Heston Blumenthal plans 'best of British' Jubilee picnic

Heston Blumenthal offers classic British dishes with a twist at Jubilee picnic

Classic British dishes with a modern twist will be served up to guests attending a special picnic to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

The menu has been designed by celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal and the royal chef Mark Flanagan.

Coronation Chicken and Scottish smoked salmon will be among what Mr Blumenthal hailed as "great British produce".

Around 12,000 guests will enjoy the hampers in the gardens of Buckingham Palace on 4 June.

They won a place through an online ballot, and afterwards will watch a concert organised by the BBC and musician Gary Barlow.

At the Buckingham Palace launch today, Mr Blumenthal said the chefs had gone for cold dishes, because they are more practical to serve to thousands of people.

Start Quote

What has happened to food in this country in the last 10 years is extraordinary and being able to showcase some of the best of British produce for the Diamond Jubilee here is an unbelievable opportunity”

End Quote Heston Blumental

"My favourite - because it's really nostalgic for me - is Coronation Chicken. It was created for the coronation and it's got wonderful soft, sweet spices.

"It's beautiful, but I have to say that, don't I?" he added.

The celebrity chef - famed for his scientific approach to cookery - said all the dishes would be served cold.

"It's important to look at practicality of this. We've got 10 to 15,000 people, so we went for cold dishes and ones that showcase some great British produce and that have a bit of a historical tone as well."

Chefs from supermarket chain Waitrose, with whom Mr Blumenthal has an advertising deal, helped to develop the menu.

Royal chef Mark Flanagan said the "Heston magic" had been applied to the food.

"We would have all loved some smoke and bubbles, but (for) this number of people fundamentally it's got to be practical," he also said.

Diamond Jubilee rain poncho The picnic kits will include a Diamond Jubilee branded rain poncho

Among the other dishes on the menu are a strawberry dessert made with freeze dried strawberries from the Queen's estate in Sandringham, seasonal crudites of celery, carrots and red peppers, lemon and caraway Madeira cake, and chocolate indulgence cake.

Mr Blumenthal said this was an exciting time for British cookery.

"What has happened to food in this country in the last 10 years is extraordinary, and being able to showcase some of the best of British produce for the Diamond Jubilee here is an unbelievable opportunity," he said.

"London is probably the best city in the world to eat in right now. We're more interested in where our food comes from than ever before, we're more proud about our food than ever before, and restaurants are opening up cooking British dishes instead of the classical French."

Containers for the feast, which will be accompanied by a Diamond Jubilee branded rain poncho, will remain a secret until picnic day.

Sir Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Kylie Minogue are among an all-star list of artists performing in the concert after the picnic.

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