A bouquet you could gorge on - Valentine’s Day, February 2017
MEAT BOUQUETS - London, Valentine's Day, 2017
For this years Valentine's Day Bompas & Parr got been inspired by the meaty bouquets once presented to royalty by Victorian super-chef Alexis Soyer in a radical reimagination of romance.
A limited number of just five bouquets were available to buy, each featuring a selection of hung pheasant, and partridge, dressed pleasingly alongside fragrant botanicals - practically all the ingredients for at least one romantic meal.
Each bouquet came with an alcoholic love potion that could be consumed using accompanying carnivorous plants as shot glasses.
The bouquets were inspired by Alexis Soyer, one of Bompas & Parr’s culinary heroes. He was arguably the first celebrity chef, plus a showman and philanthropist. As well as popularising gas cookery (thereby saving chefs from premature death from respiratory problems) Soyer was sent by the British Government to resolve the Irish Potato Famine, wrote books and opened a food based theme park to rival the Great Exhibition. This included ice caves with stuffed snow foxes, mirror chambers, London's first cocktail bar, a medieval banqueting hall to seat 5000 and a grotto which you had to step through a waterfall to enter.Soyer’s stove design created for the British army during the Crimean War was still in service in the Falklands.
His invention of the Bougeut de Gibier, or ‘Sporting Nosegay’, comprised a ten-foot-tall arrangement of laurels and other evergreens, set off with dried and coloured flowers. Upon this was mounted a cornucopia of game including golden plover, wild ducks, grouse, woodcock, partridge, teal, snipe and wild rabbit. One was presented to King and Queen of France who were so pleased with it (or so the modest Soyer reports in his Gastronomic Regenerator) that they intended to have a similar bouquet carved in wood to ornament the grand sideboard of the palaces banqueting hall.
Harry Parr said: “Soyer was one of the greatest culinary innovators known to mankind and god of the hot stove. If a meat bouquet was the weapon of romance from his impressive culinary arsenal, it will certainly be good enough for my wife this year.”