In search of “Hestonthusiasts”: Heston Blumenthal’s liminal celebrity chef status and hybridized fan practices

Matt Hills

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Having focused on fandom’s “textual” productivity (Fiske 37), fan studies has begun to engage more centrally with material productivities such as “fan cooking, " (Magladry), theorizing how fans prepare dishes featured in or inspired by television shows. This chapter argues that Heston Blumenthal’s celebrity chef status needs to be analyzed within the context of “transmediatization” rather than thinking of him as a “real” chef who “does TV.” It also argues that “Hestonthusiasts” articulate activity-based and media-based attachments, mirroring how Heston Blumenthal’s celebrity status, restricted to an either/or of “real” culinary activity versus “virtual” mediation. The blog “Michelin Microwave” perfectly captures such hybridity by exploring celebrity chef-branded mass-market food products. Like “In Search of Heston, " this blog also ran across the first half of the 2010s, with archived posts beginning in November 2011 and concluding in October 2016.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEating Fandom
Subtitle of host publicationIntersections Between Fans and Food Cultures
EditorsCarrieLynne D. Reinhard, Julia E. Largent, Bertha Chin
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780429276675
ISBN (Print)9780367227432, 9780367608798
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2020


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