SS Gastronómika 2011: Heston Blumenthal and the Queen of Hearts

You’ve heard me rave about Magnus Nilsson’s presentation which included fire, birds, berries and consequently, me rushing the stage to taste it all [menos el fuego]…

So, what makes an impressive, sweet presentation?

Macro video footage of chocolate making…the tempering, molding, piping and designing of this Queen of Hearts. Yup. It’s edible. It’s chocolate.

More specifically, it is a white chocolate shell with a thin sablée biscuit beneath a raspberry compote. See now?

Technical, aesthetic whimsy. I love it.

I love it just as much as I loved his presentation. First off, thank you Mr. Blumenthal for showing that HD video is possible (eureka!) and should be played on the big screen during Gastronómika. I wonder if anyone else took notice of the significantly clearer HD resolution juxtaposed to the majority of the blurry predecessors.

And thank you for making us all children again. In case you missed it, Heston finished the lecture with a Willy Wonka-esque video (yup, that song we all love…). He led us through a journey of pure imagination, an animation of a sweet and bubbly wonderland.

In addition to the queen of hearts treat, Heston also gave us all a token of the candy shop, a small scented spray. I followed along…sprayed the scent…closed my eyes…and imagined myself in the candy shop.

And? If you know me well, you know I’ve got a sensitive button for a nose so I’m not keen on perfumes, colognes or scented accents.

So to be honest, it wasn’t the coolest thing ever and it wasn’t the best thing ever at SS Gastronómika, but I do applaud Heston for bringing the fourth dimension [of smell] to his presentation. It was thoughtful and though I feel indifferent, I’m sure many enjoyed it.

Thank you for being unlike your peers, for being interactive and creative with your presentation. Your videos were excellently produced and I would have gladly stayed an hour more to hear you speak.

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