Food & Drink

Fancy a ‘meat bouquet’ this Valentine’s Day?

By Kitty Knowles 10 February 2017

Food innovators Bompas & Parr tell us why 'meat bouquets' are the next big thing.

Chocolates? Flowers?

Scrap that. The most ‘in’ gift to give this Valentine’s Day is a beautiful ‘meat bouquet’ – according to food-savvy duo Sam Bompas and Harry Parr.

Say it with meat

The British pair are well known for creating new ways to experience food and drinks, with edible experiments including breathable cocktails and lava-cooked steak.

This year’s romantic offering, however, looks back to our Victorian past for inspiration, in a bid to revive what was once one of Britain’s trendiest centrepieces.

Alexis Soyer's hospital kitchen. Credit: Wellcome Library, London.
Alexis Soyer's hospital kitchen. Credit: Wellcome Library, London.

“Our bouquets are inspired by Alexis Soyer,” Sam Bompas told The Memo. “His invention of the Bouqeut de Gibier, or ‘Sporting Nosegay’, comprised a ten-foot-tall arrangement of laurels and other evergreens, set off with dried and coloured flowers.”

“Upon this was mounted a cornucopia of game including golden plover, wild ducks, grouse, woodcock, partridge, teal, snipe and wild rabbit.”

The unusual creation was so esteemed, that one was even given to the King and Queen of France.

“Soyer was one of the greatest culinary innovators known to mankind and god of the hot stove,” says Bompas. “If a meat bouquet was the weapon of romance from his impressive culinary arsenal, it will certainly be good enough for Londoners this year.”

A trend for 2017?

While we’ve observed a trend towards veg-centric eating, Bompas believes their red-blooded bouquets will be the next big thing.

Indeed, the company has already received interest from as far afield as China and Brazil, and intends to help make the meat bouquet “go global in 2017”.

The displays, which feed two and come with suggestions of how to cook and consume them, appeal to what he calls “a growing cadre of sensualists”.

“Folks like us who like their meals so hairy and muscular you can really gorge on it,” he says.

A number of chefs have already tried to reinvent the wheel with gifts including ‘bacon roses’, but these pretty posies are actually “claggy and disgusting,” says Bompas.

“We’re hoping to convert the amateurs to our more red-blooded bouquet. Smell the iron, savour the flesh.”

Romantic meal for two anyone?