March 12 2014  |  Airline & Terminal News

The Perfectionists’ Café set to open at Heathrow Airport

By Tanya Filippelli

British celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal is to open a new dining outlet, The Perfectionists’ Café, at Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 2 later this year.

The concept and menu for the new restaurant have been under development for the past year and a half. During this time Blumenthal and his team, led by group executive head chef Ashley Palmer-Watts and head chef Julian O’Neill, have observed the requirements and needs of guests in an airport terminal.

“The demands of an airport outlet are quite different from our other restaurants,” said Blumenthal.

“Some guests will have very little time to spend with us and others, in transit or with longer check-ins, will have time to linger. The restaurant will of course cater to both, but we want to deliver food that is fun and familiar – food that is stimulating to the palate and at the same time easy to enjoy.”

The Perfectionists’ Café menu, which is inspired by Blumenthal’s “In Search of Perfection” TV series, will feature traditional British dishes with a little of the chef’s renowned eccentricity added in. Dishes will include Blumenthal’s fish and chips, burgers made by grinding all the meat grains in the same direction to maximize the “juiciness” of the meat and pizzas cooked in the first ever wood-burning oven in an airport.

“When we made In Search of Perfection we travelled to Naples in Italy and spent hours researching the exact temperature of pizza ovens that deliver the perfect crispy but chewy base with meltingly soft toppings. We knew that could only be achieved here with the right oven, so it was really fortunate we were able to incorporate one into the design,” added Blumenthal.

Opening June 4, The Perfectionists’ Café will feature a nostalgic atmosphere that echoes the heyday of 1960’s passenger flights, when air travel was deemed glamorous and travellers dressed in their best to fly.

“As much of the menu concept emanates from Heston's In Search of Perfection TV series, it seemed logical that the cafe's name should reflect that," said Richard Seymour of design agency Seymour Powell. The shift of emphasis from the creator to the diner themselves, by moving the inverted comma to the end of the word, pays homage to a customer who's fed-up with junk, but wants exceptional food quickly. We called it a cafe because that's what it is: fast, friendly and informal.”

The 443m² restaurant will be located immediately after security when passengers enter Terminal 2’s departure lounge. The café signage will be a large mechanical clockwork knife, as appears in the café’s logo.

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