The Brexit Cookbook Gives You A Taste Of The Future


Written by Dont Panic
30 Tuesday 30th May 2017

Last year's vote to leave the EU was not only a stand against immigration, globalisation and the metric system, but a deeper cultural message; let's kick Poirot off our screens, deport Scooter from our radio waves and clean up our supermarkets. No more stinky French cheese, limp Italian meat and soup YOU'RE MEANT to eat cold. British foodie Nigel Sewage - accompanied by Marc Blakewill and James Harris - has crated the Brexit Cookbook so you can take back control of your kitchen. We spoke to Blakewill and Harris about what inspired the culinary tome, underrated British dishes and forthcoming projects...

Hi James and Marc, how're you finding 2017 so far?

2017 has definitely been shorter than 2016 so far. Largely this has meant fewer celebrities we admire have had time to expire, although we’ve just lost Roger Moore. Politically it’s been fascinating: Trump has been the dignified, safe pair of hands as we all expected, France said “mais non” to Le Pen, May has executed numerous strong and stable u-turns and UKIP look as though they’ve taken a bet to win as few votes as possible.

Was the EU referendum itself the genesis for the book? Or have you wanted to tackle British cuisine for a while?

The genesis of the book was the wish to lampoon the rise of the Little Englander attitude. It has always been with us, of course, but with the rise of UKIP, the EU referendum and increasing antipathy directed at foreigners, it inculcated a strong desire to satirise it. Lovers of all things Anglo-Saxon will recognise that “inculcated” “desire” and “satirise” all come from Romance languages so perhaps let’s just say the way things were going just pissed us off.

Tell us about your collaborator, Nigel Sewage...

We were merely Sewage's scribes. This is why the book does not credit us as authors but “with Marc Blakewill and James Harris.” We were simply in the room with him.

The writing process was therefore straightforward. We’d strap Nigel to a gurney and show him flash cards of nice foreign food. On seeing, say, a picture of some bruschetta, his eyes would bulge, foam would seep to the corners of his mouth and he’d launch into a reasoned disquisition on the distinct demerits of each dish. We’d take notes, wipe the spittle from our laptops and show him another flash card. Thus the book was soon written.

One day, after he almost dissolved in his own bile, we had to take him to A&E where he was brilliantly looked after by a Romanian nurse and Nigerian doctor. 

If you HAD to eat certain non-British food, which would they be and why?


OK, if I absolutely had to….

Garlic mushrooms – it always reminds me of my happy peasant childhood in pre-war Italy. Or maybe that was someone else. Anyhow, they taste nice.

Main course
Chicken dopiaza – curry is now without doubt our national cuisine so a classic curry dish would have to be my main.

Tiramisu – it’s like an Irish coffee that’s been turned into a cake. What could be better than that?


This may be controversial in our post-Article 50 world, but onion soup could practically be British. After all, it's taking something out of the ground and boiling it to within an inch of its life. But the French make it taste good. There, I said it.

Main course
Paella is nuts. The Spanish put all sorts of nonsense it: chicken, prawns, chorizo, rabbit, duck, snail, diesel oil, old bits of metal... but the Spaniards make it taste good. There, I said it.

New York cheesecake. Obviously.

What do you think is the most under-appreciated British dish?

Marc - Bread and butter pudding. I remember my sister making it and thinking: “Why are you putting buttered bread into the oven? That’s not dessert. That’s just the wrong way to make toast.” It was, and still is, delicious. It should be on pub menus everywhere.

James - It may not have the sophistication of many a foreign dish, but I don't think you can beat a bit of beans on toast. If only every meal were as simple as putting something on something, perhaps we'd have the time to understand and appreciate the EU.

Which British culinary classic do you hate the most?

Marc – Liver and onions. Do I really need to say more?

James - I simply can't come to terms with black pudding. I get that cooked meat is bound to inadvertently contain a bit of the old red stuff, but anything intentionally, purposely and cheerfully made from blood should be encased in lead and buried under 12 feet of earth in case it comes back to life.

Apart from cuisine, what else do you fear/resent/worry about with the forthcoming Brexit?

That people who previously saw Britain as an island of pragmatic, outward-looking, good humoured people, will look upon us as being small-minded wallies who’ve cut our noses off to spite our collective face. And, most importantly, that people will no longer believe what is written on the side of a bus. Other than that, Brexit will be a glorious success.

What projects do you have coming in the pipeline?

We have just recorded a sitcom pilot for Audible called The Unpredictable World of Nostradamus. It’s about the exploits of a less-than-accurate soothsayer in sixteenth century France. Although he’s French we’ve given him a Cockney accent. So, that’s our bit for internationalism done. The sitcom should be available on Amazon/Audible later this year.

Now we've tackled Brexit, we feel we can take on any of the world's issues. So we're doing North Korea next. As with Brexit, we fully expect our book to turn the tide and you should see Kim Jong-In stepping down in favour of a parliamentary democracy within months.

Thanks James and Marc, visit for more info.

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