Heston Blumenthal plans to Google his customers prior to them visiting his restaurant

The celebratory chef will compile a database of customers information in order to help him prepare unique dishes

Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal plans to research his diners online ahead of their visit to his restaurant in an attempt to surprise them with their favourite dishes.

The unorthodox chef, who is renowned for dishes like his snail porridge and bacon-and-egg-flavour ice cream, said he plans to Google his customers in an attempt to surprise them with dishes tailored to their nostalgic feelings about food.

His Fat Duck restaurant in Bray, Berkshire, which is due to reopen next month after refurbishment, has been trying to gain an insight into its customers culinary preferences for years and has included some online researching.

Blumenthal will take it one step further though after seeking advice from illusionist and mind specialist Derren Brown. He said that he “called up Derren Brown and talked to him about how we could find out things about people without them being too aware”.

By asking questions of the person making the booking and conducting online research and compiling dossiers about returning diners Blumenthal hopes to discover biographical details about the customers.

The London born chef said that he was interested in serving food in the manner of a story, taking inspiration first from his own memories of food on holidays in Cornwall between the ages of five and seven, and then from diners’ own childhoods.

Researching customers online appears to be a growing trend among top restaurants according to Giles Coren, the Times food critic, who said that Soho Farmhouse, an offshoot of Soho House in Oxfordshire, Google people when they phone to book and “will refuse them a table if they are not interested in them”.

All of the information collected for The Fat Duck will be used to compile a nostalgia database that will allow the restaurant to play with diners’ expectations.

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