British chefs tapped to carry the Olympic torch
LONDON, July 12 — Michelin-starred chef Heston Blumenthal is the latest food celebrity to run with the Olympic torch and represent the UK along with Raymond Blanc and Jamie Oliver, an honour that cements their role as British culinary ambassadors to the world.
Blumenthal, who has parlayed the success at his three-starred Bray restaurant The Fat Duck into book deals and TV shows, carried the Flame through part of Slough on Tuesday.
“I’ve got a proper lump in my throat,” said The Fat Duck owner to British TV programme ITV News.
On the same day, his former mentor Raymond Blanc carried the torch in Wallingford as “one of the country’s most respected chefs.”
Both chefs are described as self-taught success stories who beat the odds to become internationally renowned celebrities and culinary titans for the UK.
Before becoming the youngest chef in history to earn his third star, for example, Blumenthal spent 10 years bouncing from a series of pedestrian jobs such as a photocopier salesman and debt collector. The only formal training he received as a chef was one week in Blanc’s kitchen.
Blanc also started out as a waiter before helming Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Great Milton, the only country house in the UK to hold two Michelin stars for 19 years.
“Proud to carry the olympic torch. [I] am in Wallingford, close to Oxford. Wearing a white and [g]old track suit. I simply feel Olympian!” tweeted the French expat on Tuesday.
On July 7, the 50th day of the relay, international food juggernaut Jamie Oliver jogged through an unrelenting rain, carrying the Flame through his hometown of Newport, Essex.
Watch a video of Oliver’s run plus interviews with his wife below. — AFP/Relaxnews