AUDIO: Heston Blumenthal on developing historically-inspired event catering with Rhubarb

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Param name=, Catering

Heston Blumenthal will be continuing his partnership with Rhubarb when they open a number of restaurant concepts at the top of 20 Fenchurch Street
Heston Blumenthal will be continuing his partnership with Rhubarb when they open a number of restaurant concepts at the top of 20 Fenchurch Street
Heston Blumenthal has spoken about how he became involved with bespoke event caterer Rhubarb and has revealed details of the historically-inspired menus which will be on offer at The Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street.

Speaking at an event launching Rhubarb's involvement with the skyscraper development, the three Michelin-starred celebrity chef said the event offering and at least one of the restaurants in The Sky Garden would continue his interest in the forgotten history of British cooking.

"For me, it is really exciting to be able to work with Rhubarb and have a space where we can do some sort of historically-inspired events," he explained.

"Earlier I went up to the top of the building, the sun was shining and I looked down. I love the juxtaposition of old and new and when I think of all the things that I have done it is the combination of the two which I absolutely love. 

"With the regeneration of London in the last 10 years, getting rid of some of the old monstrosities and putting up some of these iconic new buildings, you look down the river and it mirrors what has happened to food in this country," he added.

20 Fenchurch Street

20 Fenchurch Street is the latest skyscraper to appear on London's skyline

The latest City of London skyscraper will mainly house office tenants but last month Rhubarb revealed it had won the contract to operate two restaurants, a canapé & Champagne bar and an event catering space in a purpose-built garden at the top of the tower.

The Sky Garden will occupy the top floors of the 38-storey tower which is being jointly developed by Land Securities and Canary Wharf Group.

This week, Rhubarb and Blumenthal revealed further details of what diners could expect from the concepts in the venue:

  • The three concepts are designed to be 'iconic' with a 'diverse range' of offers and menus.
  • The Fenchurch restaurant on level 37 will be a 'sophisticated seafood bar and grill' serving classic European cuisine.
  • The Darwin Brasserie on level 36 will be a modern brasserie designed to represent 'the next evolution of dining'. The international menu will be inspired by nature and the places around the world visited by Darwin. Herbs grown in The Sky Garden will be used in dishes on the historically-inspired menu. 
  • The Sky Garden bar on level 35 will be an all-day dining restaurant which will transform into a canapé & champagne bar in the evening. 
Heston Blumenthal has been working with Rhubarb since 2011

The Fat Duck founder first began his partnership with Rhubarb in 2011.​ Blumenthal this week revealed he had researched a number of event catering firms but had settled on Rhubarb because of the company's desire to continually improve and innovate.

"After working on the historical element of food for 10 years, we were increasingly getting requests to do events," he revealed.

"We wanted to find a company we could work with to do a selected number of Heston dishes which would tap into some of the historical elements."

The Fat Duck Group chefs regularly visit the Rhubarb kitchens and the Rhubarb development team also trains in Bray before using Blumenthal's dishes as a source of creative and technical inspiration across the business - including at The Sky Garden.

"Rhubarb was the only company that we decided to work with so we have a unique relationship," he added.

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