Chef Clarissa sets out her game plan
CLARISSA Dickson Wright announces, with a certain element of pride, that she used to be number three on the Animal Liberation Front's death list.
She hasn't checked the stats for a while, but expects she will go up when her new show hits screens.
The outspoken cook, a staunch campaigner on countryside issues, will be seen in an episode of The Great British Food Revival, extolling the virtues of eating wild rabbit.
"We bury 40 tons of rabbit a year in landfill sites because people don't eat it, and the rabbit that gets sold in the supermarkets is imported from China," she explains.
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"I wouldn't import food from China because they have very few health regulations.
"It's also a waste to throw away all that rabbit when it's very good. If you want to do lean, healthy, and organic there is almost nothing better.
"There's a law that requires the landowner to cut back the number of rabbits," she says. "They've got to be killed anyway. You might as well eat them."
The 65-year-old is no stranger to controversy, and says her unpopularity with the animal rights activists (she calls them "antis") and the previous Labour Government put a stop to her TV work for a while.
"I was worth between three and seven million viewers to the BBC whenever I did a programme. So why suddenly stop?"
Now she's back and in full throttle. As well as celebrating rabbits, she will be seen in a new series for BBC Four on breakfast, lunch and dinner.
She's also got a new book, Clarissa's England, on the shelves. It's described as a "a gamely gallop through the English counties".
She clearly has her hands full with work – but that hasn't stopped her planning her final meal, which she says jovially will be cooked by chef Shaun Hill.
"The last time I was at the Walnut Tree [near Abergavenny in South Wales] he did these beignets made with oysters. I told Shaun they would definitely be part of my final meal, but he said it's a work in process.
"Anyway they haven't brought back the death penalty and we haven't got Tony Blair in government any more so I am unlikely to be hanged at the moment. So I've got many more years to work on it!"
Recipe is taken from Clarissa's Comfort Food by Clarissa Dickson Wright, published by Kyle Books, priced £15.99. Clarissa Dickson Wright can be seen in The Great British Food Revival on BBC Two at 8pm on Wednesday, October 17.