We are yet again stunned at the depths to which media people will
plunge in their quest for 15 minutes of fame.
ISBA’s director of media services, Bob Wootton, volunteered a few months
ago to be filmed preparing, cooking and serving dinner to six friends
for a new series of Channel 4’s TV Dinners. Not ones to serve up prawn
cocktail, chicken Kiev and pavlova, Wootton and his wife Liz,
advertising director of World of Interiors, indulged their passion for
The couple spend every available moment fungi picking and even spent
their wedding day scouring local woodland for mushrooms.
The episode, which aired last night, opened on Wootton travelling to a
’secret location’, accompanied by the presenter, Hugh
Wootton confides to Fearnley-Whittingstall that he’s going to use the
mushrooms in the pudding, a concept which surprised them both.
Back in Wootton’s immaculate kitchen, he and Fearnley-Whittingstall
proceed to sniff the truffles which Wootton has lovingly prepared with
his very own truffle slicer.
The guests arrive: Tess Alps, chief executive of New PHD, and her
husband Tim, Dominic Owens, head of marketing communications at British
Telecom, and companion, and Alec Castle of J. Walter Thompson.
Wootton begins serving the starters but not before instructing his
guests to finish each course only if they were very, very hungry. As
they tuck in, he continues cooking in the kitchen with his baby daughter
strapped to him. His guests all look slightly shocked when it’s revealed
that dessert was also concocted out of mushrooms.
Afterwards, Wootton was asked if he was satisfied with the meal. He
replied, ’Totally. Frankly, I’m very pleased with myself.’
That’ll be a first then.