Heston springs surprise for catering equipment man

A Worcestershire businessman who loans out commercial catering equipment is celebrating after landing an order for one of his giant pans from celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal.

Mark Renn, who supplies super-sized woks and runs the Big Pan Man catering company, provided one of his wares for a forthcoming episode of his Channel 4 show, Heston’s Great British Food.

The wok will be used to cook a large poppadom, with the results set to be revealed when the programme airs this spring.

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The 61-year-old told The Kidderminster Shuttle that he was contacted by the London-based production company representing Blumenthal, as he needed something that could be heated up to about 160°C to make the poppadom.

“I have no idea how he found me — he must have found me on the internet,” said Renn. “It is not every day something like this happens. I am a very big fan of Heston’s and was very happy to help and it is a shot in the arm that you have been recognised.”

Renn is also an artist and sculptor, but started his catering equipment hire business five years ago as something extra to focus on. The paper said he runs the firm with wife Anna.

A spokesman for Channel 4 said: “The team behind Heston’s Great British Food borrowed the wok for a show that will air later this year.”

The Big Pan Man isn’t the only company to reveal how its equipment has been sought out for use by the show.

Rational recently announced that it supplied three 10-grid combi ovens for an episode filmed outside for a special event at Castell Coch in Cardiff.

It said the filming crew’s normal suppliers weren’t able to get Rational combi steamers to the site in time, so Rational UK agreed to step in and supply them. Rational also sent an engineer to the site just in case anything went wrong during filming.

“To be honest, it’s more than a little flattering that the producers insisted on Rational combi steamers,” said Lee Norton, managing director of Rational UK. “So of course we were happy to help out.”

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