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Saturday 20 September 2014

Celeb chef Rachel Allen’s fair game in Facebook hunt pic

Published 03/01/2012 | 05:00

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This photograph of celebrity chef Rachel Allen with a shotgun and a number of dead game birds on her car bonnet prompted a storm of criticism after she posted it on Facebook
Celebrity chef Rachel Allen

AS one of Ireland's best-known celebrity chefs, Rachel Allen's ability to muster up a feast is beyond doubt.

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But the best-selling author and TV personality was cooking up a different type of storm after she posted a controversial picture on her Facebook page.

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."

While most of the comments on the picture were indifferent, some supported the chef.

"Rachel, it's good to see that you hunt for food and not just for sport," Olan Lambert said.

Rory Allen from Ballymaloe House -- where the 39-year-old teaches cooking courses -- told the Irish Independent it was not unusual for a chef to kill their own food and pointed out that most people eat game birds.

Campaigners

Ms Allen's picture was posted before a hunt at Ballymaloe in Shanagarry, Co Cork, brought the ire of anti-hunting campaigners.

The Animal Rights Action Network accused Ballymaloe of breaking a commitment not to hunt with hounds at their annual New Year's Day outing.

Mr Allen said that hounds were brought to the property without permission, even though an agreement had been made.

"We're very embarrassed about the situation," he said. He added it was a fox hunt, who were regarded as vermin, and pointed out he had lost a large number of baby pigs and hens to foxes last year.

Irish Independent

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