I’ve always seen Heston Blumenthal fans as pseudo-foodies more interested in special effects than food. No doubt if I ate at the Fat Duck, I’d recant, but his TV shows do nothing but reinforce the perception he’s more culinary con artist than artist. And his latest, Heston’s Fantastical Food (9pm, C4, 6 November), was no exception.
The premise was shaky to say the least. “I want to bring back the wonder of food on a monumental scale to remind us how magical food can be AND make us all feel like kids again,” he declared before donning rose-tinted spectacles, trawling through the back catalogue of brekkie-related TV ads and wittering on about the influence his childhood “breakfast experience” had had on his cooking.
Personally, I don’t want to feel like a kid again. And I don’t see how pimping a full English is going to stop adults skipping breakfast. Neither did the commuters at Birmingham train station, who shunned the giant fry up. At least HE was pleased with his creation. Admiring his bangers, he remarked: “My question is: prick with a fork?” (funnily enough, also my question).
Fittingly, for his next stunt he tried (and failed) to create a giant boiled egg using a condom, before inviting a bunch of breakfast dodgers to board the Breakfast Express for a full English that included ‘fried eggs’ made of milk-infused salmon. Unsurprisingly, they loved it. But let’s not kid ourselves it encouraged them to eat breakfast. This was self-indulgent tosh masquerading as worthy mission.