Blumenthal and Ramsay top restaurant guide

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck restaurant was rated as a perfect 10 in the new edition of the Good Food Guide 2010, its editor said today.



It beat Gordon Ramsay's eponymously named Chelsea establishment, which was the only place in the country to score nine out of 10.

The high marks for both super chefs were described by the guide authors as "good news at last" after Blumenthal's place in Bray, Berkshire was closed due to the norovirus, and Ramsay's international empire was battered by the recession.

Ramsay said: "This is great news for both restaurants.

"We would like to offer Heston our congratulations but we can promise him we will be trying even harder next year to pip him to the top spot."

The Fat Duck, which famously includes snail porridge on its tasting menus, scored a "perfect" rating for the second year running.

Blumenthal is known for his use of chemistry to create ever more outlandish dishes, but there was much more to the dining experience than wacky food.

Good Food Guide editor Elizabeth Carter said: "It is the most extraordinary restaurant in Britain.

"It is food as theatre, the way the waiters interact with the table, it is like a performance.

"You are there for four hours while the meal is almost flown, course-by-course, to you."

The Fat Duck's website lists a tasting menu at £130 which includes a course called Sound of the Sea, during which the diner eats smoked fish, edible 'sand' and 'seaweed' while listening to seagulls' calls on an iPod.

The editor described the meal at the Fat Duck as "exquisite food taken to the next level".

"It's a destination restaurant, a place you save up to go to, and you will remember it forever."

Ramsay's score of nine out of 10 for his Chelsea restaurant represents "cooking that has reached the pinnacle of achievement", according to the guide's scores.

Ms Carter said the head chef Clare Smyth was "very good" and the front-of-house staff were second to none.

"It is a restaurant working on the international stage."

She added: "It's been a tough year for all chefs, but these super chefs are at the top of their game and producing superlative food.

"It's difficult to fault the Fat Duck's impeccable standards and Gordon Ramsay's modern French cooking is perfectly executed too."

She said away from the elite venues, restaurants were also improving.

"It's such an exciting time for British food," she said. "Not just at the high end, standards are going up, people are demanding more and chefs are stepping up to the plate, literally."

The Good Food Guide 2010 goes on sale on 8 September.

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