Chef predicts diners will “go nuts” for squirrel stew

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Bertie's squirrel stew will cost around £12 and be made from tomatoes, herbs and red wine

A NUTTY chef is serving up squirrel to diners at his Scottish pub.

Frenchman Bertie Lizeray has included the rodent on the menu at the Pentland Roadhouse in Loanhead,Midlothian– along with other more exotic foods such as horse, frogs legs and springbok.

The 48-year-old, who trained at the Ritz hotel inParis, will serve the unusual cuisine from today and hopes they will provide a “continental twist” to pub food.

He plans to serve the tree-dwelling animal in a stew with mushrooms, tomatoes, herbs and red wine and he believes the dish will be a hit with customers.

He said: “I think they’ll go nuts for squirrel.

“We have this kind of thing inFrance. It’s quite common to have horse meat on the menu.

“And if you think about in, in Loanhead all you have is Indian, Chinese and fish and chip places to eat  – that’s all there is.

“I just wanted to do something different and so far we have had a lot of people who are interested.

“I got my ideas on my travels all over the world.”

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Bertie already serves up two different horse-based dishes and his burgers are made from less-conventional wild boar or springbok meat.

Squirrel stew will be available from next week and will cost around £12.

But for less adventurous eaters the menu also includes fish and chips, lasagne and haggis, neeps and tatties.

Bertie, who has worked as a chef for 20 years, says horse meat has already proved popular.

He said: “Half the punters who come to the pub have already eaten horse meat.

“Squirrel is proving quite popular inEngland. There are lots of pubs there that serve it.”

He revealed that he planned to offer specials of zebra and crocodile meat.

It took Bertie two years to find a horse meat supplier.

He found someone to supply him with squirrel after watching an episode of Come Dine with Me.

“I get my meat from a company called Yorkshire Game. It’s a rare meat so it costs me about £30 for two kilos,” he said.

The pub also challenges customers to finish a plate of their “wings of death” dish – chicken wings served in a secret recipe, spicy hot sauce.

Bertie uses chillies which measure 490, 250 on the Scoville scale – the method used to measure their heat – and asks diners to sign a disclaimer before they eat it.

Those who clean their plate are entered in a hall of fame, while those who fail end up in the hall of shame.

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