Published On: Thu, Nov 29th, 2012

How To Make It As A TV Chef Via Gumtree.


Having found myself without a job about this time last year, I took to trawling popular flatmate finder, swap shop, tat emporium, and general classifieds website Gumtree on a daily basis. Averaging two to three applications everyday over the course of a month and limiting myself in no way to the positions applied for, I amassed an impressive array of rejection emails or offers of door-to-door sales work. Ho hum.

After a while an email caught my eye, “Thank you for applying to take part in Britain’s Best Dish”. I didnʼt know I had applied for that. Also, what actually is that? Why, it’s ITV’s answer to Masterchef, that’s what! On a whim, driven by a need to find gainful employment, I had apparently fired off an email to the producers of said show and they were interested for some reason.

They wanted me to share my ‘signature dish’ with them. Signature dish you say? Not sure I actually have one of those…

“Not to worry”, I thought, “I’ll make something up that sounds good!”.
“Wild Rabbit in Ale and Mustard with Braised Savoy Cabbage, Hazelnuts, Plump Port Raisins and Wheaten Bread.”

Mmmmm, almost sounds good enough to be real. So began the ridiculous blag that took over a month of my life last year. Let it be noted that when I served this dish in the audition (and got through) it was the first time I had made it. I predicted that by the time I would be cooking live in the television studio it would be attempt number three. Here’s how to!

Youʼll need:
1 rabbit, boned and cut into chunks
plain white flour
1 bottle brandy
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 onion diced
1 carrot diced
1 parsnip diced
2 rashers good bacon
1-2 bottles honey ale
wholegrain mustard
salt n pepa

1) Dredge rabbit in seasoned flour and then cook in foaming butter in a hot frying pan till golden brown, blast in some brandy and flame it good.

2) Meanwhile, in a heavy bottom casserole dish sweat your onion and bacon for a couple of minutes then fire in parsnips and carrots, after a couple more minutes add the garlic.

3) Next bung the rabbit and juices into the casserole with the veg and add enough ale tocover comfortably (but don’t drown it), toss in the bouquet garni (which is French for bunch of herbs tied together), about one teaspoon of mustard and two of honey and season it well.

4) Bring to the boil on the hob before putting tinfoil over the top and putting on a tight fitting lid. Stick it in a pre heated oven at 200 degrees and kick back for 50 minutes to one hour. Take the time to polish off the other bottle of ale and brandy if you’re feeling up to it.


Britain’s Best Dish? I fucking doubt it! The ʻcelebrityʼ chef judges didnʼt seem to mind it, in fact they arguably even gave the impression that they enjoyed it. They still didnʼt hesitate in voting me off the show however. Ah well, maybe next time. Enjoy bunny lovers!


by Jack Baxter

Images by ja450n and alcdimention