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Every industry has its rule breakers, and catering is no exception. The past couple of decades have seen some extraordinary changes made by some remarkable chefs who have brought new light to the way in which we see food, and become pretty famous in the process. Here are just a few of them...

Ferran Adrià

A Titan among heroes, Adrià’s name is usually whispered in reverence. In 1983 at the tender age of 21 he took two months’ work experience at the already famous elBulli restaurant in Catalonia. The following year he joined the fulltime staff and by 1997, when elBulli received its famous third Michelin star, he was absolutely at the top of his game. elBulli went on to gain a record five years voted as the best restaurant in the world. Famous for inventing culinary foams, deconstruction, molecular gastronomy, liquid olives and turning ‘nouvelle cuisine’ into an art form, Adrià and elBulli pretty much ruled the world for over a decade. Now closed and converted into a food laboratory, elBulli quite astoundingly ran at a loss for all but two of its 50 years.

Heston Blumenthal

Snail porridge, bacon & egg ice cream, lickable wallpaper... who hasn’t heard of these and other extraordinary creations from the owner of The Fat Duck, another 3-star Michelin phenomenon? Heston’s uncanny knack for turning a dish inside out, upside down and breaking every known culinary tradition in the process has made him a household name. His almost childishly innocent fascination with all things edible has led to him being widely regarded as a genius, which is all the more astounding given that he’s entirely self-taught. Plus he’s actually a rather nice bloke.

Gordon Ramsay

Probably the best known chef in the world, as much for his potty mouth (Note: bad language abounds in this brief video) and cringe-inducing television as for his current fourteen Michelin stars, this Scottish whirlwind first took London by storm in 1998 when he opened his first establishment. Three years later it had earned – yes, you guessed it – three stars, which Clare Smyth (the only 3-star female Chef in the UK) has jealously guarded since her appointment in 2008. Ramsay knows his food, of that there’s no doubt.

But he’s a law unto himself, popularised by his ‘Kitchen Nightmare’ TV series in which he usually throws menus into the street as the beleaguered victims of his hard-nosed business-saving advice are throwing toys out of their prams. Nothing is sacred to this man except respect for food, and he’ll break every ground rule and then some to spread the gospel.

René Redzepi

Nordic cuisine. Seriously? Don’t they just eat fish and be blonde up there? Oh, no. Redzepi is the Danish co-owner of Noma, along with Claus Meyer. THE restaurant of the decade so far, and hugely famous for its inventive nature. Vintage carrot and camomile doesn’t just break the rules, it redefines them in an extraordinary act of inspiration. Combining nature and science, Redzepi has re-awakened the world to the concept of foraging. Re-introducing us to the way our distant ancestors lived, but with a modern twist and an innovation which frankly beggars belief.

Interestingly, what’s common among these giants of the industry is that despite breaking all the rules, they’re lauded for it. In our world, food has become a science. An art. An experience…

But spare a thought for this. Which probably shatters every concept of decency you’ve ever known. Shocking it is, but also a stark reminder that whatever rules you might think exist in your kitchen, they can be very, very different elsewhere.


Lockhart Catering on 1 July 2014 10:42 AM

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