In the post ...

Posted by Helen Wednesday, July 22, 2009 , ,

... a review copy of what looks like a most excellent book: "The Game Cook" by Norman Tebbit. Oh yes, indeed, that Norman Tebbit, who is a keen shot and an even keener cook of things shot.
Published by JR Books who seem to specialize in Hollywood biographies but do diversify from time to time, it is a collection of Lord Tebbit's favourite recipes with attached musings on matters culinary and sporting. There are also excellent illustrations by Debby Mason of the game while it is still alive rather than after it had been cooked. She is, apparently, a keen diver and there are a few seafood recipes in the book as well as ones for wild salmon. No, no, not the insipid farmed stuff.

The story behind the books is interesting. Lord Tebbit is now the chief cook and provider of food in the household as his wife Margaret has been in the wheelchair since the Brighton bomb. One day he asked his butcher why people bought rubbery chicken in the supermarkets, sometimes paying premium price for the "organic" or "free-range" label instead of going for the far tastier game birds who would have had a better life. The butcher thought it was because people were afraid, never having cooked game.

From past experience of being Director of the Honest Food Campaign at the Countryside Alliance I can support that opinion. People are afraid of game; they also view it in a rather muddle-headed fashion as "posh" food though pheasant is no more expensive than some of the fancier chickens.

Nothing daunted, Lord Tebbit decided to address the issue. [Warning: Jan Moir, the FT interviewer in that links shows herself to be incredibly silly but Tebbit is on good form.] This book is the result.

Now, I have no doubt that I shall receive many requests to review it for the Conservative History Journal. (By the way, how are those submissions coming along?) But this is editor's privilege. I shall be writing about the book as I progress with the reading and the cooking.

ADDENDUM: Anyone who is likely to be at the Game Fair this week-end (sadly I shall not be) can get a signed copy.


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