'Edible taxidermy' masterclasses see food revolution taken a step further

Participants shown how to 'reconstruct' a rabbit, before a chef turns the edible parts into a feast for everyone to share once they're done

If you think the nose-to-tail eating mantra pushes the food revolution as far as it can go, then prepare to think again. A London-based taxidermist will challenge foodies to go one step further this weekend by asking them to stuff what they are eating as well as themselves.

Elle Kaye, who runs workshops in Hertfordshire and west London, is holding two "edible taxidermy" masterclasses at the Feast food festival next Saturday and Sunday, at Tobacco Dock in east London. While she teaches participants how to "reconstruct" a rabbit, a chef, Alex Armstrong, will turn the edible parts into a feast for everyone to share once they're done.

Ms Kaye, who originally studied fine art at Loughborough University, said she wanted to highlight how "being a taxidermist can put food on the table, and use every component of an animal". She added: "In this way, nothing gets wasted and the overreaching notion of preservation is upheld. Taxidermy prides itself with the recycling of the animal, after life, so being able to eat the specimen only complements this. It's ethical and economical, promoting recycling, which in essence underpins what taxidermy is."

Ms Kaye says she eats "most of the specimens" she works on from hare to mallards. "In restaurants across the country, pigeon, hare and other mammals often fetch high prices. But I can enjoy these privileges day in and day out."

Ms Armstrong plans to use the flesh to make a rabbit treacle, which she describes as a "quick pulled rabbit" that she'll serve on some sourdough or flatbread. "I'll cook it in verjus, then take the bones out and make a quick stock, then simmer it all down."

Although next weekend's event is believed to be the first of its kind, taxidermists are often passionate about not letting any part of their model go to waste. Chris Elliott, a Northamptonshire-based taxidermist, said: "If I skin a pheasant it's as simple as taking a rubber glove off your hand. My theory is, if it's a fresh specimen, why waste the body? It's just like walking into any butcher's shop and seeing pheasants to buy."

Mr Elliott specialises in mounting fish and "always offers people the meat back, which when it's a 20lb wild salmon is worth a lot". He added: "Most taxidermists have an environmental, non-waste attitude to what they do, so it's not unusual for us."

But that wasn't enough to persuade chef and father of the nose-to-tail eating revolution, Fergus Henderson. When asked if he'd like to take his ethos one step further, his spokesperson said he'd declined to comment. "He said 'lunch and taxidermy' didn't go very well in his mind so he wanted to distance himself from it."

Anthropomorphic taxidermy – displaying stuffed animals as if they were humans – is a thriving craft industry. But whether restaurants will start adding a "takeaway" section to their menus, allowing diners the chance to take home what they have just eaten, remains to be seen.

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments