Heston's Mission Impossible
About the Show
Heston Blumenthal uses his maverick culinary genius to dramatically re-invent food production at British Airways, the NHS, the Royal Navy and Cineworld Cinemas
Series 1 Summary
In this brand new series Heston Blumenthal attempts to help four of Britain's biggest brands dramatically transform their food production - and maybe improve their profit margins too.
In each episode, Heston uses his maverick culinary genius to tackle the unique food dilemmas faced by organisations such as British Airways, the NHS, the Royal Navy, Cineworld Cinemas.
Heston conducts outrageous and bizarre experiments in his quest to find solutions where other chefs have failed. As the companies are drawn into his world, staff are flabbergasted by his seemingly impossible ambitions. But Heston's biggest challenge comes in the toughest test of all: the real world - where the customers will be his toughest critics.
Episode 1 - NHS/ Alder Hey Children's Hospital
The NHS's largest children's hospital, Alder Hey in Liverpool has a problem: the food. The children won't touch it, and their road to recovery is suffering as a result.
Enter Heston Blumenthal, tasked with a real mission impossible: to persuade hospital bosses and staff that processed fast food straight out of a packet isn't the way forward, and get the kids to eat his new food creations, which include protein-packed worms on pizza. Will Britain's most inventive Michelin-starred chef succeed where others have failed?
It's not long before Heston realises what he's up against - stubborn hospital staff who've done things the same way for eternity, tight NHS budgets, and kids for whom mealtimes have become uninspiring. But that's nothing compared to the shock Heston feels when he visits the hospital kitchen, and discovers that just a handful of the kitchen's 14 chefs actually cook food for the sick kids. Shockingly, the majority cook food which is tasty, varied and healthier for the staff restaurant, and even outside functions, while the hospital's kids make do with processed and unappetising stodge.
Heston's solution is to make the kids' mealtimes fun again, and in doing so persuade them to eat some of the healthy things they need to get better. Cue Heston's `Bet You Can't Eat That' menu, featuring a `snot milkshake', a `vomit soup', and `worms on pizza'. It's healthy ingredients disguised as fun. But will the kids eat it, and even if they do can Heston persuade hospital bosses to roll these changes out on a permanent basis?
Episode 2 - Cineworld
Heston tries to transform the food at one of the UK's biggest cinema chains, Cineworld. His challenge: to inject fun and excitement into the movie experience by overhauling the snacks on offer.
Heston believes that a visit to the cinema should be a multi-sensory experience which tickles smell and taste not just sound and vision. And he wants the food on the cinema menu to reflect the action on screen. But Heston soon realises that with popcorn's enormous mark up, selling cinema snacks is all about profit margins rather than quality.
He's determined to change that by using food to put the magic back into movie trips. His first attempts end in disaster - notably the 'edible sperm shake' designed to go with a film's sex scene - and fail to win over Cineworld bosses.
So it's back to the drawing board and Heston decides to turn the cinema foyer into a fairground and produce a brand new range of snacks, all with a fairground theme and classic Heston twist. There are inside out hotdogs, chewy marshmallow ice-cream, apple smoked candyfloss, and curried popcorn.
But will cinema bosses be able to make a profit from the revamped menu? And will Heston be able to get cinema staff to buy into his extraordinary ideas?
And most importantly, how will the experiment go down with cinema goers?
Episode 3 - British Airways
Heston works with British Airways to revolutionise airline food. But with no kitchen, no pans, no sharp knives, and no naked flames, Heston soon realises that cooking gourmet food in a metal tube at 37,000 ft is no mean feat.
The big problem, Heston discovers, is that meat and fish reheated in aircraft ovens end up overcooked and dried out, and vegetables get soggy. Even worse, cabin pressure and low humidity mean that passengers' perception of taste at altitude is massively reduced.
Can Heston develop a menu that pleases all palates in these challenging conditions? And can he get BA bosses to buy into his final plan?
Episode 4 - Royal Navy
Heston boards the nuclear-powered Royal Navy sub, HMS Turbulent, to shake up the sailors' food.
It's not long before Heston realises he's got a big job on his hands: the men are out on patrol for 90 days at a time, and they're eating three stodgy meals a day. And with so little opportunity for exercise on board, it' not a healthy diet - especially when the submariners' jobs require very high levels of concentration.
But how is Heston going to change it? Heston researches the effects of food on the brain. He develops recipes with brain enhancing ingredients - blueberries, mackerel and dark chocolate - but his first food roll-out goes down like a heavy submarine.
For his second attempt Heston replaces the traditional Friday fish and chips, using the cod tongues and cheeks to create 'tongue and cheek' scampi. But the Captain's not impressed.
Heston and his team have a big rethink and come up with a radical new idea - a cooking and storage technique, sous vide, that they use in Heston's restaurants to create the finest meals.
But it would mean a total revolution in the way the navy prepares its food. Will Heston be able to persuade the Captain of HMS Turbulent that this is the way forward?
Heston's Mission Impossible synopsis
Heston Blumenthal uses his maverick culinary genius to dramatically re-invent food production at British Airways, the NHS, the Royal Navy and Cineworld CinemasEpisode Guide >