Earlier this year, after encouragement from friends, I put myself forward as a contestant on Come Dine With Me. “Nutter!!” I hear myself say. lol. They must have thought so too … nomadic, shamanic artist and road kill recycler??? Hmmmmm. “We’ll have her!”
I grew up in Leeds, but moved to Harrogate (in North Yorkshire) in 2003 and made a life there. Since 2007 I have been nomadic, using Harrogate as a base, so I can confidently say my home is there… even if it is on wheels! I spend the warmer months on the festival scene, back and forth, and travelling abroad to live and learn with various tribes. I arrived back in Harrogate last summer, having spent time in remote regions of South America (Andes, Patagonia and the Amazon jungle), Papua New Guinea and Japan, learning about tribal life, cultural diversity and FOOD of course!! I enjoy my life immensely and I feel I am one of the freest people I know!! I had to borrow a home and kitchen for the show as I am currently nomadic (by choice, I hasten to add). Possessions are albatrosses around our necks, and to be quite frank, I’d rather eat the albatross (but would never shoot one out of the sky!). Possessions own us as much as we own them.
I love food!! All food! (except Marmite. lol). I love traditional food, exotic food, raw food and rich food, Michelin star quality food and the opposite of that — street food and jungle food. My education has been vast, from one end of the spectrum to the other. I love really basic food and preferably organic — all vegetables and animals, including the ones lower down the food chain like bugs and worms etc. I have a passion for strange unidentifiable things on sticks and the cuts of meat we Brits have turned our back on such as offal, lights and lungs etc.
Over recent years, the way I see food and our relationship to it has changed. I now eat much more ethically and healthily. I love cooking outdoors over real wood fires while camping, in earth ovens at festivals, or in the passenger footwell of a car on a mini gas stove while wandering (I cooked Penguin breast and Rhea thigh in Patagonia this way washed down with a beautiful Mendoza Malbec).
I am a wild food forager and love anything free of pesticides and growth hormones. I especially enjoy preparing traffic casualties — proper free range meat that has only had one bad day in its wonderfully organic life!! My passion for being a road kill chef has shocked and delighted many a friend. Lol. I use the fur, feathers, teeth and claws in my art — nothing gets wasted — I use it all!
Now, I don’t have a television — haven’t had one for over four years, but I occasionally watch CDWM with friends or family. I played with the idea of being totally straight, dumbing myself down, so as not to offend others and go for the thousand quid, but instead I chose to be ME — totally true to myself and authentic, risking crucifixion, but making bloody good telly!!
Enjoy… 3 minute clip – Come Dine With Me | Road Kill Thrills
Ali (aka Tribal Ali) Brierley