The Millbrook Inn’s multi-award winning chef Jean-Philippe Bidart, who is renowned for his nose to tail menus where he champions the unusual and the unfashionable, will be pushing the boundaries at this year’s Dartmouth Food Festival.
JP, as he is known, will be teaming up with Favis of Salcombe and pairing two of South Devon’s most abundant resources, wild rabbit and crab, to create a mouth-watering menu of croquette, stuffed rabbit loin and leg and a good old-fashioned rabbit pie topped with a crab crust. Among the accompaniments will be wild mushrooms and a rich red wine jus.
Visitors to the Festival will be able to watch JP in the chef’s demonstration area at 10.30am on Saturday, October 22 when he will create his dishes in under an hour while explaining the virtues of cooking with rabbit and crab.
He said: “Rabbit is a meat which is often cooked with fish, prawns or lobster, so I thought why not with crab! Favis supplies all our crab and the quality is quite exceptional. I want to demonstrate how crab and rabbit, or crabbit as we have renamed it, are a good combination together and I also want to show the versatility of both meats. It will be interesting food, and very good,” he said.
Rabbit is one of the tastiest and most abundant game meats there is. It is sustainable and truly wild having lived the life nature intended. Crab is a local South Devon resource that is plentiful in supply. It is rich in vitamins and minerals and is a source of high quality protein that is easily digestible.
JP said: “Favis crab has so much flavour and the crabs are large in size which is an important factor when considering sustainability. The smaller ones are put back in the water for another day. I will be cooking with the white meat that comes from the claws and is sweet and dense in flavour.”
He continued: “Cooking with rabbit is amazingly easy. It is also sustainable, healthy and it is quite a mystery to me why it is such underused meat. There’s not a lot of spare fat on a rabbit, so cooking it right is the key, and also why it is so good pairing it with crab. I am looking forward to creating my dishes and I hope I will be able to convert a few people to the virtues of cooking rabbit with crab.”
Laura Favis from Favis of Salcombe said: “We are delighted to be supporting JP and The Millbrook Inn at the Dartmouth Food Festival and very much looking forward to tasting crab and rabbit. It’s not something any of us has tried and he might start a whole new food revolution!”
JP will be demonstrating in the Chef’s Demonstration Area at 10.30am on Saturday October 22.
Image: JP demonstrating at the Dartmouth Food Festival