have you got? A sublime twenty-first-century take on delicacies including meat fruit (1500), quaking pudding (1660), and mock-turtle soup (1892). Heston examines the history behind each one’s invention and the science that makes it work. He puts these dishes in their social context and follows obscure culinary trails, ferreting out such curious sources as The Queen-like Closet from 1672 (which offers an excellent method for drying goose). What it adds up to is an idiosyncratic culinary history of Britain.

This glorious tome also gives a unique insight into the way that Heston works, with signature dishes from both The Fat Duck and Dinner. Illustrated by Dave McKean and with some of the most superb food photography you’ll ever see, Historic Blumenthal is a book to treasure.

You think you know about British cooking? Think again.