Escape to the mansion viewers worried last night after Dick and Angel Strowbridge created an unusual cheese shake during a Christmas-themed episode.
The program follows the ambitious couple as they renovate the 45-bedroom Château-de-la-Motte Husson in France, which they purchased in 2014 for £280,000.
Last night’s episode of the Channel 4 show saw Dick, 61, and Angel, 50, parents of Arthur, eight, and Dorothy, seven, preparing a festive meal for the whole family.
However, many viewers were baffled by the couple’s choice of sides with fondue – including sausage meat and raw stuffing.
Viewers of the palace escape were stunned last night after Dick and Angel Strawbridge created an unusual cheese fondue during a Christmas-themed episode.
One commented: ‘Stuffing sausage in fondue? Food poisoning is waiting to happen. I hope the plumbing is good.
Another wrote: “Food poisoning”.
During the festive program, Dick and Angel set up a huge Christmas tree in their house in the mansion.
The pair went on to brainstorm how to celebrate during the holidays, with Dick admitting that he wanted to learn more about French traditions.
Many viewers were baffled by the couple’s choice of sides with fondue – including sausage meat and raw stuffing.
They decided to take the family to Alsace on a celebratory trip, traveling the 500 miles east to the medieval city of Colmar.
To everyone’s delight, Colmar was as Christmasy as it comes, with Dick admitting that it felt like the city “wasn’t real”.
Later, the family headed to a restaurant specializing in traditional dishes, where they quickly ordered a “Veneron fondue”.
Unlike the typical cheese or oil fondue, fondue is made with hot white wine, vanilla, cloves and cinnamon and is traditionally served with chicken or turkey as well as French fries.
Some viewers expressed concern about cooking raw meat in fondue, and one wrote that “food poisoning is waiting to happen.”
Fondue has its origins in ancient vineyards where workers would dunk pieces of meat in a boiling pot while tending grapes.
‘This is a very simple wine with spices in it,’ said Dick, ‘but if you can turn it into something for Christmas into a Christmas meal.
“We can cook turkey or goose, baby carrots, brussels sprouts…”
Back at the mansion, he proceeded to turn a traditional Christmas dinner into a fondue.
Dick and his son Arthur prepared meat for an unusual Christmas meal in the palace kitchen
He told Arthur: ‘You know fondue when we had it, we had wine, but that would be different. We make a stock of wine in it.
Dick quickly pulled off the piste from the traditional fondue, using red wine to give the fondue a rich, Christmas flavour.
He and Arthur proceeded to prepare the meat for the unusual Christmas meal, including wrapped parcels of bacon, as well as steaks of beef and turkey for the family to dip in fondue and cook during the meal.
They hoped all the meat and trimmings would be cooked perfectly in the fondue pot.
Angel set the table for the family, telling her parents, “We’re having Christmas dinner tonight and I guarantee she’ll never have them.”
The family was so impressed with the unusual way of cooking that Angel’s father admitted he hadn’t had fondue for 30 or 40 years.
Dick and Angel carefully put raw meats out for the family to cook in fondue, along with Brussels sprouts and all the trimmings.
However, many viewers were less than impressed, with one writing: “This whole fondue is a little effort eh?”
After spending £280,000 on a dilapidated 45-room mansion in France in 2014, filled with a moat but without electricity and water, Dick and his wife Angell set out on the monumental task of making it habitable.
The resulting documentary – Escape To The Chateau (ETTC) on Channel 4 – which first aired in 2016 and lauded the nation in 32 episodes, over seven seasons, became one of the station’s most popular shows.
It propelled Dick, an engineer, and his wife, Angel, a designer, to stardom.
Not only did their fame allow them to run a thriving wedding business out of the castle, which is now valued at around £2 million, but it did lead to the creation of a business empire.
There were occasional collections of flowers, home fragrances, and soft furnishings, all drawing on the couple’s skill and friendly demeanor.