Escape to the Chateau viewers predict cheese fondue 'food poisoning'

‘It’s food poisoning waiting to happen!’ Escape to the Chateau viewers left concerned by Dick and Angel Strawbridge’s ‘Christmas dinner’ fondue with raw sausage meat

  • Dick, 61, and Angel, 50, bought the 45-bedroom French Château in 2014
  • Last night’s episode saw the couple cooking up a cheese fondue for family
  • However many of those watching were left concerned by the festive meal 
  • One wrote: ‘Sausage stuffing in a fondue? Food poisoning waiting to happen’

Escape to the Chateau viewers were left concerned last night after Dick and Angel Strawbridge created an unusual cheese fondue during a Christmas-themed episode. 

The programme follows the ambitious pair as they renovate the 45-bedroom Château-de-la-Motte Husson in France, which they bought in 2014 for £280,000. 

Last night’s episode of the Channel 4 show saw Dick, 61, and Angel, 50, who are parents to Arthur, eight, and Dorothy, seven, cooking up a festive meal for their whole family.

However many of those watching were left baffled by the couple’s choice of sides with the fondue – including sausage meat and raw stuffing.

Escape to the Chateau viewers were left stunned last night after Dick and Angel Strawbridge created an unusual cheese fondue during a Christmas-themed episode

One commented: ‘Sausage stuffing in a fondue? Food poisoning waiting to happen. Hope the plumbing is good.’

Another wrote: ‘Food poisoning fondue.’

During the festive programme, Dick and Angel erected an enormous Christmas tree in their chateau home.

The couple went on to brainstorm about how to celebrate over the holidays, with Dick confessing he wanted to learn more about French traditions.

Many of those watching were left baffled by the couple’s choice of sides with the fondue – including sausage meat and raw stuffing

They decided to take the family to Alsace for a festive trip, travelling 500 miles east to the medieval town of Colmar.

And to everyone’s delight, Colmar was as Christmassy as it comes, with Dick admitting he felt it was almost as though the town ‘wasn’t real.’  

Later, the family headed to a restaurant which specialised in traditional dishes, where they quickly ordered the ‘fondue vigneronne’. 

Unlike the typical cheese or oil fondues, the fondue is made with hot white wine, vanilla, cloves and cinnamon and is traditionally served with chicken or turkey as well as sautéed potatoes.

Some viewers expressed their worries about cooking raw meat in the fondue, with one writing it was ‘food poisoning waiting to happen’

The fondue has it’s origins in the old vineyards where workers would dip pieces of meat into a boiling pot while tending to the grapes.

Dick said: ‘This is a very simple wine with spices, but if you could turn it into something for Christmas into a Christmas meal.

‘We could cook in it turkey or goose, little carrots, Brussel sprouts…’

Back at the chateau, he set about turning a traditional Christmas dinner into a fondue meal. 

Dick and his son Arthur prepared the meat for the unusual Christmas meal in the kitchen of the chateau 

He told Arthur: ‘You know the fondue when we had it, we had wine, but this one is going to be different. We’re making a stock with wine in it.’ 

Dick quickly went off-piste from a traditionally fondue, using a red wine to give the fondue a rich and Christmassy flavour. 

He and Arthur set about preparing the meat for the unusual Christmas meal, including parcels of bacon wrapped stuffing, as well as fillet of beef and turkey for the family to dip into the fondue and cook during the meal.

They hoped all the meat and trimmings would be cooked to perfection in the fondue pot. 

Angel laid the table for the family, telling her parents: ‘We’re having a Christmas dinner tonight that I guarantee you would never have.’  

The family were wowed by the unusual method of cooking, with Angel’s father confessing he hadn’t had a fondue for ’30 or 40 years.’

Dick and Angel carefully laid out the raw meat for the family to cook in the fondue, alongside brussel sprouts and all the trimmings 

However many of those watching were less than impressed, with one writing: ‘This fondue is all a bit of an effort eh?’ 

Having spent £280,000 on a dilapidated 45-room chateau in France in 2014, replete with moat but devoid of electricity and water, Dick and his wife Angel began the gargantuan task of making it habitable. 

The resultant documentary — Channel 4’s Escape To The Chateau (ETTC) — which first aired in 2016 and enraptured the nation in 32 episodes, over seven seasons, has become one of the station’s most popular shows.

It has propelled Dick, an engineer, and wife Angel, a designer, to stardom.

Their fame has not only allowed them to run a flourishing wedding business from the castle, now worth an estimated £2 million, but led to a merchandising empire.

There have been spin-off ranges of flowers, home fragrance and soft furnishings, all capitalising on the couple’s skill and affable demeanour.

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