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The Fat Duck in recovery

Two weeks after chef Heston Blumenthal was forced to close his famous restaurant due to a health scare, it finally opens.

by: AFP | 16 Mar 2009

One of the world's finest restaurants, the Fat Duck, is to reopen. A spokeswoman for British chef Heston Blumenthal has confirmed.

The Michelin three-starred restaurant in Bray, west of London, closed on February 24 after about 40 customers said they had fallen ill, a figure which rose roughly tenfold following media coverage.

But now Blumenthal, whose signature dishes include snail porridge and egg and bacon ice cream, will be back at the stove from lunchtime Thursday, his spokeswoman Monica Brown said.

"He's overjoyed to get back into that kitchen tomorrow; I can't tell you how happy he will be. This has probably been one of the worst experiences of his life," she said.

Britain's Health Protection Agency (HPA) is still investigating the cause of what happened and a final report is expected in a couple of weeks.

"What we know is that the Fat Duck is 100 percent safe," Brown said, stressing there was "no hint" of food poisoning. "We're a fantastically rigorously clean restaurant."

It is thought that the restaurant would have lost business worth over 150,000 pounds, as a result of the closure. Brown said it was fully booked ahead of its reopening.

The Fat Duck was named the best restaurant in the world in 2005 by Restaurant magazine.

Blumenthal, a self-taught chef, takes a scientific approach to cooking and flavours, researching the molecular compounds of dishes.

Diners have to book months in advance to secure a table at the restaurant, where the tasting menu costs 130 pounds.

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