Heston Blumenthal has revealed details of his forthcoming Heathrow airport restaurant the Perfectionists' Café, which aims to meet the specific needs of travellers.
The celebrated chef and his team, led by group executive head chef Ashley Palmer-Watts and head chef Julian O'Neill, have spent the last 18 months developing the concept, which will observe the "specific unique requirements and needs of guests in an airport terminal".
Blumenthal explained: "The demands of an airport outlet are quite different from our other restaurants.
- "Some guests will have very little time to spend with us and others, in transit or with longer check-ins, will have time to linger. The restaurant will of course cater to both, but we want to deliver food that is fun and familiar - food that is stimulating to the palate and at the same time easy to enjoy."
The menu takes inspiration from the Fat Duck chef's 'In search of Perfection' television series.
Featuring classic British dishes, it will aim to "embrace the eccentricity of Great British invention", with examples including burgers that will be made by grinding all the meat grains in the same direction to maximise the juiciness of the meat, while pizzas will be cooked in the first ever wood burning oven in an airport.
"When we made 'In Search of Perfection' we travelled to Naples in Italy and spent hours researching the exact temperature of pizza ovens that deliver the perfect crispy but chewy base with meltingly soft toppings," said Blumenthal. "We knew that could only be achieved here with the right oven, so it was really fortunate we were able to incorporate one into the design."
The design concept of the Perfectionists' Café will be nostalgic and offer a nod to the glamorous heyday of 1960's passenger flights. The café signage will be a large mechanical clockwork knife, which appears in the logo and will, through movement, aim to "draw attention to the energy of the café as well as the location".
Richard Seymour of design agency Seymourpowell explained: "As much of the menu concept emanates from Heston's ‘In Search of Perfection' TV series, it seemed logical that the Café's name should reflect that.
"The shift of emphasis from the creator to the diner themselves, by moving the inverted comma to the end of the word, pays homage to a customer who's fed-up with junk, but wants exceptional food quickly.
"We called it a café because that's what it is: fast, friendly and informal. The clockwork knife came out of thin air. I wanted something that clearly said ‘chef' not ‘fast food' and yet evoked Heston's boyish delight in the mechanical worlds of William Heath-Robinson and Professor Brainstorm.
"Having created the image, we then set about seeing if we could actually make it work as part of the signage. Design doesn't get much more fun than this…pure whimsy!"