Heston’s Victorian Feast

Sunday, October 18 on M4

Heston Blumenthal is on a mission to use myth, science and history to create the greatest feasts ever known. The Victorian age was filled to the brim with invention, madness and imagination, and food was often grandiose, naughty and surreal. In this first episode of the four-part series, Heston takes his inspiration from Alice in Wonderland , the quintessential Victorian novel, to create his ultimate version of the Mad Hatter’s tea party for celebrity diners.

“My name is Heston Blumenthal and I run one of the best restaurants in the world,” said Heston, as he introduced his new series on Channel 4 last night. From the very beginning, he made no bones about the fact that this was for culinary voyeurs, not your usual participants of cooking shows. “I’m on a food adventure in the extreme,” he promised. “So throw away your cookbooks and please don’t try this at home!”

Heston’s Victorian Feast, the first of a four-part series, which had been modelled on the Mad Hatter’s tea party. Lewis Carroll’s “drink me” potion, which Alice discovers tastes of toffee, hot, buttered toast, custard, cherry tart and turkey, might have been invented to goad Blumenthal into action. Having created a pink gel infused with each flavour, Blumenthal had to commission a special piece of glassware.

The pièce de résistance was an edible Victorian kitchen garden, in which even the gravel (smoked eel, tapioca and waffle crumbs) and the topsoil (dried black olives, crushed grape nuts and chopped pumpkin seeds) could be shovelled up in a spoon. Dotted between the new potato pebbles, Blumenthal had crickets and mealworms, deep fried and then injected with a tomato-flavoured paste for a real squish as you bite into them.

Blumenthal finished with a special tribute to Victorian depravity, an absinthe-flavoured jelly preceded into the room by a giant, wobbling, green cone with vibrating dildos pressed into its base. Great fun watching Heston work and he is back next week to have our mouth’s watering and watching the sheer brilliance of this true master chef work!

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • ITV1
  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
  • Fiver
  • Sky1