A racing charity worker paid homage to the sport of kings during his recent appearance on hit Channel 4 cookery show Come Dine With Me.
Richard Negus, Racing Welfare’s fundraising and communications executive, took part in the TV programme in a bid to win £1,000 to split between his employer and The Household Cavalry Operational Casualties Fund.
Over five days, Richard and four strangers, including Hannah Totman from Kennett, took turns to host the perfect dinner party and be in with a chance of winning the £1,000 cash prize.
But despite his best efforts, Richard could only muster a score of 21 from his fellow contestants after his Day at the Races dinner party, featuring a spot of snail racing for entertainment.
The horse enthusiast’s starter, called Under Starter’s Orders, was a trout pate wrapped in smoked salmon, which he followed up with his And They’re Off-al steak and kidney pie. The dessert, The Winning Posset, was a lemon posset with shortbread biscuits.
Richard said: “Making pastry is not my forte and I ended up filling the house with smoke while cooking it. I also didn’t cook the carrots for long enough and I forgot to take the skins off the broad beans and my dauphinoise potatoes were a bit runny, but apart from that it was fine.”
But Richard said his modest score was also partly down to the camera crew, who told him he could not remove the lemon from his dessert to ensure continuity during filming.
“It got to lunch time and the camera crew were like right, we’re off now. I told them I just had to remove the lemon but they said I couldn’t. The lemon posset ended up stewing for so long it tasted like Jif by the time it was served.
“I hold my hands up – it was all their fault.
He added: “The whole thing was really hard work. When they filmed my meal they arrived at 7.45am and didn’t leave until 2am the next morning. It was quite a struggle but it was a giggle and we all got on really well.”
Meanwhile, Hannah Totman hosted an Italian-themed dinner party at the end of the week.
The professional opera singer’s menu featured Cornucopia Italiano, a lasagne with butternut squash, Pollo alla Cacciatora, or chicken casserole, and a dessert of Poltergeist Pavlova with homemade ice cream.
Hannah said the dessert was inspired by ghostly goings-on at her home, which dates back to 1857, and her entertainment for the evening was a spooky seance.
Earning a score of 28, Hannah said “I think tonight that the main course went well. Everybody seemed to enjoy it and, although the plates weren’t clear, I do feel that because we have had so many dinner parties people are getting a little but full.”
You can catch up on episodes of Come Dine With Me at www.channel4.com