Presentation of the winners of the GQ Food & Drink Awards 2021

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Heston Blumenthal

Heston Blumenthal’s success in the restaurant business has been nothing short of sensational. The chef who created “The World’s Best Restaurant” has six Michelin stars, an OBE, is considered one of the most influential scientists of all time and now has a GQ Food & Drink Lifetime Achievement Award to add to his collection.

His genre-defying dishes, like snail porridge and simulated turtle soup, have inspired (intrigued, bewildered, fascinated … delete if applicable) generations and transformed an ordinary village pub into a place of pilgrimage. culinary 25th anniversary this year).

His signature glasses convey an air of insatiable curiosity, and while you might think the wacky professor character is overkill, his commitment to the idea that you should ‘question everything’ is more ardent than ever.

Now 55 years old and living in France, Willy Wonka, the world of gastronomy, is not even about to close the factory: as GQ has discovered, there is still a lot to come. ..

Let’s start with the beginning. The story of your epiphanic meal at L’Oustau De Baumanière at 16 is well documented, but looking back, is it still the most important experience of your life?

I had grown up in 1970s London, where you had to buy olive oil from the pharmacist. We vacationed in Cornwall so it was peeling crayfish around formica tables. That visit to Provence – the crunch of gravel, the smell of lavender, the cart-sized cheese cart – it was like I had fallen down the rabbit hole in Wonderland.

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