It’s pretty bold for any chef (even Heston Blumenthal) to even remotely suggest a dish is perfect. It leaves you wide open to criticism, and everyone’s idea of perfection is different. At first glance, Heston’s Heathrow-based restaurant might seem a little sure of itself to say the least, but with a little backstory – and a minor grammatical detail in the name – things become a little clearer.
‘There is no such thing as perfection,’ explains Heston, who set up the restaurant in June 2014. ‘Perfectionists are always in search of improving what they do. Just take the pizzas we serve, for example; they’re really good but we’re always looking at tweaking them here or there – the wood we use, the flour – simple nuances that perhaps our customers wouldn’t even notice. Everyone’s tastes are different, too. If you’re a perfectionist and your ‘perfect’ pizza is deep pan, the ones we serve wouldn’t be what you would consider ‘perfect’. ‘Perfect’ recipes and ‘perfect’ dishes are subjective. That’s why the position of the possessive apostrophe is important – Perfectionists’ not Perfectionist’s!’
The idea for the restaurant was born out of the TV series (and accompanying books) Heston created back in 2007, called In Search of Perfection. The recipes that resulted from the research done for those programmes were adapted to suit a restaurant service, and after a very long development process, The Perfectionists’ Café was opened to the public. While the menu has evolved over the few years it’s been open, the menu gives people that scientific ‘Heston element’ without the prices of his Michelin-starred restaurants.
Dishes include classic favourites like burgers, which are served at the perfect height to allow diners to enjoy a full cross-section of flavour with each bite; fish and chips, with a batter that’s squirted through a siphon to make it extra crispy, and pizzas made with the finest ingredients in Europe’s only airport-based, wood-fired pizza oven.