The winners have been announced for the Eat Game Awards 2019, in association with Taste of Game and Purdey, celebrating the very best of wild British produce
The Eat Game Awards 2019, in association with Taste of Game and Purdey, celebrates the best of wild British produce. Now in its second year, there are 13 categories to toast the best pubs, markets, chefs and restaurants championing British game. And The Field was delighted to sponsor Best Added Value Product. Here are the 2019 winners.
There is no better time to be cooking with your own game stocked in the freezer. Take inspiration from The Field’s top 10 best pheasant recipes.
EAT GAME AWARDS 2019
The winners of the Eat Game Awards 2019 have been announced. From Best Restaurant to Game Hero and Champion of Champions, all are British game’s greatest advocates. Despite the awards ceremony being cancelled in line with government advice, the winners were announced over social media.
Annette Woolcock, head of the Taste of Game initiative, said: “Under the current circumstances it is a joy to still be able to celebrate and reward those businesses that care about truly wild British produce. Those that go the extra mile in the knowledge that you cannot beat wild game for sustainability, health and taste.”
Dan Jago, Chairman of Purdey, said: “Purdey and Taste of Game receieved an incredible number of nominations this year and those that went through to the final fully deserve their success and recognition. The Awards acknowledge wild game as a part of our heritage and there could not be a better time to support our small businesses; butchers, farm shops and game producers who are creating new ways for us all to enjoy wild game, particularly in these difficult times. Congratulations should go to everyone who was nominated.”
THE 2019 WINNERS
The Champion of Champions award was voted on by a panel of judges. The Best Teacher award was voted on by BASC Schools’ Changer project. The other categories were decided by public vote.
BEST RESTAURANT & SCOTTISH CHAMPION: The Caddy Man, Jedburgh
Found in the heart of the Scottish borders, The Caddy Man showcases seasonal ingredients sourced from surrounding farms and local suppliers. Game dishes include wild rabbit confit with smoked partridge, Borders’ roe deer, game pie, seared Borders’ wood pigeon and Lammermuir grouse breast.
BEST PUB: The Pheasant, Newbury
A 17th-century coaching inn in Highclere on the Hampshire and Berkshire border, The Pheasant is a favourite for shoot parties. Owned by Ryan and Billy Stacey, Ryan is head chef and his menus are inspired by the high-quality, local ingredients. Game dishes include smoked pheasant, bacon, chicory and apple salad.
BEST CHEF: Tom Kitchin, Edinburgh
Scottish chef and the youngest Michelin star winner, Tom Kitchin owns Edinburgh restaurant The Kitchin with his wife Michaela. The high-end game dishes include braised haunch of roe deer from the Borders and a Borders’ game pithivier. His Meat and Game cookery book also showcases his philosophy, ‘from nature to plate influenced by Scotland’s natural larder.
BEST FARMERS MARKET: Hadrian’s Game Larder, Hexham
Owner of Hadrian’s Game Larder, Silver Sheldon, has attended farmers’ markets with her ‘for the love of game’ brand for seven years, using as much local produce as possible. Her stall features a wide range of fresh game, sausages, burgers, Scotch eggs, pies and terrines. Silver also regularly attends school education days.
BEST ADDED VALUE PRODUCT: Wild Meat Company, Woodbridge
Winners of Best Small Retailer in last year’s Awards, the Wild Meat Company are proud to source their game entirely from farms and estates in east Suffolk. Established by owners Robert Gooch and Paul Denny in 1999, their products include pigeon ballotine, two- and three-bird roasts, game roulade, venison wellington, sausages and burgers.
BEST LARGE RETAILER: Waitrose
Waitrose and Partners market a wide range of game seasonally, including pheasant strips, pheasant breasts, whole pheasants and partridge and venison. Their Christmas range last year included partridge canapés.
BEST SMALL RETAILER: Owl Barn Larder
Part of Robinson Wild Foods owned by Mike Robinson, the Owl Barn Larder specialises in producing the finest roe, fallow and muntjac deer to top restaurants and the public. Their £50 venison boxes include pave steaks, shoulder, striploin, mince, diced cuts and fillets.
BEST BUTCHER: Hank’s Meat and Game
Family-run Hank’s Meat and Game has the simple ethos of providing good quality meats from local suppliers, with their animals sourced locally from selected farms. In season, they offer stuffed partridge, wild boar sausages and pheasant cushions as well as a wide range of game including pigeon, venison, rabbit and mallard.
GAME HERO: Keith Watson, ‘Game for the table’
Keith Watson founded the Facebook page ‘Game for the table’, a public group promoting game. The group features photographs of prepared meals as well as recipes and how-to videos, and is a place where game enthusiasts can ask and answer questions. The page has 22,000 followers from all over the world.
WINNER OF WINNERS 2018: Tristan Prudden
Tristan Prudden won the most votes of all the 2018 winners. Head Chef at Constable Burton Hall in North Yorkshire, Tristan aims to find new ways to cook and present game, and shares ideas on how to use game at home with all visitors to Constable Burton Hall.
BEST TEACHER: Mrs Sue Verspyck
Assistant faculty leader design at Harrogate Grammar, Sue was awarded Best Teacher by Taste of Game for encouraging her students to cook game through the ‘Schools Game Changer Project’. Three of her pupils won the 2019 ‘game with a modern twist’ competition.
CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS: Mike Robinson
The Eat Game Awards judges voted unanimously for Mike Robinson as Champion of Champions. Known for his cooking with wild food, Mike is executive chef at The Woodsman in Stratford-upon-Avon and is soon to join the Elder and the Jib Door Members Club, both in Bath. He and his businesses receieved many nominations across the categories and his new venture, Owl Barn Larder, won Best Small Retailer.
For more information about the Eat Game Awards 2019 and the winners, visit their website.