Page last updated at 23:51 GMT, Tuesday, 18 August 2009 00:51 UK

Fat Duck wins award despite scare

Heston Blumenthal
The celebrity chef scored a perfect 10 for a second year

Television chef Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck restaurant in Berkshire has topped the 2010 Good Food Guide, despite a health scare earlier this year.

The Michelin-starred restaurant in Bray was shut for more than two weeks from 24 February after 400 diners complained of having fallen ill.

Tests later revealed the norovirus was to blame, which causes sudden vomiting.

The restaurant scored a perfect 10 for the second year, beating Gordon Ramsay's restaurant Chelsea.

Blumenthal is known for his use of experiments and chemistry to create his dishes.

It is food as theatre
Elizabeth Carter
Good Food Guide editor

The tasting menu includes a course called Sound of the Sea, during which the diner eats smoked fish, edible "sand" and "seaweed" while listening to seagulls on an iPod.

Good Food Guide editor Elizabeth Carter said: "It is the most extraordinary restaurant in Britain.

"It is food as theatre, the way the waiters interact with the table, it is like a performance.

"You are there for four hours while the meal is almost flown, course-by-course, to you."

Norovirus, known as the winter vomiting disease, is the most common cause of stomach bugs in the UK and is easily transmitted from one person to another, or through contaminated food or drink, surfaces or objects.

Shortly after the health scare, Blumenthal said it had been a costly experience because he had to cancel bookings for 800 people.

But Ms Carter added: "It's been a tough year for all chefs, but these super chefs are at the top of their game and producing superlative food.

"It's such an exciting time for British food."



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SEE ALSO
Fat Duck illness 'was norovirus'
20 Mar 09 |  Berkshire
Fat Duck reopens after illnesses
12 Mar 09 |  Berkshire
Fat Duck probe 'could last weeks'
10 Mar 09 |  Berkshire
Fat Duck sicknesses rise to 400
06 Mar 09 |  Berkshire
Fat Duck illness 'not sabotage'
02 Mar 09 |  Berkshire

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