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11th Oct 2023

Heston Blumenthal under fire for charging nearly £50 for celery dish

Joseph Loftus

Heston Blumenthal has come under fire again

It’s nice to treat yourself every now and again. A nice new coat, a weekend break away, or even a fine dining experience mid-week or on a Saturday evening in November.

But when it comes to fine dining the prices can add up as one person found when they got the cheque at Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant in London, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal.

The dish this customer opted for was the vegetarian braised celery dish which is served with Gruyere cheese, girolle mushrooms, truffle, cider apple and smoked walnuts.

But just how much did this dish come to? £48.

Honestly, is £48 that much for a main meal in a Michelin star restaurant in the country’s capital? It doesn’t seem that outrageous really, and Heston doesn’t think so either, arguing that the dish dates back to the 1730s and has a historical background.

Defending the price, chef Deiniol Pritchard, COO of Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, said that the “utmost care was put into creating the dish” as the vegetables are braised for over 90 minutes and that the dish contains many pricey ingredients.

He said: “The main cost is black truffle. There are a couple of celeriac purees and crumbled-over that is black truffle. We get frozen Australian or Spanish truffle and the cheapest we’ll ever get it is £650 – it goes from 65p to £1 a gram.”

He also claimed it “takes a lot of work” to understand the dishes before they are able to develop them and adapt them to create a fine dining experience.

Despite these revelations, many people on TripAdvisor continue to argue about the high costs, with one person reviewing the restaurant as a “monumental rip off” and another saying that if you visit you are “flushing money down the drain”.

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