Chef Recipes

How Heston Blumenthal Combines Caviar and Chocolate: Among the "Most Astonishing Dishes" in the World

Alessandra Meldolesi
copertina heston blumenthal caviale cioccolato bianco

Caviar and white chocolate is a signature dish of Heston Blumenthal, who has long drawn inspiration from food pairing at The Fat Duck. Here are the ways and reasons behind a combination that defies common sense and delights the palate. "Try it and you'll be pleasantly surprised."

Cover photo by Dominic Davies for The Big Fat Duck Cookbook

The idea behind the dish: caviar and white chocolate

Few things seem as distant in our imagination as caviar, a true gastronomic fetish, and white chocolate, a pastry ingredient known for its pronounced sweetness. Yet, Heston Blumenthal, who has long led the British avant-garde, celebrated a marriage between these two at his restaurant, The Fat Duck, destined to spark debate and ultimately make history.

Caviar generic

Our preferences, explains the British chef, are the result of multiple factors: eating is the only act that engages all of our senses, including smell, which is perceived by the most complex apparatus, the olfactory bulb located behind our nose. Additionally, perception involves the brain, subjective memory, and innate defense mechanisms that make us wary of bitterness, sometimes a sign of poison. The caviar and white chocolate recipe aims precisely to challenge these automatic responses by combining different tastes.

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These are two ingredients that would seem unpairable, but upon tasting, they reveal otherwise. The chef realized this after complex reflections. In fact, salt helps to enhance many pastry preparations. Blumenthal conducted experiments with savory ingredients such as duck salami and shellfish before trying caviar, which pleasantly surprised him and confirmed the pattern. When he presented the combination to François Benzi, who worked for the perfume brand Firmenich, Benzi was initially speechless but returned a few days later with the key to the mystery: both ingredients are rich in amines, basic compounds of proteins that make us appreciate cheeses and cooked meats.

Everdure Recipecard Scallop caviar white chocolate ph Joe Sarah
Scallop, caviar and white chocolate of Everdure By Heston Blumenthal @Joe Sarah

It was, in fact, an example of instinctive food pairing that found confirmation in science. However, note that the proportions are balanced to taste, according to subjective preferences. The optimal tasting technique is to let everything melt in a closed mouth so that the taste of the caviar gradually emerges. The great chef did not stop there and developed other recipes, such as scallops brushed with grapeseed oil and grilled on a teppanyaki, finished with a grating of white chocolate and a touch of caviar.


caviale e cioccolato bianco di heston blumenthal ph Dominic Davies per The Big Fat Duck Cookbook
Photo by Dominic Davies for The Big Fat Duck Cookbook


  • 30g sevruga caviar
  • 125g quality white chocolate


Melt the white chocolate in the microwave in several intervals, stirring after each burst of heat, until a smooth cream is obtained. Alternatively, use a double boiler.

Spread the melted chocolate thinly on a sheet of parchment paper with a spatula and let it set in the refrigerator on a flat surface. Cut as desired using a cookie cutter or a knife dipped in hot water (a diagonal of 3 cm is the optimal size).

At the time of serving, place half a teaspoon of caviar on top of each piece.


The Fat Duck

High St, Bray, Maidenhead SL6 2AQ, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 1628 580333


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