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Shelterbox team members try poison food 'to die for'
7:00am Tuesday 12th March 2013 in Cornwall
Response team members for ShelterBox are used to finding themselves in dangerous environments, but two of the disaster relief charity’s volunteers came a little closer to death than they might have liked.
Sue Nelson from Helston and Rebecca Novell from St Agnes were guests at Café de Mort, a pop-up restaurant in a London church crypt that serves naturally poisonous food.
The risky menu – where only careful preparation made the ingredients safe to eat – was cooked up to draw attention to the unpredictability of life and encourage people to leave legacies to charities such as ShelterBox as gifts in wills.
Rebecca and Sue ate pufferfish, which contains lethal levels of tetrodoxotoxin for which there is no known antidote.
They also ate the world’s hottest chilli – ghost chilli – two dishes containing hydrogen cyanide and rounded off their night with a trio of potentially dangerous toxins skilfully presented in a peanut, cacao and nutmeg sweetmeats dessert. Available to drink, but not very popular, was rice wine infused with snake venom.
Diners each had to sign a waiver before eating and St John Ambulance was on standby in case of any culinary mishaps.
Rebecca said: “It was a very interesting experience, we survived and the food was surprisingly tasty. It’s a great way of reminding people how unpredictable life can be.”
Joining them in the restaurant was former I’m a Celebrity... king of the jungle Christopher Biggins, who is no stranger to bizarre ingredients having survived ‘bush tucker trials’, and TV presenter Donna Air.
MasterChef’s Gregg Wallace was master of ceremonies for the Remember a Charity campaign.
Gregg said: “I’ve very much enjoyed meeting the lovely ladies from ShelterBox down in Cornwall. And, funnily enough I’ll be down there again soon. It will be my third visit, and I’ll be out with some Cornish fishermen looking for mackerel.”
Gifts in wills help ShelterBox pre-position boxes worldwide in areas of high risk, so the charity can respond quickly to help families in need. For more information about leaving a gift to ShelterBox visit www.shelterbox.org.