A teenager from Kent who is battling a brain tumour met his culinary hero and dined at his two Michelin star restaurant.
Oliver Ross, who lives in Ashford, is an avid foodie and enjoyed a trip to Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant in Knightsbridge, London, yesterday.
The 17-year-old has followed Heston for most of his teenage years and if it were not for his illness, Oli would likely be a trainee chef.
The TV star, who is known for delighting diners with innovative dishes such as snail porridge, flew from France to to meet Oli and his family at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
Oli, who describd his first taste of caviar, as “fabulous”, hand cranked the liquid nitrogen machine, which covered him in smoke, to churn his favourite banoffee pie flavoured ice cream. The teen then added different sauces to the scoops and served his mum, sister and stepdad
After enjoying the eight course meal, Oli was given Heston’s own chef jacket, which was inscribed to Oli.
“It was a privilege to meet fellow, food-obsessed Oli and share food with his family, I know how important it is in life to build experiences and make memories that can be drawn on at any time,” Heston said.
“If myself and my team have helped contribute something like that for Oli and his family, then we’re all delighted. The occasion is certainly lodged fondly in our memories.”
The family sat at chef’s table which for gourmet enthusiasts, like Oli, is extra special because it overlooks the working kitchen.
Oli said he loved the duck course but that to also have his first taste of real caviar, was “fabulous”. The final course saw Oli hand cranking the liquid nitrogen machine, covering him in smoke, to self churn his favourite banoffee pie flavoured ice cream, add different sauces to fresh scoops and then serve his mum, sister and step dad
After enjoying the eight course meal, Oli was given Heston’s own chef jacket, with his name inscribed on it.
Oli was diagnosed with a brain tumour in July, 2021, and had a 10 hour urgent operation to reduce its size, with 75% removed successfully.
However, after biopsies were done on the mass, it was discovered to be high grade, aggressive and incurable.
Tens of thousands of pounds were raised for him to receive treatment abroad.
Oli’s trip to Mandarin Oriental Hotel was made possible by the work of the Taylor Made Dreams charity – an initiative set up by Suzanne Mitchell, after losing her son, Taylor, age 15, in 2011.
The charity organises bucket list experiences for terminally ill children and their families in Surrey, Sussex and Kent.