On a recent trip I picked up the inflight magazine and found myself reading a question and answer session with Heston Blumenthal, where he spoke about a multitude of things ranging from how he started off and the challenges he faced to his recent escapades.
Half way into the interview, I then stumbled across this quote. Sound familiar?
The benefit of being self-taught was that I thought everything and anything was possible. I didn’t know reasons why things couldn’t be done. But I wouldn’t recommend it to everybody. I think it’s really important to get a sound understanding of classical cooking, really important. You need to know how to bone a chicken, how to fillet a fish, or make a soufflé. If you don’t get training you need to discover it yourself.
I taught myself the classics over the years. I wouldn’t have done it any other way although it made my life really difficult. Had I gone through classical training when I opened the Fat Duck I would have been a lot more organised. I wouldn’t have gone through the first five years, which were so hard. But at the same time I would have been more blinkered.