Is Michelin star-bespangled British chef Heston Blumenthal opening a restaurant in the United States? Guy Woodward, editor of the London-based Food and Travel magazine, thinks he might be. Via Woodward's Twitter: "Rumour is that Heston Blumenthal will open a restaurant in one of Mandarin Oriental's US hotels - maybe next year. My money's on New York." The Mandarin Oriental has hotels in Atlanta, Boston, Las Vegas, Miami, San Francisco, New York, and Washington, DC. New York does seem a likely spot, as does Las Vegas, or maybe even DC. A rep for Blumenthal tells Eater there's no news on the matter right now, but they also didn't say it wasn't happening.
Blumenthal is the chef/owner of the three Michelin-starred Fat Duck as well as the Hinds Head pub, both in Bray, England. He also writes cookbooks/stars in TV shows about really, really big food/creates Christmas puddings for a grocery chain that sell out every year. His third restaurant, Dinner by Heston, is located in the Mandarin Oriental in London, so expansion through the hotel chain is not out of the question.
Blumenthal was recently in Hong Kong, where he was in fact rumored to be opening a restaurant at the Mandarin there, when tragedy struck and two of his senior chefs died in a car accident. He has talked about opening a Hong Kong restaurant before: back in 2010 when he was gearing up to open Dinner, he told Crave Hong Kong, "If we get [Dinner] right [in London], I think it would work well in Hong Kong." So the man was at least considering expansion overseas, possibly with his history-focused Dinner concept. Updates on Blumenthal's US expansion as they're available; stay tuned.
UPDATE: Blumenthal's rep says "I can also confirm that the purpose of the trip to Hong Kong was for a private event and not to open a new restaurant as has been reported by some members of the press." Still no confirmation or denial of the US restaurant rumor, though.