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Blumenthal to Open Fat Duck Pop-Up and ‘Dinner’ in Melbourne

Blumenthal to Open Fat Duck Pop-Up and ‘Dinner’ in Melbourne

Heston Blumenthal will open a pop-up of The Fat Duck, followed by Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in Melbourne

The Fat Duck will move to Melbourne temporarily, followed by Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in the same space.

British chef Heston Blumenthal has announced two upcoming projects headed to Melbourne, Australia. First, Heston will migrate The Fat Duck to Melbourne “for a six-month visit,” beginning February 2015, which means that the entire staff of the three-Michelin starred restaurant will follow. According to Good Food, the staff of The Fat Duck only learned of the big move a mere four hours before Heston announced the news publicly.

With the Melbourne pop-up underway, the original Fat Duck in Bray, England will be completely renovated. After six months, The Fat Duck will return home, and the Melbourne location at the Crown Towers Hotel in Southbank will become another location of Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. The restaurant’s original location is in Hyde Park.

“This is an incredible opportunity and I am thrilled that it has worked out the way it has,” announced Blumenthal. “The Fat Duck is part of a Grade II listed building, so I always knew there would come a time when it would need a little attention and the building itself would require a bit of modernization — after all, it was built in 1640. I just couldn't bear the thought of closing for an extended period, though. When we first started conversations with Crown, I saw the potential of the situation and really began to hope. I couldn't have asked for a better outcome."

Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.

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Andrew, Thierry and I recently had a week in Piemonte. As time allows, I'll post notes and photos here .

    - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Popped and poured. Nice aromatics that developed over the three or so hours open (decant at least five hours ahead). Little secondary nuances with lots of dark cherry and other dark fruits. A little melted road tar. More violets than rose perfume. Pure and clean on palate, with the structure and fine grained tannins coming through on the end. Austerity on the mid palate, reflecting the vintage. Nothing sweet fruited here, lots of dry tannin. The wine matched well the fishy tang of my Piemontese raw beef and anchovies. Good but a little outclassed and 'one note' next to the Gaja. Give this wine 5-10 more years, minimum. - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Decanted three hours before we began tasting (it could have used more). A detailed, complex nose, initially tartufi neri and other fungi, forest floor and wet tobacco leaf. Evolving and improving over the night, moving more scented and floral. The palate did not move during the evening, seeming younger than the bouquet or the vintage suggested. Beautiful, silky tannins, totally in tune with the acids. Very intense and complex. A lot of dark cherry and other black fruit, hoisin, balsamico and creosote. On the mid palate the scale and structure hits you . This is a big, serious wine. It paired very well with my sirloin and ash extra virgin olive oil dish, and then with the most mature cheeses. Perhaps not quite up there with the very best Sperss vintages I've had, but a damn fine Barolo. Seemingly now in its optimal drinking window.

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#2 Post by Howard Davis » August 21st, 2016, 3:01 am

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#3 Post by Howard Davis » August 21st, 2016, 3:12 am

A long lunch with Jeffrey Chilcott of Marchesi di Grésy and other Piemontese wine friends. Also, South African winemaker Alan was in attendance.

Below I've only typed up the Piemontese wines we tasted .

    - Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Barbera d'Alba
    Served blind by Lorenzo. A beautiful tarry nose of black cherries, underbrush and smoke with a touch of violets. A lovely earthy, brushwood palate with lots of black cherries and blackberries. Savoury and mature with sandy, suave tannins. Lovely sparkling acidity. I thought this wine was a Vietti Scarrone from the early or mid 1990s, not as young as 1999. Drink soonish, I'd think. - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    Served non-blind by Jeffrey. Plenty of ripe, 2011 fruit on the bouquet, with a little floral lift. Black fruited with Asian spice. More dark fruit, particularly cherries, on palate, with gentle 2011 structure. Inky and full bodied. Also lower acidity with oak yet to fully integrate. There is oak here but there's plenty of dry extract to match. Serious structure and well balanced. A good Gaiun, that'll need 5+ years to settle down. - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC
    Served blind. Evolved colour, a little brown. An intoxicating perfume, tartufi neri and dark roses. In the mouth, showing nice evolution with flavours of dried quince, preserved plums, red cherries and other red fruit. Spherical tannins, seamless structure and good length. I guessed the wine as a '98. In the zone now. - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Giulia served her wine open. Grapes from the Brunate site 70% of the blend. Aromas of lifted red berries, menthol and cherries, with a little spice. Full in the mouth, again showing '11 vintage ripeness and opulence. Fine grained tannins. An attractive young Barolo. - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Our wine (served blind) seemed more evolved than would be expected from a 1998. People had the vintage between 1985 and 1989. Browning colour. Dried red fruit, tobacco leaf, dried red fruits and brushwood on the bouquet. A fig or date component on the nose. A mellow, autumnal wine, which I found poignant. Others however didn't like it, thinking it lacked sufficient primary fruit. "Very alive in the mouth" said Jeffrey. Multi-layered, flavours including dried Porcini, old leather, dry, dusty soil and preserved plums. I enjoyed the wine but thought it too advanced for a 1998 (perhaps it was a bottle issue?). - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    A gorgeous wine served blind by Jeffrey. An attractive, savoury nose of dried mushroom, truffle, tobacco and red fruit, again suggesting a little evolution. On palate, seamless, smooth, succulent fruit, merging with savoury, umami elements. Well balanced. Some saw some fruit sweetness here not typical of a Barolo and wondered if the wine might be a pinot noir. I thought that this was a traditionally made Barolo, perhaps from 1998. A lovely wine with all of the elements in place . On the reveal, 2003 was a surprise . Jeffrey said "2003 is the email you didn't respond to . ". An excellent Monprivato. - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Our wine served blind was thought to be a '70s or even '60s Barolo by the tasters. Forest floor, truffle and earthy aromas, but also burnt toffee. Also a little sherry, or as someone corrected, old rum. Some fruit on the mid palate but a bit sherried on the finish. Autumn leaves, sous bois and bracken flavours dominating the fruit. Parched desert dry, nothing volatile here. A well made wine, "from a good vintage", said Jeffrey. To me, however, the least impressive and enjoyable of our three old wines. - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    On bouquet, Black Doris plums and black cherries, tar and dark soil, showing some development. On palate, very good dryness and serious structure. A lot of cacao, dark berry fruit and earth. Some iron at its core. I was convinced it was a Barolo, guessing it a 1997. With that size and architecture, there was elegance, suave tannins and good length. No hurry to drink this very good Barbaresco. - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Our Cavallotto had a pale, evolved colour. A tertiary nose of old leaves on the ground, fungus, old leather couch and dried Porcini, with a whiff of sherry. Too old for many of our Italian friends to enjoy, but I did, preferring it to the younger seeming Gigi Rosso. In the mouth, dried fruit, tobacco leaf and earth, showing oxidation. I thought that the fruit was alive on the palate. Jeffrey picked the vintage as "1971 or 1974", thinking the wine a product of a good, ripe vintage.

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#4 Post by Howard Davis » August 21st, 2016, 3:25 am

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#5 Post by Howard Davis » August 21st, 2016, 3:29 am


"Today is the first full day of summer" said Aldo. Certainly the sky was a deep blue very different from the misty light blue of the more typical Piermontese summer day.

After a quick visit to Scazello, Barolo we began our (mainly) Barbaresco Monday with lunch with Aldo Vacca of Produttori del Barbaresco and Renato Vacca of Cantina del Pino. Renato had brought along a box of his wines for us to drink with lunch.

I like the Trattoria, just below the tower and right opposite the Produttori entrance, very much. It's a nice humble Trattoria, making typical local dishes, like the lovely veal tajarin and roasted rabbit we enjoyed .

    - Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Barbera d'Alba
    A rare Barbera from Ovello vines, that saw a 20 day maceration. Bright, dark cherries and blackberries on the nose, with a little spice. In the mouth, not a pungent Barbera. Pure, clean and vertical showing some fruit sweetness. Quite fine and elegant, reflecting the house style. Also, reflecting the 2014 vintage, a cooler fruit spectrum with good minerality. I liked this Barbera quite a lot . Hold for a couple of years and drink in the next 10, I'd say. - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    Again mainly Ovello fruit (some from 70 year old vines). A spicy bouquet of raspberries, red cherries and red currants. Also red fruited on palate, showing red cherries, cranberry and even strawberries. Attractive, fresh, racy acids. Again a very elegant wine, almost delicate. As Aldo said, this Barbaresco reflected the 2012 vintage character. - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    Another 2012 Barbaresco, but very different aromas of bracken, earth, spices and red roses. On palate, structurally, a very different wine. Quite closed. Earthy and spicy with underbrush and tobacco leaf notes. There's plenty or weight and tannins on the back palate. This wine needs cellar time, it was improved by food. In fact, in the glass, it got tighter and tighter. Give this wine 3-5 years. - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    Renato's flagship cuvée had the best bouquet so far. A complex nose, with lifted, floral elements, very 2011 Barbaresco. Musk, red berries and dry earth with traces of mineral. On palate, a much richer, riper wine, with succulent plums, raspberries and other red fruit and that alcohol lift (on the label 14.5%, but it may be higher). However, well balanced and quite bright. Earthy with good volume and length. Slatey minerals on the finish. I'd cellar for 5+ years, ideally 10+. Very good. - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    We were discussing and comparing various Produttori vintages with Aldo (see later) and got onto 2007 and comparisons with 2009 . Aldo went back to the winery and came back with this wine . A nose of dry brushwood, dry soil and dark cherries, showing some dried leaf evolution. Serious structure on palate but showing the warmer 2007 vintage. Fleshy and powerful with quite fine grained tannins but some tannic grip on the back. "The palate is very fresh" said Renato. "You can feel the alcohol and it has nice drinkability," noted Aldo "but it can probably age". "There were good, ripe tannins in 2007" concluded Aldo. There was less progression on palate than on the nose. Ideally I'd give the wine 2-3 more years, but probably drink it in the next 10 years.

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#6 Post by Howard Davis » August 21st, 2016, 3:45 am

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#7 Post by Howard Davis » August 21st, 2016, 3:50 am

Over the lunch and during our tasting we had talked about the Riserva vintages for Produttori.

Aldo had talked about 2016 so far for Produttori, saying there had been heavy rains in June and some hail recently. He said that the season was late starting and that there was uneven shoot growth (this was 20 June), but that the season was now catching up. As always, of course, he said that 15 August to 15 October 2016 will be the key dates .

Aldo talked about his Riserva vintages:

2007-2011: He said that the 2007s were similar to the 2009s, being more accessible, earlier drinking wines than the more backward, structured 2008 Crus. He said 2009 was in some ways similar to 2011, but that the 2011s had extra fruit and were more lifted than the more austere 2009s. Personally, in terms of quality, I'd rate the recent Produttori Riserva vintages in this order: 2008, 2007, 2011 and 2009 (not that there's anything wrong with 2009s, as a more forward vintage . ).

2012: Riservas were not made because the "Crus did not have sufficiently intense, distinct personalities (they were too similar), so we just made the Normale". Aldo repeated what he has told me previously: "Our limit on the Crus is keeping the basic wine okay. I could double the Crus in volume but the Normale would suffer too much". In vintages when Riservas are made, SV grapes do still make up half of the Normale. Aldo will not make Crus in a vintage like 2010 to protect the quality of the Normale, which is Produttori's key wine.

2013: Riservas will be released between October 2016 and January 2017. The 2013 Crus are very good, in my opinion, based on two sets of barrel tastings, probably better than the 2011s. Aldo described the 2013 Riservas as (very approximately) a cross between the 2004s and 2005s (which sounds pretty good to me!).

2014: Riservas will be released in January 2019. Aldo was at pains to distinguish 2014 Barbareschi from Baroli, saying that Barbaresco produced many good wines in 2014 ("Just as good as 2013" said Aldo). From the Muncagota and Rabajà we tasted, and the 2014s we tasted at Bruno Rocca, I'd believe that .

2015: Riservas will be made. Aldo described the SVs as being more like 2011s in character, than 2013s or 2014s.

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Watch the video: Heston Blumenthal Launches The Fat Duck in Melbourne (September 2021).