An exhibit exploring Heston Blumenthal’s mock turtle soup recipe is to be staged by the Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum.
The experimental chef, 54, was inspired by the Mock Turtle character from Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland novel to update the popular Victorian-era dish upon which its name was intended to pun.
Now the V&A is to examine the recipe as part of its forthcoming Alice: Curiouser And Curiouser exhibition, looking at how Blumenthal conceived the dish using the book as source material.
It will be first time work made by Blumenthal, known for serving up unusual dishes such as snail porridge, has been exhibited in a museum.
The display, situated in the Reimagining Alice section of the show, will feature an immersive life-sized Mad Hatter’s tea party, a film looking at the scientific process and an in-motion recreation of the dish in 3D.
Created as a visual spectacle for the menu of his Michelin-starred restaurant The Fat Duck, Blumenthal’s version features a Mad Hatter-inspired fob watch that dissolves into a clear brown consomme with gold leaf when a teapot of hot water is poured over it.
It is served with a Mock Turtle egg, turnip mousse, swede puree and enochi mushrooms to signify the Caterpillar’s toadstool.
Blumenthal said: “The character of Alice makes logic out of surreal situations, turning things on their heads, which is my biggest source of creativity.
“Situations are only surreal because we make judgments on things based on what we’ve already been told, that’s why my motto is ‘question everything’, and why the Alice In Wonderland books have provided endless sources of inspiration for my work.
“Discovering the use of cold temperatures to reduce liquid for the Mock Turtle soup is a perfect example of Alice-inspired logic, so I’m delighted the stories behind it will go on show as part of the V&A’s Alice: Curiouser And Curiouser exhibition.”
Alice: Curiouser And Curiouser opens on May 22 and delves into the origins, adaptations and reinventions of Alice In Wonderland over 158 years.