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Slither and onions

Heston Blumenthal serves worm pizza to Alder Hey kids

Published on February 17th 2011.

Slither and onions

DO you like hospital food?

Gordo, Confidential's publisher, dined at Heston Blumenthal's new gaff in London earlier this week, blowing the entire year's editorial budget in one go. Oh well.

But he could have saved himself the bother and stayed up here to sample the TV chef's wacky scran – at Liverpool's Alder Hey hospital to be precise.

The three Michelin-starred owner of The Fat Duck caused a stir there this week - by serving up worms to sick kids.

That's the sensationalist tabloid version anyway.

But before you think we have gone all Daily Mail, ask yourself "where's the harm in a bit of worm cuisine?" You've heard of Wrigglies spearmint gum, haven't you?

Heston, who had been invited to Knotty Ash to improve the pizza, said he was horrified at the stodgy food on offer at Europe’s largest children’s hospital, and that worms provided much-needed protein to the young patients.

“The kids loved it,” he said. “I was amazed that the NHS doesn’t view food as medicine. Not just for nutritional benefit, but also for pleasure.

“The kids’ choice was pizza, a thick dough, a thin layer of dried cheese and tomato on it, with potato waffles and baked beans. Where’s the protein?”

So Heston injected worms (tape or earth, who knows?) with tomato ketchup for extra flavour, deep fried them and and voila!

Grub, quite literally, was up.

The chef, who was filming a new cookery programme for Channel 4, said he received only one complaint. This was apparently from a young patient who didn’t like ketchup, but had no objection to the worms themselves.

Heston said: “Hospital is a miserable place. You should do something at meal times to make it feel like it’s a bit more of a celebration.”

No matter how delicious they might be - and we might yet be forced to eat our words, or our worms - it's hard not to think of that old playground rhyme. All together now children: ”Yellow matter custard, green snot pie....”

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5 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Scummy mummyFebruary 9th 2011.

Maybe he just told the kids it was spaghetti, I know I do.

Doctor NookieFebruary 9th 2011.

Those are big worms in that lab picture. They look more like condoms filled with ketchup.

AnonymousFebruary 10th 2011.

'Hospital is a miserable place'?? Heston, ALDER HEY ISN'T A MISERABLE PLACE! How dare he suggest this! Who does he think he is coming round here saying things like this?? All I can think is that the patients weren't that impressed with Mr Blumenwhats-a-name and this is why it was miserable.
Does my head in - poncey chefs slagging places off - especially Alder Hey - it's a great place and the food is quite good thank you very much!

Liverpool WagFebruary 10th 2011.

Calm down Anonymous. I am sure Alder Hey is a cheery, lovely place, but being tied to a strange bed away from your family can hardly be a barrel of laughs if you are a kid with leukaemia or even a broken leg. Of course hospitals are miserable places for everyone concerned.

Having had two children in Liverpool Women's Hospital where the food is completely and utterly ghastly, I was forced to make a run for it after only 12 hours with the second. World on a Plate in Upper Parliament Street attended to all my post-natal catering needs with the first.

Dr. StoppageFebruary 10th 2011.

Ah, the food-poisoning diners are served in his restaurant is too good for us Northerners, eh?

Baldy four-eyes.

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