Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Heston's Amazing Ice-Cream Machine
There's more than a touch of Willy Wonka about Heston Blumenthal so it's no surprise to find that he's about to introduce a £35,000 custom-made ice-cream trolley in his new restaurant Dinner.
I got a sneak preview last night* where it was sitting in a corner of the private dining room which opens on March 1st. It looks like an outsize Kenwood chef and belches liquid nitrogen. The ice cream freezes in seconds. (You can read more about the technique here)
It's scooped into handmade sugar cones (delicious) and topped with almond praline and what looked like hundreds and thousands but tasted more like those palate-cleansing sweets you get at the end of an Indian meal.
Ashley Palmer-Watts, Heston's right hand man who heads up the kitchen at Dinner, isn't quite sure how it's going to be received. "I suspect it will be chaos" he said cheerfully.
Liquid nitrogen is not a recent invention by the way. One of Heston's culinary heroes Mrs Agnes B Marshall was advocating its use in kitchens and hospitals as far back as the end of the 19th century.
* For a blow-by-blow account of what we ate and drank visit my website matchingfoodandwine.com