Heston hits boiling point at ‘disgusting’ Waitrose slur
KNOWN as the cathedral of middle- class grocery shopping, Wait rose has become embroiled in a less-than-genteel spat with Michelin- starred chef Heston Blumenthal.
At the weekend, The Mail on Sunday disclosed that Waitrose had decided to drop the chef after a 12-year partnership which saw him starring in TV adverts and helping boost sales.
Bosses at the John Lewis-owned supermarket chain were said to have ended Blumenthal’s contract, worth ‘ hundreds of thousands of pounds a year’, after tiring of his ‘unpredictability’.
It has infuriated the chef, 56, who tells me: ‘ This is so disgusting.’
He says: ‘I am pleased the contract has expired.’
The comment about his alleged ‘unpredictability’ has made the chef boil over.
He suggests it’s linked to his genius for coming up with unlikely dishes such as snail porridge and eggand-bacon ice cream.
‘Unpredictable to me is a nonlinear process that turns to creativity,’ he says.
Initially focused on festive food, the Heston from Waitrose range proved hugely popular.
One year, his orange Christmas pudding was in such demand that it was being put up for sale online at 15 times its retail price after it sold out in shops.
Blumenthal tells me: ‘ We are evaluating the positioning of each product that has been sold in Waitrose — some of them are our Intellectual Properties, whereas some of them are joint. Within the next six months, we plan to relaunch those products with the new brand name, for example Heston’s.’
The chef moved to France in 2019, a year after having a child with French estate agent Stephanie Gouveia, 35. In January, I disclosed that the chef, who also has three grown- up children with ex- wife Zanna, was now engaged to French businesswoman Melanie Ceysson.