Fran and I have been working our way through these on 40D catch up for the past few evenings.
Firstly Heston needs to go back to the BBC, the production qualities on this program are atrocious, maybe it's because I have been watching two episodes at a time but the reuse of footage is appalling.
Every episode has exactly the same shot of him browsing in the same library and don't get me started on the post advert recaps, is it really necessary to recap everything that happened in the last section when it was only 2 minutes ago?
I understand they might be trying to lure in viewers who missed the first part and joined during the adverts but as there are two advert breaks is gets repetitive very quickly.
Despite this, and despite the fact that Heston isn't a TV natural with none of the charisma of Gordon Ramsay or Jamie Oliver, this is a great show.
The series is broken down into 4 parts, each part focusing on a particular era that Heston takes as his inspiration for a feast: Roman, Medieval, Tudor and Victorian
Initially the episode focuses on the research and development that has gone in to the dishes that make up the meal:
He travels to America to meet a Turtle fisherman in order find out about Victorian favourite Turtle Soup - finding that Turtle isn't the tastiest of beasts he makes a Mock Turtle Soup.
We see some funny experiments with Jelly and Vibrators in Hoxton based ladies only sex shop Shh!
A trip to a the oldest pub in the UK where Heston cooks up a medieval recipe for Butterbeer to try out on the locals.
This is all very contrived but entertaining and interesting nonetheless.
Highlight dishes have been:
A bowl of fruit that is, in fact, made of meat.
An ejaculating pudding: A mousse with a small cavity in the top containing dry ice. When the diner pours a jug of sauce in to the hole it erupts.
An entirely edible garden, earth, rocks, vegetables, insects and all..
The aforementioned incredible and trippy, Alice in Wonderland inspired, 'Mock Turtle Soup'.
A five flavour 'drink me' drink.
Sausage and mash, complete with 'peas' and 'onion' gravy, as a pudding.
After we see the beginnings of the dish it is cooked up and served for a group of celebrities to oooh and ahhh over.
What carries this program is Heston's enthusiasm and inventiveness sometimes in the face of quite unforgiving ingredients (fermented fish gut sauce anyone?)
It has one day left on 40D catch up so get involved.