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Heston Blumenthal

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Popham Little Chef.jpg
Heston's Little Chef refurbishment.

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Heston Blumenthal is a Michelin-starred chef known for his interest in the science of dining, and his willingness to sample unusual food combinations.

Before starring in a six-part documentary series where he tried to improve the menu at several unusual catering venues, in 2009 he appeared in two documentary series about Little Chef.

The documentaries followed Heston's visit to several Little Chefs, and clashes with then-director Ian Pegler as Heston tried to redesign the menu and the restaurants. Heston's ideas required considerable investment and were sometimes criticised for being too expensive and high-brow for the clientele. However, the refurbishments he was involved in were extremely popular, with queues to get in.

Heston would insist every aspect of the restaurant was changed, with brighter colours inside and out, and an updated logo. The restaurants would have sound effects playing in the toilets, and a ceiling with pictures of the sky, a reference to Pegler's use of the phrase "blue sky thinking".

The restaurants which were refurbished before the partnership with Heston ended are dubbed 'Hestonised'. Ian Pegler was very reluctant to carry out any more refurbishments, and eventually introduced a cheaper, slightly watered-down version known as Wonderfully British. This included a new logo that was re-applied to Popham.

In August 2009, Popham was the first roadside eatery to ever enter the Good Food Guide. It followed this up in 2010 but a deteiroration in standards meant this didn't happen again.

Locations

The following restaurants were refurbished by Heston:

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