Announcing the winners for the Eat Game Awards 2019

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The annual Eat Game Awards, in association with Taste of Game and Purdey, reward those who encourage the cooking and eating of game and wild British produce, whether they excel in retail or in impressive culinary achievement.
The nominees are chosen by the public.  The consumption of game is rising steadily in this country, helped greatly by restaurateurs serving game on their menus.

The awards, now in their second year, include 13 categories. The ‘Champion of Champions’ award is voted on by a panel of judges, the ‘Best Teacher’ award is voted on by BASC Schools’ Changer project. The other categories are decided by a public vote.

Winners of the Eat Game Awards 2019

Best RestaurantThe Caddy Man, Jedburgh

Described as a hidden gem, The Caddy Mann is situated in the heart of the Scottish Borders.  Seasonal ingredients are 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 or Lammermuir grouse breast.

 

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The Pheasant is a 17th-century coaching inn in the village of Highclere on the Hampshire and Berkshire border. Ryan and Billy Stacey took over the pub in July 2019 and have certainly made their mark. It is a favourite for shoot parties in the area. Ryan, who is head chef, is passionate about British produce.

Tom is a Scottish chef and the youngest Michelin star winner. Together with his wife Michaela, he owns The Kitchin in Edinburgh. Tom showcases high-end game with stunning dishes including roasted loin and braised haunch of roe deer from the Borders and a Borders’ game pithivier. Tom’s passion for game can be seen in his Meat and Game cookery book, in which Tom shows readers how to get the very best out of game. He pairs the beautiful game flavours with seasonal vegetables to create simple, fulfilling dishes. His philosophy is ‘from nature to plate’ influenced by Scotland’s natural larder.

Best Farmers MarketHadrian’s Game Larder, Hexham

Hadrian’s Game Larder owner, Silver Sheldon, has been working in the game industry for over 20 years as a butcher, game farmer, baker and small-scale processor. She has been attending farmers’ markets with her ‘For the love of game’ brand for seven years. On her stall you will find a wide range of local fresh game, sausages, burgers, Scotch eggs, pies and terrines. Silver has a personal mission to educate people about game and regularly attends school education days.

 

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Best Added Value ProductWild Meat Company, Woodbridge

The company, established in 1999, supplies healthy, natural meat from the Suffolk countryside – including venison, game birds, rabbit and squirrel. Products include, boned and stuffed partridge and pheasant, pigeon ballotine, two- and three- bird roasts, game roulade, venison wellington, mallard ballotine, sausages and burgers. Owners Robert Gooch and Paul Denny are proud of sourcing venison, game birds, rabbit and even squirrel entirely from farms and estates in east Suffolk.

Best Large RetailerWaitrose

For Waitrose and Partners, quality food is a way of life and it does not get any better than game. A wide range of game is marketed seasonally including pheasant strips, pheasant breasts, whole pheasants and partridge, and venison. The Christmas range last year included partridge canapes.

Best Small RetailerOwl Barn Larder

The Owl Barn Larder is part of Robinson Wild Foods owned by Mike Robinson. It specialises in producing the finest roe, fallow and muntjac deer for top restaurants and the public. It states: “sustainability and wild go together hand in hand, we work with nature, keeping the balance between man, environment and nature”.

Best ButcherHank’s Meat and Game

This is a family-run business with a simple ethos of providing good quality meats, from local suppliers. Animals are sourced locally from selected farms. The welfare, texture and flavour of the meat give customers the confidence that their food will be delicious every time and more importantly where it comes from. Butcher, Tim Hanks, grew up as a gamekeeper’s son and has always been interested in processing wild game. In season, they offer stuffed partridge, wild boar sausages and pheasant cushions, alongside a wide range of game including pigeon, venison, rabbit and mallard.

Game Hero Keith Watson, ‘Game for the table

Keith Watson is the founder of the Facebook page ‘Game for the table’. It’s a public group which promotes the use of game meat in today’s modern kitchen. It features photographs of prepared meals, recipes and videos of game meat dishes posted by game enthusiasts. The page showcases recipes and answers questions posed by the members. The page has over 22,000 followers from all over the world. Keith’s passion is deer management and he owns Keith’s High Seats.

Eat Game Awards 2019 winners

Adam Henson, James Horne and Tristan Prudden (Constable Burton Estate)

 

Winner of Winners 2018Tristan Prudden

Tristan was winner of 2018 Champion of Champions and has proved a popular winner by receiving the most votes over all the winners in 2018. Tristan is Head Chef at Constable Burton Hall in North Yorkshire. He aims to find new ways to cook and present game. He also shares ideas on how to use game at home with all visitors to Constable Burton Hall.

Scottish ChampionThe Caddy Man, Jedburgh

As above – best restaurant

Best TeacherMrs Sue Verspyck

Sue was awarded the Best Teacher award by Taste of Game for excelling at the challenge to get her students cooking game through the ‘Schools Game Changer Project’. Sue is an assistant faculty leader design at Harrogate Grammar.

Champion of Champions Mike Robinson

The Eat Game Awards judges voted unanimously to choose Mike Robinson as Champion of Champions this year. Mike, with his immense passion for wild game, makes for a great ambassador for this produce. He excels as a chef and is well known for his wild food cooking. Mike is executive chef at The Woodsman in Stratford-upon-Avon, and will soon join up with the Elder and the Jib Door Members Club, both in Bath. Mike’s popularity and respect were shown through the number of nominations he and his businesses received in the Best Chef, Best Restaurant and Game Hero categories. His new venture, the Owl Barn Larder, was also the winner of the best small retailer.

Annette Woolcock, head of the Taste of Game initiative, said of the Eat Game Awards 2019: “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 received 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.”