Heston Blumenthal Gets Liquid Nitrogen into Airport

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Chef uses liquid nitrogen, wood-burning oven at new Heathrow restaurant
Wikimedia/Brian Minkoff
Chef Heston Blumenthal convinced London's Heathrow Airport to let him use liquid nitrogen and a wood-burning oven in its new terminal.

Molecular gastronomy and airport security don’t generally mix, but celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal has managed to get approval to bring liquid nitrogen and even a wood-burning oven to London’s Heathrow Airport when its new terminal opens Wednesday.

According to The Telegraph, airport security rules normally ban even cooking on gas stoves at airport restaurants, but after months of negotiations Blumenthal’s Perfectionists’ Café will be allowed to serve liquid nitrogen ice cream and cocktails right in the departure lounge.

“We basically said no to pretty much everything they asked for, and that went on for a very long time,” an airport spokesperson said of the negotiations. “They pushed us really hard and the reason Heston’s restaurant is the last to finish construction is because there are just so many things in there that are so far out of step [with other airport restaurants].”

Blumenthal’s wood-burning oven is reportedly the first at any airport in the world. The chef reportedly refused to cook pizzas with anything else.

“Heston Blumenthal has got a few different ‘firsts,’” said Heathrow retail director Max Vialou-Clark, “including a wood-fired pizza oven, which is a first for an airport. And we have also got liquid nitrogen, which was an interesting health, safety and security question when [we were] first asked.“

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