Blumenthal's Wrexham 'pub in a pie' screens tonight


Lois Hough

TOP chef Heston Blumenthal’s madcap mission in Wrexham will be screened tonight.

The Michelin-starred maestro paid a visit to Minera last month as part of his Channel 4 series, Heston’s Fantastical Food.

In tonight’s episode he puts the fun back into pub grub by building a giant, edible pie and turning it into a fully functioning pub.

He makes a billiard table from cod, tartare sauce and pea mousse with pickled egg billiard balls, and a super-sized pork scratching big enough to feed the entire village.

The chef, who runs the award-winning Berkshire restaurant, The Fat Duck, also builds a customised fruit machine which pays out its jackpot in snacks, plus a bar snack beer foam featuring the essence of honey-roast peanuts, Frazzles, Scotch egg, and Scampi Fries.

Featured on the show will be villager Brian Owens, who opened up his garage to make his first foray into the brewery world.

Brian, 62, swapped his regular work as a mechanic and haulage contractor to play landlord on the day while others took on roles including managing the bar.

He said: “Heston’s certainly a character but he was a very nice person, along with the other TV people who came.

“I’ve enjoyed drinking in pubs for years but I literally had no past knowledge of brewing at all.

“I think the only reason I was chosen was because I had space because I’ve got quite a big garage.

“It was a unique experience really.”

Brian worked under the guidance of Blumenthal and his colleagues to help develop Minera Ale for brewing and barreling.

Conwy Brewery ensured dozens of pints were fit to be given away during filming day in Minera several weeks later.

Brian said: “I’ve said I much prefer being on the other side of the bar.

“I’ve been drinking beer in pubs for years but always on the other side.

“We brewed a beer that Heston liked and he made sure heather off Minera Mountain was added.

“It has been good to have something like this filmed here. This has helped put Minera on the map.”

To add to the excitement of the day, the bar used on the set of Only Fools and Horses was included in the props created for the occasion. Gale Taylor, who led the campaign to revive the Tyn y Capel pub in the village before her resignation last week, said: “The Minera Ale went well on the day.

“People who have never drank real ale before had a taste of it and enjoyed it. I certainly did.

“There’s been a lot of people talking about it.”

Heston’s Fantastical Food is on Channel 4 tonight at 9pm.

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