|Tickets and a souvenir from the show.|
|Fob watch tea bag and Queen of Hearts tart (photos from Popcorn & Toast).|
I enjoyed the show, and I admired the man's talent, but I couldn't help feeling just a little bit disappointed. We didn't really learn anything new (sous vide and other techniques were barely mentioned), there weren't any cooking demonstrations (unless you counted the making of ice cream using dry ice), and there were no practical cooking tips as promised in an interview with Viva. Heston's thoughts on eating as a multi-sensory experience, including the difference between taste and flavour, are already widely available online. In fact, his talk with Paul O'Grady was pretty much what we witnessed last night, with the exception that we were not shown either of the demonstrations in the talk show.
Having to sit through multiple advertisements did not help either (did they need all these sponsors when we were paying hundreds of dollars for a ticket?). The audience participation activities (which you were excluded from unless you were sitting at the front downstairs) were cheesy, with plenty of fake reactions from those on the stage. The questions at the end were pre-selected rather than spontaneous. To add to the disappointment, news reports claimed that Heston took us through his "logic-defying hot and iced tea" and his "famous snail porridge", when in fact he did not mention these dishes at all.
Despite thinking the show could have been much better, there were a few things which made the evening worthwhile. It put the scale of Heston's work into perspective. We discovered, for instance, that the Fat Duck gets 30,000 calls per day, and they need to have two people dedicated to reservations for the 42 customers that they can fit into the restaurant. We also learnt that the chef is helping prepare a 5-course menu for 13,000 guests at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee next month.
I have now been motivated to watch many episodes of Heston's Feasts, which are both entertaining and inspirational. Although I would not pay so much money to see Heston live again, it is nice to be able to say I was in the same room as someone of his calibre. Hopefully, I will someday be able to experience his creations for myself too.