Tag Archive: artists ltd


“BEYOND BELIEF”

Scottish Foraging Adventures and Roadkill Collaborations for Beyond Productions and the Discovery Channel – EXTREME WORLDS – Now renamed “FORBIDDEN”

forbidden snip

I am contacted quite often by people interested in my ‘free spirited lifestyle’, artwork and personal angle on wild food foraging, ethical meat-eating and, of course, roadkill.  Sometimes they want to get to know me personally, other times they ask me to be a contributor or consultant on various matters I have special knowledge on.

Anyhow, I was contacted recently by a Researcher from Beyond Productions (Discovery Networks International) who are working on a new series called ‘Extreme Worlds’.  The Australian based company ‘Beyond’ has made many popular shows and documentaries. I personally used to watch their series ‘Taboo’ on the National Geographic Channel years ago.

Taboo - National Geographic

Beyond, a respected and award-winning independent production company based in Sydney, Australia, is producing a new series for Discovery Networks International provisionally entitled ‘Extreme Worlds’.  The series is shooting across the globe, and will comprise of 12 one hour episodes featuring three or four stories each. It will air in 209 countries and territories across the world, reaching an anticipated audience of over 1.3 billion.

Each episode will have a theme that looks at subcultural movements and exciting, unusual and enlightening belief systems or ways of life.

“Well, that’s us then!”  lol.

They wanted to explore the phenomenon of eating roadkill and had been looking at my blog site.  They liked my ‘sass’ and attitude towards the self sustainability aspects of being nomadic and the symbolic, cultural, moral and ethical meanings and values of eating & recycling ‘accidental meat’.

On a recent trip to Scotland and the Orkney Islands.

‘It’ started as a bit of a program about Marcus and myself, living as a new family with high hopes for a different and more alternative future, living off the land, close to nature and doing what we can now, to make that change possible.  Our philosophy on life being one of kindness and inclusion of others, self sustainability and zero waste, all the time respecting Mother Earth, everything on her and trusting the flow of things.

It was then suggested that it would be a lovely idea to have a feast on the last day of filming and include like-minded friends, all eating our foraged foods. I liked the sound of that.  I didn’t feel precious about the whole filming thing anyway, and very nearly sacked the whole thing off a couple of times – it’s a lot of work!!  What was important though was the ‘message’ and it needed to be voiced by friends of sound knowledge, credibility and experience, so we didn’t look like a bunch of redneck, hippy dippy nutters!!

Stereotypical Redneck Nutters

The Media can’t helping being slaves to sensationalism – we don’t have to be.  Despite the odds, I believe one can be authentic in media, depending on the production company, and get a very important point across as to how we are wrecking our planet and what we can do about it. For us, this is to live as peaceably, gently, non-materialistically on our beloved planet which invariably means not conforming to the norm – The norm being, in my opinion, drastically sick and, without change, terminal – for the myopic human race at least, probably taking half the other species with it!

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” –  J. Krishnamurti

As it happened… serendipity cast her magic wand over this band of would-be collaborators.  Instinctively, late one night, alone in those magical early hours sat by a crackling fire, I looked at my list of dear friends and kindred spirits and wondered if I could add a few more to it – a bit of ‘fresh blood’, lol.  I boldly emailed a few people whom I had either met briefly in the past, facebooked or messaged occasionally.  All of these people I admired and respected for what they do.  I was becoming very excited about an opportunity for us all to meet, learn and grow in the hope that one day in the future we may help and support each other, as part of a community/collective with common goals, all hoping for a better and more sustainable existence!  I felt invigorated, instinctual, inspired – and everyone accepted my invitation.

Special Thanks

I know we can’t talk much about it now, however, I hope everyone agreed that we were a band of individuals who felt a personal connection with each other and blessed to be part of a Wee Scottish Adventure!  An inner and outer journey! This was a chance to be close to nature and each other, to respect, inspire, include, share, care and co-create.  We attended with open hearts, mindfulness and responsibility for our own experiences, our effect on the group and the spirit of our gathering.  We had huge fun, some of it totally bonkers as you might imagine!!  In the words of our dear Ebony…

“…you just couldn’t make this shit up!!”

 Special thanks go to the following people  who very generously gave themselves up to make our weekend a truly wonderful and authentic experience.   I would also like to thank the film crew.  They were very professional, open, honest and made the experience lots of fun! 

                                     Thank you.                           

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Above all…

Marcus and Max

I want to thank the most amazing man I have ever known – Marcus!!  Without him NONE of this would have happened.  Thank you for your strength, your support, wisdom and belief in me.   You make me feel excited about life, love and the future – about what we can create together (and I’m not just talking about  ‘Mooster’, lol).

Thank you for being an incredible man and deep, open-hearted father.  I love you so much.  xxxxxxxxxxxxx

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“THE ROADKILL COLLABORATORS”

or, maybe preferably

“THE ACCIDENTAL MEAT COLLECTIVE”

 In alphabetical order, first names first…  

 Alison Brierley – Nomadic Shamanic Artist, Road Kill Recycler & Life Skill Liberator

Using roadkill bones to make jewellery - BoliviaAlison works with organic materials in an often shamanic nature, a resourceful recycler she transforms wildlife and dead animals such as road kill in an attempt to use everything, she dislikes waste.  She harnesses these methods to honour birth, life, sex, death and renewal, her practice also involves wild foraging, creating a deep connection with the environment by surviving from the land.  Themes in her work stem from nature as well as anthropological and ethnological studies of tribal cultures, these are informed by her extensive travelling.

Alison often works with schools and the wider community on projects, working alongside others to push boundaries and challenge preconceptions.

“During filming for EXTREME WORLDS I will be exploring ideas of survival and self-sufficiently, especially in a nomadic context.  I will recycle road kill (and Max’s placenta, lol) to prepare food, create useful and artistic objects, encouraging interaction, participation, education and activism.   I will share my knowledge with anyone who genuinely wants to learn more about living a simple life, appreciative of each others gifts, and connected to, nature”.

Ali, her partner and child are nomadic and their home is on wheels.  They practice ‘simple living’.

“Our long-term goal is to live off-grid, ever evolving and be totally self-sufficient”.

https://alisonbrierley.wordpress.com/

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Bill Wiseman – Our Acting Spokesman for the Revival of Ancient Crafts

Bill has a lifelong interest in ancient crafts and several years’ involvement in experimental archaeology.

Bill acted as a ‘volunteer villager’ in the early days of WestStowAnglo-SaxonVillage in Suffolk, demonstrating ancient crafts to visitors.  He has recreated artefacts from various ancient civilisations for both ornament and practical use.  He has built and used an Iron Age loom (still has it), can spin using drop spindle, weave and make pots using Iron Age methods.

He has made several flat and longbows, and is an excellent archer.  Bill is a true craftsman and passionately enjoys passing on his knowledge and skills to younger folk, as he firmly believes these are things that should not be lost.

Thank you dear Bill for your patience, kindness, calmness and wealth of knowledge. It is an honour to learn from you.

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Ebony Andrews: Postgraduate Researcher and Natural Science Enthusiast

Ebony Andrews - Postgraduate researcher and natural science enthusiast.Ebony is currently undertaking PhD research into the interpretation of museum taxidermy collections at museums located in the North of England. She is also a seminar tutor at the University of Leeds.

Formerly a taxidermy assistant for National Museums Scotland, Ebony is trained in the preparation and tanning of animal skins for museological purposes. She has worked with a diverse range of species, from large and charismatic exotics to more common native species and everything in between. In addition, as a volunteer at various museums over the years, Ebony has gained experience in the conservation and restoration of natural science specimens which has contributed to her developing knowledge of taxidermy and taxidermic techniques.

As a Fine Art graduate and self-confessed ‘craftsperson and maker’ rather than ‘artist’, Ebony has exhibited at a number of venues across the UK including the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, and at various sites across London amongst others. Her practice, both in art and research, is strongly influenced by her interest in the political and ethical discourses on the relationship between humans, nature and the natural environment. Working closely with animals has led her on an interesting, and at times emotional journey which is in a constant state of renewal and re-evaluation:

‘How I feel about animals and their habitats has shifted dramatically over the decade in which I have been working both with, and on them. Today issues relating to animals and their environments can provoke strong ethical and moral questions, as indeed they should, and I think it’s crucial that we reflect upon our relationship with the natural world to investigate why’. 

Along with her enthusiasm for nature and the natural world, particularly its preservation, Ebony is also interested in how cultural institutions construct and perpetuate notions of individual and collective identity through the interpretation of history, heritage and memory.

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Fergus Drennan – The Roadkill Chef, Wild Man & Wild Food Experimentalist and Inspiration Engineer

Sten - The Suburban BushwackerFergus Drennan is a broadcaster, writer and educator on the delights of food foraged from the wild.

Best-known for his BBC programme “The Roadkill Chef”, Fergus runs courses for schools and clients on foraging and preparing wild food.

An enthusiastic and experienced forager, working with wild plants as a gateway for exploring issues connected with sustainability, ecology, mental and physical health, spirituality, creativity and life purpose. He is an evangelist for the promotion of wild foods, with the ability to connect you directly with nature – and help provide a rooted sense of place and belonging.

Fergus, on the 1st of May, will be embarking on an incredible journey – to spend an entire year in the UK living 100% entirely on foods foraged himself!  His supporting website will be a resource packed full of free information on Wild Food, what you can do with it, and free videos regardless of whether or not you wish to donate, but please support and sponsor him.  This is knowledge we need to preserve and re-learn.

http://www.indiegogo.com/one-year-total-wild-food
http://www.wildmanwildfood.co.uk/index.html
http://wildmanwildfood.blogspot.co.uk/
https://twitter.com/fergustheforage
https://www.facebook.com/fergus.drennan

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Fraser Simpson – The Happy Haptic – Bone Carver, Wild Food Forager & Chef 

 

fraser Simpson - The Happy HapticFraser is enthralled with the haptic .  Taking what is intrinsically a valueless, readily available material, bone, he sculpts beautiful objects using a few basic hand tools most of which are to be found in “granddad’s shed”.

He draws his inspiration from a broad range of interests but his main influences are anthropological, symbolic and the mathematical structures of nature.  His work is inspired by the many anonymous artists working in bone since, archaeologists maintain, art began, including:

The Original Cave Man, Many Tribal artisans around the world, Scrimshanders, French Prisoners of War, Netsuke Makers.

Fraser is currently working on building interest in bone carving through a series of workshops, exhibitions and lectures.  He is also making the first tentative steps in collating a book on the subject matter.

Fraser’s art harks back to a life more simple when time itself seemed slower and more readily available. A time that can be recreated, he has found, through the practice of bone carving.  He is currently working on a project using the bones from the Ox Roast in Windsor which was held to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

He is also a director of Artists.ltd.

http://www.artists.ltd.uk/content.asp?id=4&doc=5

http://www.artists.ltd.uk/content.asp?id=11&doc=17

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Jonathan McGee – Professional Photographer

 

Jonathan Mcgee - Professional PhotographerJonathan is based in Leeds, West Yorkshire and was invited along to join the Roadkill Group to document the process and provide coverage for Beyond.  Jonathan has a good working knowledge of the environment and foraging having grown up in the countryside.  He has a passion for cooking and helped the team prepare and assemble the great feast that marked the end of this gathering.

Jonathan is very skilled and extremely passionate about his photography and this comes across in his work.  He has a talent for connecting to his subject and is able to provide unseen coverage in an artistic and documentary style regardless of subject matter.  He was great to watch at work, so energetic and enthusiastic, his process was unobtrusive but still very exciting to be part of.  He is passionate about his art and it shows in the images he captures.

@: jonathan.m.mcgee@btinternet.com

www.jonathanmmcgee.com

www.shootingphotography.co.uk

facebook: jonathan m mcgee photography

facebook: shooting photography and countryside pursuits

T: 07805575547

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Kathryn Libby – Natural Therapist & Shamanic Facilitator

Kathryn Libby – Natural Therapist & Shamanic Facilitator Kathryn is a professional Natural Therapist who is additionally well practiced in creating and running Sweat Lodges.  She also runs workshops in drum making using ancient and traditional methods.

It was when she moved to Northumberland in 2002 that she first encountered usable roadkill initially just picking recently dead pheasants from the road and taking them home to prepare for dinner. A few years later, having hit a deer by accident, she then had to have it dispatched due to the injuries it sustained. She took it home, gutted it in the bath and, due to a lack of space had the local butcher cut it up.  All the meat was used and the hide was used to re-cover her djembe.

Never wanting to be wasteful, she enjoys creating beautiful objects from what nature puts her way.  She also enjoys the health benefits of natural food such as roadkill compared to factory style farmed meat.  A strong and amazing woman, passionate about being respectful of all living things.

kathryn.libby@live.co.uk

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Linda king – Mother, lover, daughter, sister, healer, friend, facilitator and member of the Human Race.

 

Linda king – Mother, lover, daughter, sister, healer, friend, facilitator,

“These different aspects of who I am and what I can offer and share in the world continue to rebalance and integrate as I flow through and live my Life …. I enjoy making things happen particularly in collaboration with others”. 

Linda draws from her rich and varied background as an artist and therapist having trained in deep tissue bodywork, humanistic psychology, counseling and art therapy alongside a life-long interest in natural medicines and the healing arts.

She is constantly exploring different ways of working with energy whether that be through hands-on healing work, the visual arts or exploring Labyrinths, Land Energies and the Elements to promote curiosity, peace and personal transformation.

Her artwork is an emotional and intuitive enquiry – drawing from, and fulfilling, a deep answering and longing – which provides a map of her psyche.  At those times when she gets the image just right, something deeply satisfying happens – a bit more of her fits into place.

As intuitive healer, she offers individual sessions of intuitive massage and bodywork to help maintain balance and well-being, allowing greater energetic flow within all our systems and promoting greater self understanding.

A dear friend and sensual wild woman – I can vouch for her ‘magic’ hands!!  lol.

www.lindaking.org.uk

www.celebratewomen.org.uk

lindaking3@btinternet.com

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Mother Malarky – Shamanic Taxidermist, Drum Maker  and Forager

Mother Malarky - Shamanic Taxidermist, Drum Maker and ForagerAfter 30 years as a “veggie”, Mother Malarky decided to change and live according to her beliefs.  She became committed to using whatever the Universe puts in her path.

Her respect for living animals means only killing to eat, not for sport, and respect for a dead animal means utilising every bit of it, and doing so with gratitude.  She has a strong sense of community and skill sharing.

She is experienced in the entire process of butchering, skinning, cooking & eating roadkill.  She has an immense knowledge of flavours and recipes.  A Wild and Witchy Woman!  ‘Magic’ happens in her kitchen!

http://www.wildshamanicdrums.blogspot.co.uk/

https://alisonbrierley.wordpress.com/2013/01/08/tufty-tastic-sausage-making-lessons-from-the-roadkill-sausage-queen/

mothermalarky@hotmail.co.uk

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Sten  – The Suburban Bushwacker: Hunter, Forager and Adventurer

Sten - The Suburban Bushwacker.A tubby suburban dad (his words, lol) watching hunting and adventure shows on TV and wondering “Could I do that?”… 

… Well, YES! He can!

Well known for his TV appearance with Paul Merton, amongst others.  A prolific blogger and adventurer.  He chronicles his life whilst learning how to Forage, Hunt and Fish for food that has…

“lived a life I would wish for myself – Wild and Free!”

His blog is the story of the journey between fat-dad to bushwhacker-dude, how and why he collects kit, learns skills and gets inspired by adventure storytelling.  When suburban life doesn’t get in the way, he has a few adventures of his own.

http://suburbanbushwacker.blogspot.co.uk/

suburbanbushwacker@gmail.com

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Serena Hodgson – Willow and Craft Worker and Living Historian

Serena Hodgson – Willow and Craft Worker and Living Historian

Serena is a passionate environmentalist, educator and historian who achieved a Certificate in Permaculture in 2006 and graduated from the Open University in 2008 with a BSc(Hons) Environmental Studies.

After many years working as a psychiatric nurse and primary school teacher she decided to follow her heart and start a business working with willow, recycled materials and as a living historian.

Serena is a multi-skilled crafts-woman and an amazing cook.  Thank you for showing me how to drop spindle and use a peg loom…. and for the cakes!!  Nom! Nom! Nom!

www.serenahodgson.com

serena@serenahodgson.com

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Tina Langshaw – Creator of Beautiful Things

Tina Langshaw - Creator of Beautiful ThingsTina is an amazingly warm, creative and generous woman.  A natural healer and nurturer, she is knowledgable in alternative therapies and traditions.

She’s an experienced performer and organiser of large events and arts and crafts workshops.  She also enjoys foraging, preserving, and making her own household products and cosmetics.  She is deeply connected with nature and the art of recycling.

Tina is an amazing cook and inspirational cake maker.  She is a dear friend and a privilege to know.

A quiet and private person who shows her ‘cheeky’ side in small groups.

“Loves hugs, wine and cake!”

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Simon Wray – 3D Digital Artist

Simon Wray - 3D Digital ArtistSimon Wray graduated from Cumbria Institute of the Arts in 2005 and has worked as a 3D Digital Artist since that time.
 
Concentrating in the fields of animation, visual effects and motion graphics, he uses cutting edge technologies to bring ideas to life.  Simon has a strong admiration for nature and the environment and enjoys spending time in the countryside, particularly in his native Yorkshire Dales and further afield in Scotland. As a keen photographer he enjoys spending time outdoors photographing all types of animals, insects, plants and fungi. Through his nature photography Simon unites his digital skills with his interest in animals and their habitats.
 
Simon is open-minded when it comes to food and is always keen to try new things: “Eating animals that have been accidentally killed makes rational sense to me. In life they live a happier, healthier existence than the vast majority of animals reared for food today. They are often organic, not to mention free. We are making use of animals that would otherwise be left to decay, while reducing our reliance on big supermarket chains, not to mention our carbon footprint”.
 
In his spare time Simon enjoys mounting biking across challenging terrains and is currently planning a coast to coast ride for later in the year. As a seasoned cyclist he is rarely phased by a snowy cycle to work on a cold winter’s morning!
 

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 …and last but not least – our beautiful baby boy – who is an absolute joy!  We have been truly blessed by a child who is soooo happy to be born.  He lights up our life!  We knew it would be good, but we never realised just how intensely wonderful and amazing being a parent can be.

“Thank you Mooster”!

 Maximus Vladimir Speer - The Mooster!

Well, that’s it for now!   –  Hope you enjoy the show!!  

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My normal ‘bread & butter’ work takes the form of community art projects and school commissions.  This does not normally involve the taxidermy side of things.  I use my wide and varied range of skills to facilitate art installations for schools that involve the school children and sometimes also the wider community. I have a talent for most aspects of hands-on creation. I think fast and on my feet! 
 

I do not create solo exhibitions, as I prefer collaborative projects.  I enjoy being part of the growth process you get when you pool the energies of groups of people.  I love to observe transformations in levels of awareness — be that creative; spiritual; mental; emotional or physical.  I ‘push’ people to go beyond the boundaries they set themselves and that includes me too!

I love dressing up and exploring alter egos, especially with friends.  Festivals, camps and just travelling in general are a great opportunity to go ‘wild’ and experiment with being someone else for a while — great if you are at a time in your life when you need to reinvent yourself!  Every year, if I’m around, I make/put on a costume and perform with my buddies at Artists Ltd.  We are an artists’ collective and enjoy working in a range of different mediums, from bone carving to theatre, painting to music — join up and be part of it, there is FREE gallery space waiting for you!  www.artists.ltd.uk

Come Dine With Me

Special Thanks

Harrogate – Series 20 Episode 29

 Special thanks go to the following people and companies who very generously donated ingredients & things in order to make my contribution a truly wonderful and authentic experience.    

                                     Thank you.                           

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 In order of appearance…     

 

The House

 A huge, positively massive “Thank you” to my dear friends Les & Marisca, for offering their home to me. 

Hope you enjoy the show!!  

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The Studio

Artists Ltd is a UK Company based in Yorkshire. The founders of the company all have a background in the arts either as practitioners or suppliers. They started the company to provide a comprehensive UK based Internet presence which would facilitate the development of an artistic community.

Thank you dear friends – Bernie, Fraser and Andy for the loan of your studio in Harrogate, it was great fun having the Channel 4 crew there for the primary interviews. 

By email: info@artists.ltd.uk

www.artists.ltd.uk

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The Motor Home

While we were waiting for our new home to appear (which it now has) we borrowed a motor home from a friend… it turned out to be a bit bigger than we anticipated.  It was a 30ft RS Motorhomes Race Cruiser!  It is used most of the year for race weekends with Track Torque Racing and the odd weekend getaway for the family. 
Track Torque is a racing company who own and rent out race cars to race drivers.  They also look after race cars for their owners.  Most weekends in summer are spent at a race track somewhere in the UK or Europe.
Thank you Clive, Les and Mariska for sorting that out.

Track Torque Racing Ltd, Units 8+9, Rudgate Business Park, Rudgate, Tockwith, North Yorkshire YO26 7RD

Map Direction Here >

Tel  – 01423 359768
Clive –  07971 978775
Simon –  07971 154703

http://www.tracktorque.co.uk/

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Frangelico & Vodka cocktail shot served with Caramelised Lime wedges

 This cocktail shot was inspired by one I believe was called a Funky Monkey, tried whilst staying in La Paz, Bolivia last year.  It was my first night out after recovering from a bad case of Salmonella acquired from eating a dirty old pigs trotter at a Cholita wrestling match!  I have searched for it on the web since returning to the UK and have come up with at least four completely different cocktails.  I made it up the best I remember…

Thank you nameless Bolivian Bar for the inspiration and thank you Mum for buying the booze!

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       The Wine

All the wine was hand-picked to match each dish within my menu by my good friends and Wine merchants at Harrogate Fine Wines – Andrew & Julia Langshaw.  They have a great reputation for hand-picked wines and excellent bespoke customer service. They taste all the wines they stock for quality assurance – what a great job!!  Lol.  They hold regular customer tastings in the shop and hold a few wine dinners throughout the year generally with a winemaker on hand to talk you through the wines. They are proudly independent which means they can stock rare and small selections.  They have over 100 South African wines and visit this amazing country regularly.  You join their mailing list to receive the newsletter and learn about future events.  Thank you so much guys!

www.harrogatefinewinecompany.com

   Harrogate Fine Wines, Corn Exchange Cellars, The Ginnel, Harrogate, HG1 2RB

Tel: 01423 522270

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Curried Pheasant & Quinoa Mini Road Kill Pies

A favourite amuse-bouche of mine and a great and easy idea for using road kill rabbit, pigeon or pheasant.  I love making these for my friends!  A wonderful and juicy little ‘mouth-pleaser’ that also pushes a person unfamiliar with eating road kill gently out of their comfort zone. 

 http://www.channel4.com/4food/recipes/tv-show/come-dine-with-me-recipes/series-10/pheasant-road-kill-pies-recipe

The pheasant was a gift from the A61 – Harrogate to Ripon road. 

Thank you Nature for providing what I needed.

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   Wild Game Terrine

Outside the show, the ‘game’ in my terrines is always road kill.  I wanted to provide an alternative to the road kill pies, just in case someone objected!  I don’t like to see my guests go hungry. lol.  I wanted to use butcher-bought game for my terrine, so in case contestants ate one dish and not the other… an interesting question was awaiting…”So what’s the difference?” 

Thank you Peter Hutchinson at Hutchinson’s Butchers opposite the C15th Ripley Castle for supplying the rabbits and pheasant for the Wild Game Terrine.  This is a real olde-worlde butchers shop with a wonderful atmosphere and incredibly friendly, authentic staff.  I have used their services on various occasions over the years and have especially loved to see the game hanging up outside their front window – a wonderful reminder to folk that what they are eating was once hopping or flapping around recently.  I really admire how they operate – real butchers performing an honest job that reminds one of being part of a food chain – not ‘poshed-up’ like other places, where the meat is so sanitised, wrapped in layers of plastic and separated from nature that one can almost forget that the flesh being eaten was once alive and then killed before ending up on the dinner table!

 HUTCHINSON’S BUTCHERS, Ripley, Harrogate, HG3 3AX

Tel:  01423 770110.

 map

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Foraged Fruit Chutney

The chutney recipe was donated by my beautiful friend Tina Langshaw of Harrogate.  She substituted the sugar for honey especialy for an awkward friend…who, me? lol.

The Gambian spices were gifted from her relative from The Gambia.

http://www.channel4.com/4food/recipes/tv-show/come-dine-with-me-recipes/series-10/foraged-fruit-chutney-recipe

The plums were picked locally in Amanda & Andrew’s garden in Harrogate. Thank you for letting us raid your crop.

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The Vegetables

Eating organically grown vegetables is something I always try to do.  I wanted to promote a local producer of organic vegetables and meat. 

The wonderfully all organic vegetables I used were donated by Steven, Patrick & Louise Snowden from Hawthorne Organics.  Organic farming prohibits the use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers and promotes a less intensive way of farming. Crop yields are generally lower which which tends to result in higher prices than conventionally farmed crops. Farming in this way is much more labour intensive.  They started farming organically 20 years ago and today the farm is entirely organic. They have 220 acres of mainly arable land, 12 acres is coppiced willows grown on contract for Drax power station to be used as a carbon neutral fuel; 20 acres are wooded on the farm, which is the site of an ancient settlement. The wood is home to many wild animals including badgers, deer and foxes and many species of birds. The farm is in the Countryside Stewardship Scheme and Higher Level Stewardship Scheme providing areas of land dedicated to wildlife by the planting of crops suitable for winter feeding birds. Thank you Hawthorne family for being so generous and such good sports.

Hawthorne Organics, Weeton Lane, Dunkeswick, LS17 9LP

Tel: 0113 2886637 or 07779 140120

Fax: 0113 2886754

Email: info@hawthorneorganics.co.uk

 

Or visit the farm shop: Weds – Sat, 10am – 4pm (open till 6pm on Thurs)

  http://hawthorneorganics.co.uk/

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Water Buffalo Bourguignon

I really wanted to use something a little more exotic than beef.  I chose to promote a local farm that bred other cattle, that didn’t do as much damage to the environment as commercially farmed cows.  I was recently in the Amazon and I was dismayed to see swathes of precious forest cut down for grazing cattle. One could drive past miles and miles of cows en route to anywhere, bred for mass production of hamburgers!  Buffalo produce far less methane and the meat is far sweeter and less fatty. 

The water buffalo was generously donated by the Langthorne family, doing a fantastic job rearing special breeds such as buffalo, highland cattle, wapiti, longhorn, pere david, emu, boer goat, yak, white park, bison, red deer, soay sheep, dexter & ironage pigs.  The whole family Paul, Kate, Jennifer, Diane and Andrew help care for the animals, staff their farmer’s market stall and run the family farm tours.  They brought their first two buffalo, Fleur and Georgina, approximately 10 years ago to supply buffalo milk for Andrew who suffered severe dairy allergies. He also has Cystic Fibrosis and the home sourced meat, milk and cheese are extremely good nutrition for him.  The herd has grown to over 300 in the last 10 years. The deer, wapiti, emu, ironage pig, sheep & goats have arrived over the years and are lovely to see in the fields. They do not ship their animals out to be slaughtered. They have their own abattoir to ensure the most humane of practices which minimises stress to the animals.  Jennifer, Diane & Andrew will answer any questions you have whilst on the ‘farm tour’.

Langthorne’s Buffalo Produce, Crawford Grange, Brompton, Northallerton, DL6 2PD

Tel: 01609 776937

Visit or collect from the farm or at local farmers’ markets. Please telephone in advance

 www.langthornes-buffalo-produce.co.uk 

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Baileys Brûlée

with Drunken Foraged Fruits

  The recipe for the Baileys Brûlée and sound advice is courtesy of Nick Ellam, my friend and top chef of Harrogate.  Thanks for letting me pick your brains and for your helpful hints, tips and especially the ‘6P’s…

 “Planning & Preparation Prevents Piss-Poor Performance!!”

– thanks Nick!!

  The Blackberries picked from local hedgerows. Thank you Nature again for providing what I needed!

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The Honey

The honey was donated by my friend Mary of Wakefield – her husband keeps bees.  A very important job considering the shocking decline in the bee population over recent years.

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 The Bush Tucker Challenge

I am an avid traveller with a keen interest in anthropology and I learn as much as I can about indigenous peoples, how they live and cook, new & raw ingredients, and the impact they have on the environment and our health.  I also seek out the weird and wonderful, be that ‘Cuy’ in Peru, ‘Fugu’ in Japan or deep fried crickets in Cambodia… I love anything unidentifiable on a stick and have even licked termites directly off the trees in the Amazon Jungle!  Lol.  Mmmmm, minty!  I absolutely ADORE all food.

The end of the meal as an unforgettable experience for my diners and something that is very typical of my personality.  Whenever I come back from travelling, I always bring back some culinary delicacy or oddity for my friends to try.  This year it was a selection of Japanese ‘Otsumami’ – beer snacks!  These can be anything from peanuts and baked baby sesame seed crabs to fish spine crisps and shredded dried squid. Of course I brought back the strangest thing I could find. My Bush Tucker Challenge was very generously donated by two EDIBLE.com stockists.

The winner of my BUSH TUCKER CHALLENGE won a small prize relating to the theme of the meal that evening – a Collins Gem FOOD FOR FREE!  I keep a copy of this in my little motorhome at all times.

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 Civet Coffee

  Kopi Luwak, as it is known, is considered to be the world’s finest coffee by Native Sumatrans. This coffee has an intense, but delicate flavour and no aftertaste, which is unique in coffee. This flavour is due to the fact that the coffee has been partially fermented by passing through the digestive system of the Civet (a small, lithe-bodied, mostly arboreal mammal native to the tropics of Africa and Asia).

 Extremely exotic petits fours

The coffee, chocolate-coated scorpions, leaf cutter ants, BBQ worms and thai curried crickets by edible.com were generously donated by Kevin Hadlow, Head of Retail at ‘The Food Company Anglia Ltd’, Essex.   Thank you Kevin. You have been a real star!

The Food Company Anglia Ltd, 86 London Road, Mark’s Tey, Colchester, Essex, C06 1ED

 Tel: 01206 214000, Fax:01206 214019

http://www.thefoodcompany.co.uk/

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Gift Bags

I wanted to give each contestant a gift to open in the taxi on the way home.  I thought a genuinely edible scorpion encased in a mouth watering hard candy lollypop would do.  Mmmmmm

These edible.com gift bags were very generously donated by the incredibly friendly & professional Neil Setterfield, Store Director, FENWICKS in York.  Thank you Neil for the Vodkalix Scorpion lollies.

Fenwick Ltd, Coppergate Centre, York. YO1 9WY

Tel: 01904 643322

Email: neilsetterfield@fenwick.co.uk

 http://www.fenwick.co.uk/

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The Fancy Dress Costume – Dead Fred Elliot 

Thank you Asda Harrogate for the loan of the hat and smock.

Thank you Country Butchers on Leeds Road for the loan of the apron.

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