Despite inadvertently poisoning patrons at The Fat Duck restaurant in Bray, Heston Blumenthal has been named ‘Chef of the Decade’ in a poll by readers of Sainsbury’s Magazine . The self-taught, triple Michelin-starred restaurateur known for cooking his memories into a form of food beat classically trained chefs such as Gordon Ramsay and Raymond Blanc.
Fresh from the infamy of her ‘How to Cheat’ series, Delia Smith won awards for her accompanying cookbook and recipe writer of the decade. Smith, who coincidentally founded the monthly magazine in the early ’90s, was applauded for the ease of her gimmick-free recipes.
Helena Lang, Editor of Sainsbury’s Magazine commented, ‘hot new chefs may come and go, but Delia still rules the waves – both on my book shelf, and it seems in kitchens up and down the land.’
The Cadbury-owned chocolate brand, ‘Green & Black’ was voted top brand, whilst ‘Innocent’ smoothies took top product. Originally founded in 1998 by three Cambridge university graduates, the firm recently sold a £30 million stake to Coca Cola. BBC’s ‘MasterChef’ was named food show of the decade. Braised lamb shanks was recognised as dish of the decade.
On the rugged, peasant dish, Lang extolled the virtues of ‘forgotten cuts and dishes’ which have ‘re-emerged from the gloom of the post-war years.’
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Sainsbury’s frontman, Jamie Oliver, won campaign of the decade for his ‘School Dinners’ series, whilst Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s ‘Chicken out!’ came runner-up.
Blueberries topped the poll as the nation’s favoured ingredient, edging out paprika-spiked chorizo and cherry tomatoes, whilst Sainsbury’s own-brand Ketchup won Sainsbury’s Product of the Year.
According to Lang, the results, which were sourced from over 800 readers, show ‘who and what had really influenced the shopping baskets and culinary skills of the nation’s home cooks.’