Your Grizzly Gourmet Dines In

By Hugo D’Bere

Oh dear, Oh dear, what does a bear do when he cannot dine out and all is closed?

Answer: get the saucepans out!

Here is Hugo’s suggested dinner out – in. It needs a bit of shopping and a bit of cash, but probably works out cheaper than a restaurant, which is a good thing at present. It’s a pity, however, that you cannot have friends round due to lockdown. At least bears are used to hibernation! Keep the champagne for the end of that.

First Course

GRAVALAX. Get a piece of salmon. Rub it with salt, put it in the fridge overnight wrapped in clingfilm. Next day take it out and rinse it with water. Dry it, then put it on a plate. Pour gin and some lemon juice on it; cut fresh dill over it. Put a plate on top, wrap it all tightly in clingfilm. Put it back in the fridge with something heavy on it; Hugo uses 2 heavy cartons of juice. After 5-7 days remove: that’s it! Slice thin, serve with rye bread, and crème fraiche with a little Dijon mustard

Palette Cleanser

A little citrus sorbet (Luvian’s or Jannetta’s if open) with a splash of prosecco

Main Course

LAMB. Buy a leg from nice Mr Minick. Score the fat, then put into the cuts a clove or two of garlic. Sprinkle with rosemary (fresh is best). Pre-heat the oven to 180℃ or equivalent. Place the lamb in the oven for 30 minutes for each 500g plus 30 minutes depending on how pink you like it. Serve with new potatoes and green veg plus mint sauce.


Here you need to visit Mellis on South Street. Hugo loves Blue Stilton, Primadonna, and the local Anster. Serve with quince jelly and crackers.


PAVLOVA. This is a bear’s favourite (apart from anything salmon). Draw a 9-inch circle on non-stick baking parchment, place on a baking sheet. In a clean dry bowl beat the whites of 3 large eggs until very stiff. Then beat in ½ teaspoon each of vanilla essence, vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of cornflour.

Spread the mixture over the circle and bake in a preheated oven at 150℃ for about an hour until set firm. Leave to cool, then invert on the serving plate. Remove the paper. Whip 10fl oz of double cream in a separate bowl. Spread onto the meringue base, then pile on top a selection of berries. Hugo likes raspberries and blueberries as they offset the sweet meringue base. If desired, serve with pouring or ice cream.


And a wafer-thin mint!


Start with prosecco. Try the St Andrews Wine Shop in Bell Street, where Peter will give a great recommendation. Add a dash of Cassis.

With the first course, Villa MariaA Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, or if you push the boat out, Greywacke (also from New Zealand) made by the founding winemaker at Cloudy Bay (a bit expensive).

With the main course try an E. Guigal Cote du Rhone, or again, to push the boat out, a Chateau Neuf from the same négociant. There are, however, some pretty good – and cheaper – Chilean or Argentinian Malbec around.

With the cheese, Taylors LBV Port

With the coffee, Brandy or Malt Whisky

Danger – with this amount to drink a bear needs two glasses of water pre-bed, with a packet of painkillers handy for the morning! A further word of advice – if you have more than one glass of port and /or a dessert wine such as Hungarian Tokai (a good choice by the way – very honeyed) your head will pound as if a bear stood on it!


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