The bird whittler was asked to whittle spoons for Heston Blumenthal’s perfect Christmas programme.
Read below about the Heston Blumenthal’s Myrrh spoons project. Heston was delighted with the result and this is a copy of the email sent with the background information about the spoons. Take a look and see how the spoons were whittled from a few branches of a Myrrh tree, with a Stanley knife and the bird whittler’s many hours of patience, there was no room for error
Heston Blumenthal’s Myrrh spoons
Hope you’re well. As promised here’s some background info on the whittling project that you did for us.
The whittled spoons you made will be used in Heston Blumenthal’s Christmas program. I don’t know if you know Heston, but he owns a restaurant called The Fat Duck which over the years has gained some notoriety. He has just completed his second food series for the BBC, due to start on BBC Two next Tuesday 16th October. The programme that we’re working on is his Christmas program, and as it’s the first time he’s done anything on television for Christmas we’re hoping that it will attract quite a lot of attention.
The whittled spoons that you did for us will be used in the first course, a course that incorporates Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. The idea of the programme is that Christmas is made up of lots of different images and memories, from the Three Wise Men to Rudolf and Reindeer to open fires and Christmas pudding. Heston wanted to bring all these ideas together in his Christmas dinner, and so he has dedicated a course to each of images that means most to him.
We travelled to Oman to the place that we believe the Three Wise Men purchased their Frankincense. At the time of Christ, Frankincense was more expensive than Gold and the desert in Oman was the heart of the world Frankincense trade. Frankincense is a tree sap, so Heston was able to travel to the Frankincense trees and harvest some Frankincense for himself. Frankincense is widely used as an incense and also in food as it is very fragrant, however whilst Myrrh is also a tree sap and is also used as an incense, it is not quite so pleasant. Myrrh is the Arabic word for ‘bitter’ because it is just that – incredibly bitter. Heston wanted to incorporate it into the meal somehow, however due to its unpleasant taste he had to think of a way he could use it without affecting the taste of his dish. The idea of this course is that the guests would be given a stock cube covered in gold leaf (much like a gold bar), and over this they would pour the Frankincense tea. But they would need something to stir the tea with…so why not make whittled spoons using branches from a Myrrh tree. We brought back some Myrrh from Oman and gave them to you to make our 6 whittled spoons with.
Heston and everyone loved the whittled spoons at the office.