Watch Heston Blumenthal try to master the perfect fish and chips

The three-Michelin star chef uses modern techniques to perfect an enduring classic.

By Jeremy Repanich 24/06/2018

It’s Heston Blumenthal’s nature to overthink things a bit. The chef at the experimental three-Michelin Star restaurant The Fat Duck in Bray, England, creates not just a meal, but an entire story and journey to trigger a nostalgic experience. This formerly world’s No. 1 restaurant mixes traditional and molecular techniques to for a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience, where the menu is a map of an imaginary island, where each course is a new location to visit. And once you’re in his world, he’s not afraid to get a little weird, mixing up traditions where he creates savory lollipops, or egg and bacon ice cream.

But what if you took all that focus, willingness to experiment, and emphasis on technique and deployed it not to creating foams or chicken liver that looks like a tangerine, but instead dedicated it to taking a classic dish and making it great? That’s exactly what Blumenthal did when he broke down how to make the perfect fish and chips.

The star chef begins his experiment in an elevated way. He’s not using cod or halibut. No, no, no. This is a three-Michelin-star chef, so he’s going right for the whole turbot that he butchers himself to ensure maximum freshness and the correct portion size.

Embedded content: https://youtu.be/Zr3Rrzrv8vU

For the batter he mixes flour, rice flour, honey, vodka, and a beer. That’s all pretty standard, until he puts them in a C02 cannister to make the batter even airier. Once the fish is dredged in flour and coated in batter from the soda cannister, he fries it. For one last step to make the batter crispy and thick, he drizzles more of it onto the fish while it’s in the frying oil.

To make the chips, he tested a variety of potatoes and goes with the Arran victory, a type that’s similar to Yukon gold with a fluffy flesh when cooked. Usually a chef wants every knife cut perfectly even, but with his chips he actually makes the batons slightly irregular to mix up the texture of the fries because they’ll cook at slightly different rates. He soaks them in water to wash the starch and blanches them in salty water to rough the edges and create pores in the spuds. That increases the surface are when frying to make them even crispier. He refrigerates the cooked potatoes to firm them back up. After pulling them from the fridge, he fries once, cools, and then fries again, timing that last frying with the preparation of the fish, so everything finishes at the same time. It’s a master class in cooking.

ADVERTISE WITH US

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Stay Connected

You may also like.

5 Fitness Goal Mistakes – And The Best ‘Fixes’

Lachlan Rowston — co-founder of Sydney’s best, and most exclusive gym, Lockeroom – provides a realistic approach to achievement via beneficial goals.

By Lachlan Rowston

08/04/2022

‘Don’t Film Any Soldiers, They May Shoot Us’: Inside Ukraine’s Secret Battle To Save Its Art

Art critic Waldemar Januszczak reports on the country’s astonishing mission to stop the destruction of its artistic treasures.

By Waldemar Januszczak For The Times

22/04/2022

Forgotten Macallan Whisky Cask Could Break Auction Records

The owner purchased it over 30 years ago on a whim.

By Rachel Cormack

22/04/2022

A Jackson Pollock ‘Drip’ Painting Is Expected to Fetch $60 Million

‘Number 31’ (1949) will hit the block during an evening sale at Christie’s in New York on May 12.

By Angelica Villa

21/04/2022

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Art And Personal Mementos Head To Auction

The Potomack Company is selling items from the late Supreme Court justice’s DC apartment, including a Picasso engraving, a medal and more.

By Bryan Hood

19/04/2022

Buy the Magazine

Subscribe to Robb Report today!

Subscribe today

Stay Connected