Snail porridge, Ma'am Wacky chef Heston Blumenthal set to create picnic for Queen's Diamond Jubilee concert
19:01 GMT, 18 April 2012
As a three-star Michelin chef renowned for his wacky concoctions such as snail porridge, he isn’t the obvious choice to create a picnic fit for the Queen.
But that is exactly what Heston Blumenthal has done. The world-renowned British chef has conjured up a remarkable five-course menu for 13,000 lucky guests who have secured free tickets for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace this summer.
Unveiled by the palace today, the hampers feature traditional British dishes such as coronation chicken and Eton mess with a Blumenthal twist – although, unfortunately, there isn’t a puff of his trademark liquid nitrogen in sight.
Scroll down to watch Heston talk through the picnic
Best of British: Heston Blumenthal collaborated with Royal Chef Mark Flanagan on the Waitrose Diamond Jubliee picnic which will be given to guests at the Buckingham Palace Jubliee concert on 4 June
Guests will begin with a chilled country garden soup comprised of baby plum tomatoes and a mint-infused oil, followed by Lapsang Souchong tea-smoked Scottish salmon and Diamond Jubilee chicken.
Heston was keen to include the chicken dish as it was originally devised to celebrate the Queen’s official crowning in 1953 and is, surprisingly, a particular favourite of the chef himself.
‘My family used to go for picnics in Windsor Great park and I used to try and wolf it down before everyone else. It’s just the ultimate curry,’ he said.
His will include a special secret blend of Indian spices with mayonnaise, shredded chicken, coriander and peppery nigella seeds.
Seal of approval: Heston Blumenthal with Royal Chef Mark Flanagan. The two consulted with the Queen at every step – and say Her Majesty has tried every dish in the hamper
It will be followed by a Sandringham Strawberry Crumble Crunch with fruit from the Queen’s own estate, meringue, cream and an oat-crumble topping as well as tiny chocolate cakes featuring gold crowns and topped with popping candy, lemon and caraway madeira cake and a cheeseboard.
There will also be vegetarian, dairy and gluten free options.
Each hamper will have a voucher in it that guests can swap for a glass of Moet and Chandon champagne or a bottle of Cobra beer, both of whom are supplying their goods for free.
Apparently the Queen has tried each and every dish – which took six months to created with the help of royal head chef Mark Flanagan – and given her seal of approval.
Mr Blumenthal told the Mail today: ‘Despite my name I am British through and through and very proud of it. Who would have thought when I was chopping onions a few years ago that I would now be cooking for the Queen.’
Traditional: Ingredients include a chilled country garden soup made of baby plum tomatoes and mint-infused oil; Lapsang Souchong smoked salmon, and Diamond Jubilee chicken
The hampers are being paid for and provided by the Queen’s warrant holder, supermarket Waitrose.
Chief executive officer Mark Price said; ‘Her Majesty has personally tasted every dish and has been involved in creating everything that goes into the hamper. Her attention to detail is legendary and we are very proud to be involved in creating them as our Jubilee gift to her.’
Diners will enjoy the hampers – which also include patriotic flags and a waterproof poncho in case of rain – in the Palace gardens before the concert outside her London home on Monday June 4.
The event, organised by Take That’s Gary Barlow, features acts from Tom Jones, Elton John and Paul McCartney to Kylie Minogue and JLS.