A BYRON Bay restaurant owner was star struck on Saturday when arguably the world's best chef, Heston Blumenthal, casually strolled in with a friend for a meal.
Cicchetti general manager and part owner Luca Giacomin said the British gastronomical genius was the restaurant's first customer for Saturday dinner.
"He just walked in; he was our first customer at about 5.30pm, him and a lady who I have seen around Byron Bay," he said.
"One of my waiters said: 'look, I think that's Heston'."
Mr Giacomin said he approached Mr Blumenthal and his female companion and offered them two signature Cicchetti entrees.
"We had a chat to him and he said he was in Byron for a few days," he said.
"He said he was catching a movie at seven-o-clock."
For mains, Mr Giacomin said Mr Blumenthal ordered two dishes, bucatini pasta with local smoked pancetta, onions, Roma tomatoes and pecorino and house made tortellini filled with beer braised beef cheeks, smoked potato cream, crispy leek and chives.
Mr Blumenthal skipped dessert and didn't order any alcohol with his meal.
Having the presence of a chef of Mr Blumenthal's calibre at Cicchetti excited the staff.
"In the food industry he is know as one of the best, or probably the best chef in the world," he said.
"My kitchen staff were extremely overwhelmed and excited by him being there."
Once he finished his meal, Mr Blumenthal spent time chatting to staff and posing for photos.
"He's a legend, but he's so down to earth, such a nice guy," he said.
"He had no problem taking some pictures after he finished the meal, he was really, really friendly, just an awesome guy.
"He was open to start the conversation and he said we've got a really good restaurant here.
"He never really commented about the food, but I think he was happy."