The Last Parsnip

A Truly Unbelievable Dining Experience from Chef Bryce Chartwell



The 1974 Baltic Gastronomy Society’s annual meeting famously selected this dish to be the world’s most difficult recipe. And for good reason.

Developed under strict instructions from President Theodore Roosevelt himself, the “BBBB”,  as it came to be known, was attempted several times at Camp David during the early Twentieth Century. Renowned chef Alfred Schwartz, spent over fourteen months perfecting the dish. Finally, in October 1908, at the twenty-seventh attempt, the President declared the result “moderately acceptable”. Chef Schwartz retired a broken man, barely able to function in a kitchen.

Since those dark days most chefs have shied away from what was considered to be an impossible challenge. However, in recent years a handful of enterprising restaurants have once again risen to the opportunity. Naturally, The Last Parsnip is once of them. We have successfully reproduced the great dish on several occasions, with minimal fatalities.



1 quail (small)

1 poussin (average)

1 turkey (large)

1 bison (young adult)

12 onions

17 carrots

12 sticks of celery

5 cloves of heirloom garlic

Fresh thyme

3 pints of pheasant stock

5 loaves of ancient grain bread

13 sticks of organic butter

Salt & pepper




First prepare the bird stuffing:

1. Chop the onions in 5/8 inch segments

2. Chop the carrots longitudinally then transversely into golden segments

3. Slice the celery appropriately.

4. Chop the bread coarsely (do not over-manipulate)

5. Combine the onions, carrots, celery, bread and stock in a large bowl


Next stuff the birds and the bison:

1. Remove giblets and clean each bird thoroughly

2. Pat dry with care

3. Stuff the quail until the body cavity is about three quarters full.

4. Open the cavity of the poussin using grade 2 cutting shears

5. Insert the quail, maintaining an upright posture

6. Fill around the quail with two handfuls of stuffing

7. Sew up the poussin cavity using surgical thread

8. Repeat steps 4-7 with the poussin inserted into the turkey

9. Repeat steps 4-7 with the turkey inserted into the bison (varying amounts as appropriate)


Finally cook the assembled BBBB:

1. Lift the bison onto a large spit roast

2. Cook, turning and basting, for at least twelve hours, until the bison meat is “tender and succulent to the touch”

3. Remove from the fire, and let rest for twenty-seven minutes

4. Serve immediately


Inner Cooking Notes:

Always use a freshly procured and slaughtered bison, ideally wild for the best taste.

Lift the bison with the appropriate equipment, maintaining a good posture throughout.

Homemade pheasant-stock is strongly preferred, though store-bought is acceptable as a last resort.


Key Facts

Preparation Time: 3-6 hours

Cooking Time: 12 hours

Difficulty: Extreme

Known Fatalities: At least fifteen