Heston Blumenthal Threatens Legal Action Against Fat Duck Bistro In France

Heston Blumenthal threatens legal action against a bistro in a small village in France because it has the same name as his own restaurant, The Fat Duck, according to The Independent. But the owner of that French bistro has a reasonable explanation as to how he ended up naming his bistro The Fat Duck.

Jason Annetts, the owner of the bistro in Confolens, near Limoges, claimed in his interview with The Times that he named his establishment The Fat Duck because his one-year-old daughter Maisie’s first word had been “duck.” But Heston Blumenthal doesn’t want to hear a word from Annetts until the owner of the French Fat Duck changes the bistro’s name.

Annetts opened his Fat Duck in November last year, while Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck is located in Berkshire and was opened in 1995. Heston Blumenthal’s lawyers claim in their letter sent to Annetts that he must change the name of the bistro to avoid any confusion that his Fat Duck could be related to the Blumenthal’s.

However, Annetts refuses to change his bistro’s name as he is “not a rich man and I cannot afford the time or the money,” and he is really upset about this whole thing.

“I thought it was a joke at first. This is really way over the top. What threat am I to them? I am really upset.”

Annetts was even offered to change the name to Le Fat Duckling, but he turned down the offer due to his lack of time and money. Comparing the prices in the two restaurants, it can be clearly seen that Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck and Annett’s Fat Duck are not related in any way.

As reported by the Independent, an average meal at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck can cost over $360, while a similar meal in the French Fat Duck is served for just $12.

Annetts, who painted the sign of his Fat Duck himself, previously owned a bar called the Three Horseshoes, located in Cambridge. It’s a widespread name for pubs around Britain, and he had no legal issues with it, which is why he thought the same would be in the case with the Fat Duck.

A spokesman for Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck said they become aware of issues like this when their patrons inform them. And that’s what happened in the case with the French bistro.

Meanwhile, Heston Blumenthal claims he was working nearly 22 hours a day at his restaurant the Fat Duck in Melbourne, Australia, which is why he was on the edge of exhaustion, according to the Daily Mail.

Heston Blumenthal moved the Fat Duck from England to Melbourne due to the renovations that took place in the period between February and August last year, and that’s when the world-famous chef had to work “20 to 22 hours a day,” the restaurateur revealed in his recent interview.

“I’d work a full day here, then, at night time, the UK would wake up… and I’d do the day shift in England.”

He revealed that he had been “on the absolute edge,” and that such intense work took its toll both physically and emotionally. And even though Heston Blumenthal was “deliriously exhausted,” he still appreciates his time spent in Australia, as this experience allowed him to experiment with new ideas.

Heston Blumenthal also added that, after such an intense experience, he is now “more bullish” about getting rid of things from his life in order to “spend more time in the sandpit, playing and experimenting.”

Heston Blumenthal recently decided to open four hidden pop-up restaurants across Melbourne.

[Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images]

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