As an avant-garde chef, Heston Blumenthal takes diners on a journey at his restaurant, The Fat Duck, providing an “itinerary” for your dining journey with an “Alice in Wonderland” vibe. The restaurant opened in 1995, and within a decade, it was honored with three Michelin stars and named the Best Restaurant in the World in 2005.

But before Blumenthal took the world by storm, he began his career at the age of 16. The kitchens of London wouldn’t take him at that age, so he began to teach himself the art of French cuisine. Whenever he could scrape together money for trips to France, he would head abroad and research. 

Three stars without any formal training, apprenticeship or experience in a Michelin-starred restaurant. Blumenthal was deemed a prodigy, which means, of course, he was knighted by the Queen.