With the opening of the new Terminal 2 at London Heathrow Airport today comes the launch of a new café from world famous chef Heston Blumenthal – and a first for the airport, as liquid nitrogen is used in the eatery’s culinary offering.

The newly redeveloped Terminal 2, named The Queen’s Terminal, opened this morning and will gradually build up to full operating capacity over the coming months.

It will eventually serve 15.8 million passengers per year and be home to the Star Alliance, Aer Lingus, Virgin Atlantic Little Red and germanwings.

Opening of the terminal today also sees the arrival of Blumenthal’s The Perfectionists’ Café, built over 443 square metres and located immediately after security when passengers enter Terminal 2’s departure lounge.

Liquid nitrogen

The concept and menu of this latest venture from the multi-award winning chef have been under development for the past 18 months with Blumenthal and his team, led by Group Executive Head Chef Ashley Palmer-Watts and Head Chef Julian O’Neill, observing the specific unique requirements and needs of guests in an airport terminal.

“The demands of an airport outlet are quite different from our other restaurants,” Blumenthal explained. “Some guests will have very little time to spend with us and others, in transit or with longer check-ins, will have time to linger. The restaurant will of course cater to both, but we want to deliver food that is fun and familiar – food that is stimulating to the palate and at the same time easy to enjoy.”

Creating such a stimulating menu will see The Perfectionists’ Café turn to liquid nitrogen to add flamboyance to a number of dishes and drinks, in true Heston Blumenthal style – a first for Heathrow.

Strict airport security rules typically prevent the use of such gases, whether in liquid or gaseous form, from being used in terminal kitchens and outlets. gasworld understands that a specially coordinated security arrangement is in place to transport liquid nitrogen to and from the restaurant each day.

The cafe’s Nitro Ice-Cream Parlour will likely be the biggest aspect of the menu influenced by liquid nitrogen, with its website explaining that ice cream was one of the first things that Blumenthal researched scientifically and experimented with as a young chef. The Perfectionist’s Cafe will be using liquid nitrogen to freeze the ice cream mixture as quickly as possible, thereby forming as many smaller ice crystals as possible, and creating the perfect, ultra-smooth ice cream texture.