Stand K061 was the place to be at The Game Fair from Friday 29th to Sunday 31st July. The Great Game Guide and Fisher UK hosted The Game Butchers’ Block with top chefs and game butchers putting on a display of talent on the demonstration stage.
The idea was simple: the butchers broke down the game and the chefs created dishes out of the result. Each demonstration was a sell-out to an enthusiastic crowd who enjoyed learning about the benefits of getting better acquainted with game.
Catherine Farinha, Director of The Chefs’ Forum who published The Great Game Guide, said: “From start to finish we were amazed how many people from all walks of the industry who came to see us. The butchers were so pleased to be able to demonstrate their craft and the chefs were able to demonstrate how easy it is to switch game for any other type of protein – and how nutritious and sustainable game is.”
Chef Exose Grant, Executive Chef at BLVD Manchester and a former Masterchef: The Professionals finalist, said: “I loved working with the game from Curtis Pitts and explaining why it’s so healthy, sustainable and popular. This is the right time to be cooking with game – it’s coming into season and deer levels are too high. It should be part of our diet.”
Game butcher Tim Hanks of award-winning Hanks’ Meat & Game in Ross-on-Wye, said: “Game gives you everything. It’s naturally lower in fat, it’s sustainable and it can be used in all the same ways that farmed meat can be used. It’s a no-brainer plus when you cook dishes like these great chefs it really shines. This was a top event and I loved being part of it.”
The shooting season starts officially on 12th August with plenty of grouse available this year after a poor season last year. The race will be on to get the first of the grouse onto menus on the day. Next up will be partridge at the beginning of September with pheasant starting at the beginning of October.
Both wild boar and deer are seeing increases in numbers and the amount of venison on the market is increasing as more and more estates find ways to get the meat to market.
Leading game larder manufacture Fisher UK is busier than ever with new builds. Jonathan Fisher, Managing Director, told The Great Game Guide: “Customers can be more and more confident in the game they buy thanks to more and more estates having a proper system installed. This means the carcasses and birds can be butchered and cooled as close to the estate as possible. This means it is in perfect condition when it enters the food chain.”
What the chefs cooked:
- Martyn Watkins of Laksa Shack in Cardiff – Wild Mallard Laksa (supplied by Willo Game)
- Darren Cooper, Chef Consultant – Wood pigeon with beetroot panna cotta (supplied by Willo Game)
- James Goss, Chef Patron at The Kings Arms – Wood pigeon breast with black pudding and blackberries (supplied by Curtis Pitts Deer Services)
- Exose Grant, Executive Chef at BLVD Manchester – Tandoori wood pigeon (supplied by Curtis Pitts Deer Services)
- Munayam Khan – Chef Patron at Raja Monkey – Partridge, potato and egg curry (supplied by Willo Game)
- Charlie Hibbert, Chef Director at Thyme – Venison salad with pickled prunes and horseradish (supplied by Curtis Pitts Deer Services)
- James Pilcher, Head Chef at The Ferry House – Venison schnitzel (supplied by Hanks’ Meat & Game)
- Becky Jam, Chef Patron at Brook House – Venison tagliata (supplied by Hanks’ Meat & Game)
- Ashleigh Farrand, Head Chef at The Kingham Plough – Roe deer Wellington (supplied by Hanks’ Meat & Game)
Photography and film by Jodie Rose Photography