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Heston Blumenthal visits Bedfordshire Chilli Experts
Michelin star chef Heston Blumenthal accompanied by a film crew visited Bedfordshire’s celebrated chilli specialists Joanna and Shawn Plumb at their Edible Ornamentals chilli nursery in Chawston.
In the new series, Heston looks at the history and science behind some of the iconic dishes we have been known to love over the years and recreate them in his own individual style. One of the ingredients that has become more popular in many dishes is the chilli pepper, and Heston spoke to Joanna about the different varieties she grows and how each can add that extra zest and distinct flavour to many dishes.
“The programme won’t be broadcast until next year, but Heston wanted to be surrounded by chillies while we chatted about them.” said Joanna, “Winter isn’t the best time for growing chillies, but luckily we still have some plants still in fruit, so Heston was able to get the shots he needed for his programme. He was really interested not just in the history of the chilli but how the British public have become much more selective in the varieties they use in their cuisine.”
Heston then joined Shawn to sample a selection from the 100 different varieties they grow at their Chawston nursery. “Heston was more interested in the subtle flavours rather than the pure heat that chillies can introduce, but I’ll give him credit for tasting them all. He even tried Naga and Moruga Scorpion chillies which are the hottest in the world, which brought him out in such a sweat that his glasses steamed up! Fortunately we had glasses of milk at the ready to help Heston recover, and we are looking forward to seeing the programme which will be broadcast on Channel 4 in March.