The British Chef Who Invented Triple-Cooked Fries

We have chef Heston Blumenthal to thank for the invention of french fries that have been repeatedly cooked to golden, crunchy perfection. The British chef took it upon himself to master the art of a crispy exterior that would house a warm, fluffy french fry without turning into a soggy disappointment once cooled. Thanks to Blumenthal's perseverance, triple-cooked fries can now be found in pubs and restaurants around the world. 

"To rethink the chip, it's not a bad thing to be associated with," he admitted to Michelin Guide. "It was the first dish I ever created. It does have a special place in my heart." In 1992, Blumenthal's experiments to create a crispy fry resulted in tinkering with different kinds of starches, potatoes, temperatures, and oils. The results of his efforts evolved into a three-step cooking process that Blumenthal identified as the crunchiest, most satisfying fry. Triple-cooked chips were subsequently born, bypassing more traditional french fry recipes that would simply fry potatoes at lower temperatures before deep frying them to serve.

A lasting culinary legacy

To make triple-cooked fries, Blumenthal first simmers cut potatoes for up to a half hour, creating cracks in the potatoes that offer more of a surface area to fry. After these potatoes are drained and left to cool, they are placed into a freezer before being fried in small batches in a deep-fat fryer. The goal with this first frying is to form a light crust, but not brown the fries, as a sort of preparation for the next and final round of frying. These fried potatoes are again drained and set back into the freezer so that any moisture is removed from the chips before they are returned to an oily bath and cooked to crunchy, golden-brown perfection.

Though Blumenthal has become known for many other culinary creations — sunshine in a bowl, a chicken liver parfait that looks like fruit, snail porridge, red cabbage gazpacho, and a dish where diners listen to oceanic sounds while noshing on sashimi — the triple-cooked fries have gained serious adoration in the hearts and stomachs of fry enthusiasts worldwide.