A group of Cornwall chefs swapped their kitchens for the countryside for the day as part of a campaign to encourage more people to eat game meat.
Sixteen chefs from across the county got together to take part in a clay pigeon shooting challenge at Colquite House, Washaway, near Bodmin.
It was organised by staff from Country Sports South West (CSSW) and Cornwall Food & Drink to mark the launch of a new campaign to encourage more people to eat locally-sourced wild game meat. The campaign supports Taste of Game, a national promotion run by the UK’s largest shooting organisation; the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC).
Game meat is an increasingly important part of the Cornwall chef’s repertoire. The clay shoot brought the chefs together to highlight the link between shooting and wild game meat.
The regional game food campaign is being run by Country Sports South West. Development staff will create and develop new opportunities for game food suppliers and shoots and organise game cookery demonstrations aimed at visitors. In addition, CSSW will help to promote regional game recipes, chefs, restaurants, gastro pubs, game suppliers and shoots via a consumer website and marketing programme.
Country Sports South West is a £1.6 million tourism project aimed at promoting the South West region as a premier tourism destination for country sports. The project is being delivered by BASC.
Annette Cole, from Country Sports South West, said: “The aim of the chefs’ clay shooting challenge was to highlight the link between shooting and eating game. We talked about the importance of sourcing game locally and the potential that country sports have to bring much-needed tourism funds into rural areas all year-round.”
“Shooting is worth £270 million annually to the South West economy. We are working to make the shooting and eating of game even more of a draw to the area.”
Cornwall Food & Drink brings together the county’s food and drink providers.
Director Ruth Huxley said: “Game meat is a sustainable and good value food, which both consumers and chefs seem to want to know more about. Home cooks are particularly interested in learning how to prepare and make the most of these meats and the series of demonstrations by professional chefs that we have run at our events in association with Country Sports South West have proved popular .”
The winner of the contest was Ben Palmer, head chef of The Plough at Duloe, who recently competed on MasterChef: The Professionals. Other chefs who took part included TV chef Paul Ainsworth, who runs restaurants Number 6 and Rojano’s in Padstow, Michelin-starred Chris Eden of the Driftwood restaurant in Portscatho and Jack Stein, son of Rick Stein and development chef at Stein’s restaurants.
The chefs were also treated to a lunch of pheasant and venison provided by local game food suppliers, along with other local produce from some of Cornwall Food & Drink’s members.
The chefs who attended were:
Nigel Tabb, head chef of Tabb’s Restaurant, Truro
Ben Palmer, head chef of The Plough, Duloe
Andy Chown, senior sous chef of Fifteen Cornwall
Olly Jackson, head chef of New Yard Restaurant, Trelowarren, Helston
Chris Eden, head chef of Driftwood Hotel, Portscatho
Paul Ainsworth, runs Number 6 Restaurant, Padstow and Rojano’s in Padstow
John Walton, head chef of Number 6 Restaurant, Padstow
Paul Ripley, head chef of Rick Stein’s Seafood Bar, Falmouth
Neil Haydock, head chef of Watergate Bay Hotel
Adrian Oliver, head chef of Margot’s Bistro, Padstow
Graham Cuthbertson, head chef of Asquiths Restaurant, Lostwithiel
Shane Hodges, sous chef of Rose In Vale, St Agnes
Ken Symons, head chef of Oliver’s Eatery, Falmouth
Dale McIntosh, head chef of Bustophers Bar Bistro, Truro
Simon Stallard, head chef of Hidden Hut, Nr Portscatho, Truro
Jack Stein, development chef of Stein’s Restaurants, Cornwall
Photograph by Hamish Mitchell.