Heston Blumenthal

With his new venture Dinner opening in London, the three-Michelin-starred chef – famous for putting molecular gastronomy on the culinary map – talks to Charlotte Swift about how he spends his downtime

Every week for at least the past 10 years

I’ve had a takeaway from Maliks in Cookham (http://maliks.co.uk). For me it’s the ultimate curry house; in other words it ticks the after-pub curry craving but adds a wonderful modern twist. It’s gutsy but there’s a certain refinement to it as well. It’s a pretty simple set-up situated within an old pub, so if you eat in it’s very cosy.

What I order depends on how greedy I’m feeling.

The naan breads are obligatory – they are as light as a feather. It’s very decadent I know, but we use a cab company to collect our food, and the restaurant won’t cook the naan until the driver is waiting outside.

We’ll often order half or quarter portions

of lots of dishes so we get to sample different flavours. The pancake kebabs of braised lamb with onion and herbs are delicious, as are the stuffed chillis (marrechi paneer), which are crumbed and fried. My daughter loves nazakat – chicken breast with butter, garlic and coriander – and they do a wonderful lamb shank with chickpeas. People used to say Indian restaurants don’t serve proper Indian food, and it’s not. It’s proper Indo-British food. Dishes from our country are now being served in India – how amazing is that?

Tokyo is the most exciting city I’ve been to

from a food point of view. The way the locals approach food is incredible. Where else can you find square melons wrapped with ribbon? When I first visited, there were lots of things I’d never seen and tastes I’d never experienced. I was like a kid in a sweet shop. Not far from the legendary Tsukiji fish market are the most wonderful food shops, many of them specialising in just one ingredient. There’s one devoted to green tea, another to flaked tuna, an essential ingredient in dashi soup stock, while another place only sells seaweed.

The city has some unique restaurants.

Sukiyabashi Jiro is a classic example. It’s a sushi joint run by an 83-year-old which last year was given a third Michelin star. It’s a simple place, with a few seats at the bar and a couple of tables, but I’ve never eaten sushi like it. One of the owner’s hands is actually curved because of the amount of rice he’s shaped over the 54 years he’s been working. Another place, Nihonryori RyuGin (http://nihonryori-ruygin.com), operates at the opposite end of the spectrum – the chef silk-screens a barcode of squid ink onto a plate which, once scanned, sends information to your phone with details about the food you’re eating.

A few years ago I discovered skiing

– it takes my mind off work while also making space for creative thinking. I love the combination of being active, stopping for a rustic lunch at somewhere like Maison Vieille in Courmayeur (http://maisonvieille.com), then heading home to relax in a cosy hotel. Food is part of the experience for me and the great thing about Courmayeur is that it has stunning mountain restaurants. We stay at Auberge de la Maison (http://aubergemaison.it) – with its roaring log fires and relaxed atmosphere it’s the perfect place. With any luck we’ll be there again this Christmas.

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