Monday, 28 November 2011

Heston Blumenthal Successfully Cooks a Metaphor

Heston Blumenthal, the ominous looking chef and liquid nitrogen enthusiast, has become the first chef to successfully braise and then bake a metaphor.

The metaphor, which Blumenthal successfully extracted from an absurdist short story by Russian writer Mikhael Bulgakov, was pan fried with rosemary and shallots before being spun in a centrefuge, stood near some magnesium phosphate and then baked in pastry. The resulting dish has been called the world’s first metaphor wellington.

Blumenthal sitting on a seat made of gravy

“First thing was to pick the finest metaphors we could” the eccentric chef explained, “I wanted something really vintage, but not so old that it was fusty because that would give a bitter flavour. We’d tried out the capture technique when we harvested some similes, but compared to metaphors similes catching is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel.

“We’re going for a good, plump metaphor to offset the mushroon crust, so we couldn’t take anything trite or mixed. At first we were going to go for one of them Blumenberg ‘absolute metaphors’, but that would be way too large for one serving. In the end we decided on something about a corrupt political system or a marriage that had started to decay. You get really nice notes of cinnamon in those”

The wellington is described on the menu as “an ancient oak tree, standing on a blasted heath in a forgotten country, twisted by the winds into a shape at once wretched and defiant”. It is set to cost diners £312 a serving, if it makes it onto the menu after being approved by a panel of chefs and critics.

Blumenthal first called on the services of Salman Rushdie to try out his dish, relying on the renowned droopy-eyed enemy of the prophet Mohamed to be able to judge the literary merit of his dish and also the crispness of the pastry. Locking him in a sound proof drum that Blumenthal had made smell of wine gums to enhance the experience, a small audience of foodies waited for the author to finish his meal and deliver an opinion.

After twenty minutes, Rushdie emerged from the drum, looking sated. “It’s delightful!” he announced, wiping flecks of pastry and literature from his face, “Really playful. I got hints of citrus, a critique of the suffocating bureaucracy of Soviet Russia and those potato fondants simply to die for. I’d eat those every day. But then I’d get fat.....wa”

Blumenthal is said to be trying to perfect his metaphor menu with a little help from some famous writers who are eager to participate in the experimental cuisine. Ian McEwan, the writer of Atonement who looks like an old and clever falcon, has already volunteered to be basted and type in a chimney made of chocolate for ten hours to help make a massive trifle

Blumenthal hopes to have gathered enough metaphors by the end of the year to fill his restaurant’s freezer so he can add the dish to his spring menu.

Felix Prenderghast,
Senior Features Correspondent

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