Tributes for TV chef Clarissa Dickson-Wright

Clarissa Dickson-Wright. Picture: Jane Barlow
Clarissa Dickson-Wright. Picture: Jane Barlow
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Celebrity chef Clarissa Dickson Wright ordered Thai fishcakes from her death bed in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

The larger-than-life gourmet, who died at the weekend, aged 66, was true to her fine dining roots right to the end and ordered the delicacy to be delivered to her bed at the ERI in the days before she passed away.

Clarissa Dickson-Wright, who has died, aged 66. Pic: Justin Spittle

Clarissa Dickson-Wright, who has died, aged 66. Pic: Justin Spittle

The star, best known as one of television’s culinary duo Two Fat Ladies, along with the late Jennifer Paterson, had been in hospital since the beginning of the year.

Edinburgh chef Tony Singh was among those paying tribute. He said: “Clarissa will be sorely missed. Her fun, feistiness and love for what she liked to cook and teach people about is what good food and great hospitality should be about.”

Ms Dickson Wright was born in London in 1947 and originally worked as a barrister, being the youngest person to be called to the Bar at the age of 21.

However, after struggling with alcoholism, her career was cut short and she came to Edinburgh to work as a cook at St James’s club.

She also ran the Cooks Book Shop, in the Grassmarket, before being discovered by producer Patricia Llewellyn, who introduced her to Paterson before the pair were put together for the successful Two Fat Ladies show in 1996.

Ms Dickson Wright would squeeze into the sidecar of Paterson’s motorbike and travel to different locations to cook up calorific recipes but the hit show was brought to an end when Paterson died after being diagnosed with cancer, in 1999, aged 71.

Ms Llewellyn said: “Clarissa was a marvellous cook and hugely knowledgable about food and food history.

“She possessed a formidable intelligence, and held strong opinions, a powerful combination that made her a commanding presence on television. She had a fiery temper. We called her Krakatoa on location, because if you didn’t notice the rumbling you could find yourself in trouble.”

David Clark, 68, owner of Clark’s Fishmongers, in Inveresk, near Musselburgh, said Ms Dickson Wright had become “a very good friend” and regular customer after moving to the village 20 years ago. He was delighted he was able to ensure the acclaimed and forthright television chef was well catered for.

Mr Clark said: “She was very fond of my daughter-in-law’s Thai fishcakes – one of her friends came in and collected them for her.

“She would come into the shop and she was always a pleasure to serve. She was very down to earth – she would share her cooking tips with any customers that were there.

“She was very popular around the village. It’s a very sad time. She’s going to be a big miss.”

Ms Dickson Wright recently said she was proud of her achievements.

“I’ve had a fantastic life and I’ve done everything I could have wanted to do and more”, she said.