It’s not often that I feel passionate enough about television blunders to openly rant about them, but this is one of those times.

Last night I watched as famed chef Jason Atherton cook a delicious dessert with a syrup of wild….cow parsley?!!!   On the search for a farm shop as part of the tv show Ten Mile Menu Jason hopped out of the car and started telling celebrity athlete Colin Jackson about the joys of wild food.

He points out the bountiful hedgerows laden with elderflower (at this point, I can only see cow parsley but continue watching with complete confidence).  Then the camera switches to them picking….cow parsley.  Truly, they are stood at the roadside gathering a large bunch of cow parsley. 

I had to rewind to watch again.  I’m so certain that he picked cow parsley rather than elderflowers.  I couldn’t believe that a chef such as Jason Atherton (winner of multiple dishes on The Great British Menu and former chef patron at Gordon Ramsey’s Michelin-starred Maze restaurant) could make such a huge mistake.

By this point I was convinced that when they got to the cooking part, that they would have realised their error and the cow parsley would have been substituted for a bunch of elderflower.  But no!  There was the cow parsley sitting on the kitchen counter ready to be made into an elderflower syrup…surely not!!! 

Through some kind of kitchen wizardry Jason Atherton managed to transform a bunch of somewhat unfragrant hedgerow weeds into a delicious elderflower syrup to accompany his dessert.  The dessert was garnished with more of those pretty ‘elderflowers’…noooooo!

I adore both cow parsley (for decoration purposes only) and elderflower (for a refreshing summery drink) and know what they look like, know their differences.  I just can’t believe that I saw someone mistake one for the other and even garnish a dessert with cow parsley flowers.


Image: dreamcrisp; Hainault Forest


Image: Farm Woodland Forum; Mersea Wildlife

Did anyone else see this and share my concerns?!!!  If so, please get in contact!

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