Fat Duck's Blumenthal is latest chef to create range for supermarkets

LONDON - Heston Blumenthal, the chef who gave the world snail porridge and bacon and egg ice cream, has signed a deal that will see his sauces appearing on supermarket shelves.

Blumenthal is the man behind the Fat Duck, the Berkshire restaurant that was named the best in the world earlier this year.

He has signed a deal with ready-meal company Conival to produce a range of soups, gravy and stock created to his recipes. They will be endorsed by him and bear his name.

The move is an unlikely one for Blumenthal, whose mashed potato recipe requires the cook to measure the temperature of the water throughout the 40-minute cooking process. It will see him join the likes of Loyd Grossman, who offers a widely distributed range of cooking sauces, and Gordon Ramsay, who makes a small range of luxury ready meals.

However, a survey earlier this year by Mintel suggested that shoppers were wary of celebrity-endorsed brands, with 98% of people surveyed saying that it was no guarantee of quality.

Nonetheless, it has not stopped Sainsbury's from continuing to use Jamie Oliver as the face of its advertising campaign, putting the celebrity chef's recipes for items such as carrots with thyme, nutmeg in spaghetti Bolognese and, for the Christmas ad campaign, parsnips with maple syrup and bacon.

Blumenthal's Fat Duck Group is to take a stake of 500,000 Conival shares as part of the deal.

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