Heston Blumenthal 'saddened' by Melbourne restaurant scalpers

Candice Barnes

Heston Blumenthal 'saddened' by Melbourne restaurant scalpers

Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal has spoken out about the scalping controversy surrounding his restaurant The Fat Duck, which will open in Melbourne next year.

Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal has spoken out about the scalping controversy surrounding his restaurant The Fat Duck, which will open in Melbourne next year.

Eager diners entered a ballot to win a reservation at the restaurant, but it has since been revealed that some had scammed the system and secured more than 100 bookings under fake names.

"I only found out yesterday or the day before that people had secured table and then flogged them," Blumenthal said.

"I suppose that really saddens me because we spent that much time trying to make it as fair as possible."

The chef said the ballot process had been "handed over to an independent third party" and that "all of the applications went into that system".

"When we look at sporting events or concerts it's the same thing," he said.

The celebrity chef is in Perth to launch the three-day Margaret River Gourmet Escape food festival.
The celebrity chef is in Perth to launch the three-day Margaret River Gourmet Escape food festival. Photo: Candice Barnes

"I'm not actually sure what we could have done about it to be honest. Hopefully there's just not that many of them."

The Fat Duck will be based at Crown Melbourne for six months while the original premises in England is renovated.