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Fat Duck restaurant flying Down Under for 6 months

LONDON (AP) — The Fat Duck is heading Down Under.

Innovative British chef Heston Blumenthal has announced plans to pack up his Michelin-starred restaurant and fly it to Australia for a six-month stay. The restaurant in the village of Bray, west of London, will close temporarily in January, and reopen in Melbourne's Crown casino the following month.

"This is not a pop-up restaurant," Blumenthal told reporters Monday in Australia. "We are going to pick up The Fat Duck, the whole team, and fly them over here" along with some furniture and fittings.

After six months, the Fat Duck will go home and the Melbourne restaurant will reopen as Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. The Fat Duck opened in 1995 and helped pioneer science-based "molecular gastronomy, employing gels, enzymes, liquid nitrogen and nontraditional techniques such as dehydration and vacuum cooking.

Signature dishes on its 195-pound ($325) tasting menu include snail porridge and licorice-poached salmon. The restaurant had to close for two weeks in 2009 after more than 500 people fell ill with a vomiting bug after eating there.

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