Both their dads are chefs (one just happens to be Heston Blumenthal), they're Michelin trained and they've just launched at home dining with a difference. Let's meet the chefs…
Frozen food made a comeback in 2020 and now two young chefs are bringing back boil in the bag (with a twist). Before you recoil in horror and declare “nah, not for me” – in my best M&S voiceover “this is no ordinary boil in the bag, this is a Blumenthal boil in the bag”.
Jack Blumenthal (son of the mighty Heston) and Scott Perkins (his chef dad Neil has worked with Raymond Blanc and Gordon Ramsay) are Michelin trained who have worked in the UK’s finest foodies establishments including The Fat Duck, Hand & Flowers, L’Ortolan and Petrus.
With kitchens closed during lockdown, their private dining bookings ground to a halt and the pair started cooking foodie roasts for home delivery. In the first week they got 450 orders (they expected 50). Realising they were onto something Roasted by Jack and Scott was born – restaurant quality vac-packed meals that could be sent nationwide and all you have to do is drop it in hot water before serving. Culinary madness or gastro genius, time to meet the chefs.
How did you become a chef?
Jack: My dad [Heston]. Being around the industry for so long, you learn a lot. Dad actually tried to put me off as it ruins your social life, but I loved it.
Scott: I was a bit of a naughty boy, my dad kept me on a straight path with his knowledge and advice. I also read a lot of Michel Guérard’s books.
What was your first job?
Jack: When I was a teenager, I accidentally spent £200 at the Apple Store on the family bank account and had to pay it back working in dad’s pub. Saturdays I was sent off to The Hind’s Head. I did anything and everything – washing up, peeling potatoes but I was bloody awful at waiting tables. I spilled a lot.
Scott: As a teeanger I helped dad in his kitchen laying bacon and sausages on a tray. I was earning so much money, but there was a lot of washing up. My L’Ortolan apprenticeship was good fun but hard work.
What has been your career highlight so far?
Jack: Starting Roasted with Scott. I’m really proud of ourselves. It takes a lot to get that feeling. When I was 19/20, I really didn’t want to mention Heston was my dad. It opens doors and brings opportunities but also a lot of expectation. That said, I’m very proud of him and the industry wouldn’t be where it is today without him.
Scott: What we have started. It’s a luxury brand that gives us full control. I have spent my life answering to other people. Now we can do things our way. It’s hard. But it’s a job that allows our personalities shine.
How would you describe your cooking style/ philosophy?
Jack: Great food, done well, that’s not over complicated. We’re not trying to change the world. It’s about having a great evening. We’re the sideshow for the extra ambience. The food shouldn’t be the centrepiece.
Most memorable work moment?
Jack: Seeing our Junior Chefs Academy students cook an a la carte meal that the Queen’s head chef Mark Flanagan described as Michelin quality. Over 10 weeks the students learn the dishes and then they cook, plate and serve what they have created. We even employ one of the graduates.
Have you ever cooked for a VIP or someone famous?
Jack: We’ve cooked for Heston. But our private dining business has also meant we cook for a lot of wealthy clients like John Colligan of Status Quo and Geordie Shore‘s Marnie Simpson. There are many more.
Basically they’d have to kill me if they told me any more. So it’s fair to say, there’s some goodies in their little black book.
Who’s your favourite chef?
Ah, the bromance is real
What’s your favourite type of cuisine?
Jack: Japanese. I love the art behind it.
Scott: Indian but yeah I could go Japanese too.
What do you whip up for dinner when you’re tired after a day at work?
Jack: It’s a bit like Ready, Steady, Cook – grab three ingredients and see what comes out. More often than not, it’s a petrol station meal deal.
Scott: Pepsi Max and a Wispa.
What are your favourite places to eat?
Jack: The Fat Duck in Bray.
Scott: Maliks curry house in Cookham.
What’s your favourite Christmas ingredient and why?
Jack: Parsnips with sherry vinegar on top.
What’s the best Christmas dish?
Jack: I love our Monkey 47 whiskey cured salmon with avocado puree.
Scott: You cannot beat turkey when it’s made with love. Brine it for a long time. You can thank me later.
Tell us your best ever Christmas cooking tip…!
Jack: Brussel sprouts are seriously underrated. Pop them in a stir fry and add Asian flavours like XO paste. Or sauté them in butter with lardons.
You can order a Roasted by Jack and Scott Christmas Feast with all the trimmings for delivery on 22/23 Dec. All the hard work done, you’ve got just 45 minutes of cooking and you’re done (adults and kids portions available).