Having been asked to wear black tie, the unsuspecting diners were given dog masks and collars and sat down to a ‘dog’s dinner’ dished up in dog bowls. The three-course dinner was set to be an “experience for the senses” and comprised handcrafted, fresh recipes suitable for both humans and dogs. Watkins wanted to make the point dog food doesn’t have to be a “mundane eating experience” with dry kibble everyday.
Watkins founded fresh raw dog food company Poppy’s Picnic, to provide natural, additive-free meals for his Miniature Schnauzer Poppy that he couldn’t find anywhere else.
He said: “Sadly, over 50% of dogs in the UK are obese, and many are dying from cancer and diabetes. We know that highly processed food is a contributory factor in human health problems, and the same goes for dogs. This was a massive inspiration to me when I set up Poppy’s Picnic and why I used my appearance on Come Dine With Me to spread the word that fresh is best.
“My heart pounds every time I think about the filming. I needn’t have worried, as all was forgiven by my fellow contestants as both couples now feed their dogs fresh, raw food. By appearing on a nationally loved TV show such as Come Dine With Me, I knew that the diets and health of thousands of dogs could be improved.”
For the show he teamed up with Emma Rutherford, a functional canine dietary consultant, who he met at a dog show, to appear on the programme and showcase that dogs should eat fresh food too.
Fellow contestant, Kelly Houghton, said: “It’s definitely not what I was expecting from a sophisticated dinner party. However, having spent the week with Dylan and experiencing his love, passion and dedication to dogs first hand, I was sold. We are now the happy owners of our own Miniature Schnauzer, and having previously known nothing about dog food, there was no way I was going to be feeding her anything else.”
The Bristol-based episode of Couples Come Dine With Me airs on 12 February at 17:00 on Channel 4.
The Come Dine With Me menu
A Dog’s Dinner
‘Give a dog a Bone’ Broth
Golden bone broth made with chicken bones, fresh turmeric, shitake mushrooms,
garlic and a hit of lime
And (for humans only) a big French seeded baguette!
Canine Koftas with Golden ‘Retriever’ Chips and ‘Walk in the park’ Tabouli
Minced lamb with cumin seeds
Sweet Potato Chilli Chips
Tabouli with zesty lemon. KAPOW!
Coconut Ice Cream Treat with ‘Who’s a clever Poppy’ cookie
Coconut ice with woof cream and berries
A Lavender and Poppy seed cookie