Heston Blumenthal Wants ‘Fat Duck’ Bistro in France to Change Its Name

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Will the real ‘Fat Duck’ please stand up?

The Fat Duck owner says the name was inspired by his daughter and not Blumenthal’s legendary restaurant.

A small bistro in Confolens, France, is in the midst of a legal battle with Heston Bluementhal’s team as it shares a name with the British chef’s Michelin-starred The Fat Duck. Jason Annetts opened his bistro, also called The Fat Duck, in November of last year, and claims that the name of the restaurant was inspired by his one-year-old daughter Maisie, whose first word was “duck.”

Annetts tells The Daily Mail, “It was really sweet. It was one of those moments I'll treasure forever. It's a tribute to my daughter, that's all. I wouldn't want to copy anyone else, that's unthinkable.” He adds, “I'd be lying if I said I hadn't heard of The Fat Duck in the U.K., but there are lots of restaurants and pubs with the same name in the U.K.” Additionally, other ‘Fat Ducks’ exist in other countries, such as Canada, Malaysia, and Australia.

“I received a cease and desist letter from Heston Blumenthal's lawyers in Paris. I couldn't read it. I don't understand French yet. I'd only been here for nine months then,” Annetts said. “Why would someone of his stature be bothered by me? I'm just a pub chef, I make good fresh grub. I don't understand why a chef of his caliber would be bothered by someone like me.”

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A spokesperson for The Fat Duck says, “We often only become aware of potential issues like this when we are informed by our patrons who query the relationship, as was the case here. With a global following and a reputation that we have worked hard to establish it is important for everyone, but most importantly our guests that there is no confusion.”