Axminster, Devon - For once you can't blame his classic organic placenta pot au feu for catching fire and burning to the ground Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Riverside Cottage cookery school.
Firemen who fought the former threshing barn blaze last night described a pungent smell 'like over-caramelised crème brûlée' wafting from the blaze as flames ripped through the Grade II-listed Devon erection.
This morning all that was left of the building was pork crackling-like flame damage to remaining support beams and a few scorched pots and pans.
"Totally devastated," the reality TV chef tweeted today, "not least because the fire destroyed all my precious exotic herbs grown locally by indigenous Devon tribesmen on recipe-specific EU agri-grants."
Last year local residents said they suspected Hugh of growing more than his fair share of marjoram, thyme and parsley cultivars following some rather wild parties in the now defunct barn.
Axminster allotment gardener Rusty Poldark turns 69 on Valentine's Day.