The most ex­tra­or­di­nary Christ­mas din­ners are re­vealed in a new show

Daily Mail Weekend Magazine - - NEWS - Ni­cole Lam­pert The World’s Most Ex­tra­or­di­nary Christ­mas Din­ners, Wed­nes­day 19 De­cem­ber, 9pm, Chan­nel 4.

Pulling out all the stops for Christ­mas might mean buy­ing new ta­ble linen, re­serv­ing a topof-the-range turkey or splash­ing out on fizz. The World’s Most Ex­tra­or­di­nary Christ­mas Din­ners, a one-off documentary on Chan­nel 4, looks at peo­ple who go a lot fur­ther – £150,000 crack­ers, a 25ft tree or the world’s most ex­pen­sive pud­ding.

‘It’s in­ter­est­ing the lengths peo­ple go to,’ says pro­ducer Stacey Burns. ‘They are all ex­tra­or­di­nary.’

Food his­to­ri­ans Marc Mel­tonville and Adrian War­rell pro­duce a Tu­dor spe­cial­ity called a cock­en­thrice. De­signed to look like a myth­i­cal beast, it is half pig-half turkey, stuffed and sewn to­gether.

NASA as­tro­naut Anne McClain will be on top of the world on the big day – eat­ing her meal on the In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion. But her turkey with cran­berry sauce, like all her meals, will come in pack­ets that need to be hy­drated.

Anne doesn’t have the odd­est food on the show. That ac­co­lade goes to chicken breeder Jonjo, who eats one of his ex­otic birds at an early Christ­mas din­ner with his fam­ily. The rare Ayam Ce­mani chicken – the ‘Lamborghini of poul­try’ – is black, right down to its bones, and sells live for about £60. But how does it com­pare to the reg­u­lar Sun­day roast? ‘It just tastes like chicken,’ says Jonjo. Chef Marc Guib­ert is the cre­ator of the world’s most ex­pen­sive dessert, cost­ing an es­ti­mated £26,000. He makes the cho­co­late dish, laced with ed­i­ble gold and with a di­a­mond ring in­side, for a fam­ily in Sur­rey.

But the most spe­cial din­ner is aboard a nu­clear sub­ma­rine, where chefs make mince pies to freeze weeks ahead be­cause they never know where in the world they will be – only six out of a crew of 150 know – or when they’ll see land again. Dec­o­ra­tions are im­por­tant too, and we will see florist to the stars Kally El­lis turn the Rose­wood Lon­don ho­tel into a win­ter won­der­land, us­ing a crane to ma­noeu­vre a

25ft tree. Then there’s jew­eller Mark Hussey who, hav­ing made a di­a­mond-en­crusted bauble worth £82,000, crafts a set of crack­ers cost­ing £150,000. Each is in a ruby-en­crusted sil­ver sleeve. ‘Peo­ple look for unique, beau­ti­ful things,’ says Mark. ‘But we also wanted tra­di­tion, so they have the plas­tic gifts and bad jokes that Christ­mas needs too.’

Cel­e­brat­ing on the ISS and (be­low) Marc Guib­ert’s dessert

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