What began as a distant pipe dream eventually became a delicious dose of reality for a Cobram couple travelling in the United Kingdom.
Self-described foodies Debra and Rodney Kruz recently had the pleasure of visiting highly-acclaimed chef Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant The Fat Duck, in Bray.
For years the experience had been at the top of Mrs Kruz’s wish list, but it had seemed like an awfully long way to travel for food.
In 2015, a medical issue changed their lives, forcing their perspectives to be drastically altered, and last month they boarded a plane for the long flight to the UK.
For Mrs Kruz, fine food has always been a passion and something she and Rodney have actively pursued in the hope of finding that next hidden gem or new favourite.
‘‘My first fine dining experience was 20 years ago at a Jacques Reymond restaurant in Melbourne,’’ she said.
‘‘Rodney and I are mad foodies. We love going to nice restaurants and have been to quite a few in Australia, such as Brae in Geelong and the Lake House in Daylesford.’’
There is a gleeful tone of admiration and wonder in Mrs Kruz’s voice when discussing the food served at The Fat Duck. The amount of effort and character that goes into Blumenthal’s food is what makes it so inspiring, in her opinion.
The dining experience at The Fat Duck is truly unique. All up there are 16 courses, all tiny samples which seek to individually represent Blumenthal’s childhood memories of summers spent by the ocean in Cornwall.
She nominated the main meal — ‘‘perfectly cooked’’ duck — as her pick of the courses.
Mrs Kruz said it was Blumenthal’s imagination and creativity that really brought the dishes to life and enhanced the overall dining experience.
‘‘I love Heston’s crazy, mad scientist way of looking at fine dining. He has been at the frontier of many whacky sort of cooking techniques, such as using dry ice,’’ she said.
With a tide of pre-conceived ideas about how amazing the experience would be, there was always a chance it might not have lived up to expectations.
However, by the end of their lunch sitting on a cold Thursday afternoon, it was clear it was everything they had hoped for and more.
There were no notions of disappointment, just unbridled satisfaction at the quality dished up by a chef at the top of his game.
Mrs Kruz ranks it as the best restaurant she has visited in all her years of eating wonderful food. It was certainly worth the wait.