Two weeks after a health scare which hit some 400 diners, British chef Heston Blumenthal was back in the kitchen of the Fat Duck, one of the world's finest restaurants.
The Michelin three-starred restaurant in Bray, west of London, closed on February 24 after about 40 customers said they had fallen ill, a figure which rose roughly tenfold following media coverage.
AdvertisementAs the restaurant reopened for lunch, Blumenthal, whose signature dishes include snail porridge and egg and bacon ice cream, described the closure as a "nightmare."
"It's a relief to be open," the celebrity chef told AFP at the front door of the restaurant as a small number of diners arrived.
Britain's Health Protection Agency is still investigating the cause of what happened and a final report is expected in a couple of weeks.
But Blumenthal 's spokeswoman stressed that there was "no hint" of food poisoning.
"What we know is that the Fat Duck is 100 percent safe," Monica Brown told AFP on Wednesday. "We're a fantastically rigorously clean restaurant."
It is thought that the restaurant would have lost business worth over 150,000 pounds (162,000 euros, 207,000 dollars) as a result of the closure. Brown said it was fully booked ahead of its reopening.
The Fat Duck was named the best restaurant in the world in 2005 by Restaurant magazine.
Blumenthal, a self-taught chef, takes a scientific approach to cooking and flavors, researching the molecular compounds of dishes.
In his latest television series in Britain called "Feast", Blumenthal explores food through the ages and prepares dishes including blackbird pie and blancmange.
Diners have to book months in advance to secure a table at the Fat Duck, where the tasting menu costs 130 pounds.
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