Heston Blumenthal, the three Michelin-starred restaurateur known for innovative dishes that owe as much to chemistry as cookery, will vie with Gordon Ramsay for the title of top chef at Europe’s busiest aviation hub.
Blumenthal, whose flagship Fat Duck eatery offers nitrogen-poached aperitifs, will open an as-yet unnamed outlet at London Heathrow airport’s Terminal 2 next June that will showcase his “love for nostalgia and celebrate his pride of all things British,” the hub’s owner said today in a statement.
The menu will be drawn from the “In Search of Perfection” television series, which sought to determine the best recipes and cooking procedures for a range of familiar dishes such as fish and chips and pizza. Blumenthal will become the third celebrity chef with an outlet at a London airport, after Ramsay, whose Plane Food is located at Heathrow’s Terminal 5, and Jamie Oliver, with Jamie’s Italian at Gatwick, south of the capital.
Blumenthal’s restaurant will cover 443 square meters (4,770 square feet) and be sited in the departure lounge of Heathrow’s revamped Terminal 2, home to 23 Star Alliance carriers including Deutsche Lufthansa AG and United Continental Holdings Inc., as well as Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd.’s short-haul flights.
With both the new restaurant and Ramsay’s outlet -- at the terminal used by British Airways -- located beyond the security barrier they will not compete directly for custom, though Muriel Zingraff-Shariff, Heathrow’s retail director, said Blumenthal’s arrival will “introduce a unique and original dimension.”
Other brands using Terminal 2 to expand into airport retail include clothing and homeware store John Lewis and coffee chain Ca’puccino, which plans a shop with WH Smith Plc featuring a wall covered in Vogue magazines from around the world.