January 09, 2012
To Rachel Allen, Slainte!
By David Draper
Unless you’re able to stream Ireland’s RTE channel to your tube, you probably haven’t heard of Rachel Allen. The Irish answer to Rachel Ray—though with a lovely lilt in place of Ray’s gravelly voice—Allen hosts the popular cooking show Rachel’s Favorite Food (among others), has authored several cookbooks and enjoys celebrity-chef status across Europe. She’s also one of us—a hunter. She recently posted a photo of herself posing with a fine shotgun and three pheasants, which caused some outcry among Europe’s vocal bunny-hugging contingent.
From the Irish Independent:
The image, which appeared just over a week ago, depicted a rustic-looking Ms Allen brandishing a shotgun in the countryside with a number of dead game birds on the bonnet of her car.
"Enjoyed a great day's shooting in north Cork recently where I managed to get a few birds for our St Stephen's Day lunch," she wrote.
She added: "I'm going to make game terrine, the recipe for which is below."
She then posted a recipe for game terrine with celeriac remoulade which she said would feed six people.
The picture was met with rage from some posters on her webpage.
"Rachel, I am disgusted that you support the cruel act of inflicting pain and suffering on our fellow animals," Neville Sayers wrote.
Another poster, Lee Van Staden, said: "Such a pity that someone like you, who had such a good reputation, would go and ruin it with something like this."
Let’s hope Rachel doesn’t let this dissuade her from hitting the fields again—and I doubt it will. In a response posted on her Facebook page, Allen shrugs off the haters by pointing out the hypocrisy inherent to the most arguments against hunting:
“The origin or sourcing of food has been a long-held interest and concern of mine and I have gone to great lengths in my current series to trace the provenance of food and respect it. No objection was raised to showing pigs being sourced for chorizo, or sheep for a curry dish, for example.”