Heston Blumenthal, the mad scientist of contemporary British cuisine, cooks with liquid nitrogen and serves food with built-in iPods. He’s also got a thing for M5’s…health and safety be damned.
You’ve seen his face. The bald dude with the techno-geek glasses, the British celebrity chef who does not swear constantly on TV. A hacker extraordinaire of reverse engineering in the kitchen, Blumenthal is one of the best chefs in the world. His restaurant, The Fat Duck, is one of the less than hundred restaurants in the world with three Michelin stars.
When not conjuring culinary craziness in his experimental kitchen, he drives a BMW M5. His fourth, as he described to Tiff Needell on Fifth Gear, who in turn taught Blumenthal how to powerslide his 507 HP family sedan:
After which they unpacked a set of Blumenthal’s Japanese knives, used a pair of suction cups to attach one on the hood, and proceeded to slice cucumbers in a way Matthew Barney would be proud of.
As for what Blumenthal does with his M5 when he’s not a guest on Needell’s show but hosting his own—In Search of Perfection—why, he makes ice cream with −321 °F liquid nitrogen, stored in the trunk of his M5 as part of his instant ice cream kit. Watch him go from udder to ice cream in under four minutes:
Using liquid nitrogen in the kitchen is not a gimmick. The taste and texture of ice cream is a function of the size of its ice crystals: the smaller they are, the better the ice cream. This is achieved by freezing the ice cream mixture as quickly as possible. Unless you work in rocketry and can score liquid hydrogen (−423.17 °F), a Dewar flask of LN2 is the best way to achieve that. Blumenthal gets daily delivery to his restaurant:
Photo Credit: The Guardian, Oli Scarff/Getty Images, tpholland/Flickr