Move over, Nigella ... here comes Norman

He was famous for his hard-boiled politics. Now Lord Tebbit is joining the ranks of celebrity chefs with his first cook book (and there's lots of red meat)

He may lack the sultry looks, seductive pouting, and fingers-in-the-chocolate-bowl cooing of Nigella Lawson, daughter of his former Cabinet colleague. But, aged 78, Norman Tebbit is about to bring his own particular brand of no-nonsense fearlessness to the kitchen – relaunching himself as a chef.

After the IRA bombing of the 1984 Conservative Party conference left his wife, Margaret, permanently wheelchair-bound, one of the many pressing questions in their household was: Who will cook?

Fortunately, Lord Tebbit's mother had taught him how to skin a rabbit and he had always held a keen interest in his wife's culinary ways.

After two years of fervent kitchen activity, the peer is set to publish The Game Cookbook on 25 July, celebrating his love of shooting. It will feature 50 recipes, from rabbit, woodcock, pigeon, venison, pheasant and grouse to salmon, spider crab and scallops.

"I've always been a food man. My wife was a jolly good cook and I basically learnt to cook from her," Lord Tebbit said yesterday. What will make this book different, he added, was that his love for food, rather than a cult of his celebrity' would be all important.

There are no images of Lord Tebbit posing over the stove in his kitchen in Horsham, Kent, or digitally enhanced photographs of the dishes themselves. Instead, the tome will feature black-and-white drawings of the animals by Debby Mason, a Devon-based illustrator, .

"For the last 25 years, since she [Margaret] has been injured, the cooking fell to me," he said. "I like game and I'd been shooting for 30 years or so.

"There is no personality cult in the book. It is about the animals. I don't see myself as a celebrity cook. I don't swear enough."

His repertoire ranges from English classic to truly international gastronomic dishes, bearing his own idiocyncractic twists. Readers can learn how to prepare sumptuous feasts of rabbit with mustard and cream, partridge hot pot with pears and cheese, Highland pheasant stuffed with Haggis, and Moroccan pheasant with apricots and spices. The Indian influence is obvious in one curried pheasant recipe; another draws from Majorcan cuisine.

If the book succeeds, other popular dishes from the Tebbit family table could follow.

In the heyday of Lord Tebbit's political career as the MP for Chingford, Essex, and a player in Margaret Thatcher's Cabinet, his views became synonymous with those of the archetypal "Essex man". In 1990, he famously coined the "Cricket Test" as a means of deducing immigrants' loyalties to Britain.

Speaking of his passion for cooking, Lord Tebbit said that the idea for the book arose out of a conversation with his local butcher.

"I was shooting a lot and often organised game for my butcher. I asked him him why people pay more for a rubber-boned chicken than a good pheasant. It's because they don't know how to cook a pheasant. I thought, 'I can't have that.' So I ran off a few of my favourite pheasant recipes on a printer and I put them on the butcher's counter. People took them and bought the pheasants. So I thought I'd write a book.

"Anything you can do with a chicken, you can do with a pheasant better. My recipes are all quick and things people really make. If you want a relaxing dinner with friends, you can cook a casserole and sit around drinking until you are sure it has cooked."

Lord Tebbit has almost finished writing his first children's book, to be published at the end of the year. It tells the story of a young boy, Sam, who is left wheelchair-bound and low in spirits after a car accident until he embarks on an adventure with his dog, Ben. They discover that Sam's father, who died in the same car crash, was murdered.

"Children love action and this boy is part of a broken family which adds to his difficulties," said Lord Tebbit. "His mother moved out of home to live with a schoolteacher. His father had been a TV crime reporter who was on the track of a big drugs cartel. The boy and the dog participate in a sting against the drug dealers at the end of the book."

Partridge with pears and cheese: Lord Tebbit's no-nonsense recipe


*Partridges, one per person.
*Pears, if small (like Rocha), one per bird. If large, (Conference), half per bird.
*The remaining ingredients are sufficient for four birds: 2oz butter, fat bacon (2 streaky rashers per bird), 4oz blue cheese, vegetables for gravy: small onions or shallots, a carrot, stick of celery.


1. Heat oven to 200C.

2. Tidy birds: rub butter on the insides and outsides. Cover legs and breasts with bacon pinned by cocktail sticks

3. Stuff birds with a piece of pear each. Place on a rack in a steel roasting-tin.

4. Cut up vegetables for the gravy and put them under the rack in the tin with enough boiling water to cover the floor of the tin.

5. Cover the lot with aluminium foil and put in oven.

6. After 30 minutes, remove the foil to let them and the bacon crispen for a further 10 minutes.

7. Bring the juices in the pan to the boil, add red wine and thicken.

8. Slice the rest of the pears. Melt the rest of the butter in an oven dish. Turn the slices in the melted butter and put them in the oven with birds for the last 10 minutes.

9. Serve the partridges and the bacon with the thickened sauce and the pears with blue cheese shavings on top alongside them.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Winchester College Football (universally known as Winkies) is designed to make athletic skill all but irrelevant
Life...arcane public school games explained
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
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
Life and Style
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

    Business Development Manager / Sales Pro

    £30 - 35k + Uncapped Comission (£70k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Business Develop...

    Graduate Sales Executive / Junior Sales Exec

    £18k + Uncapped Commission (£60k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Graduate Sales Exe...

    Web Developer / Software Developer

    £25 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: A Web Developer / Software Developer is needed ...

    Oracle 11g SQL 2008 DBA (Unix, Oracle RAC, Mirroring, Replicati

    £6000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Oracle 11...

    Day In a Page

    Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

    The phoney war is over

    Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
    Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

    Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

    The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
    Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

    Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

    Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
    From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

    Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

    After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
    Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

    Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

    Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
    Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

    Salomé: A head for seduction

    Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
    From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

    British Library celebrates all things Gothic

    Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
    The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

    Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

    The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
    Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

    In search of Caribbean soul food

    Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
    11 best face powders

    11 best face powders

    Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
    England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

    Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

    Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
    Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

    Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

    They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
    Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

    Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

    Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
    Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

    Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

    The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
    America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

    America’s new apartheid

    Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone