Chefs hail grouse as de­mand for lo­cal in­gre­di­ents soars

Shooting Gazette - - Shoot brief­ing -

The Gift of Grouse cam­paign has joined forces with lead­ing Scot­tish chefs to en­cour­age lo­cal ho­tels and res­tau­rants to in­clude grouse on their menus as the de­mand for lo­cally sourced food con­tin­ues to grow.

Prior to the re­cent Scot­tish Game Fair at Scone Palace in Perthshire, chefs in­clud­ing An­drew Fair­lie, Ca­rina Con­tini, Mar­tin Wishart and Mark Green­away signed a let­ter un­der­lin­ing their pas­sion for grouse and its “hill to plate” cre­den­tials. The let­ter states:

“We are proud to be lead­ing the call for more grouse to be used in Scot­tish res­tau­rants. To­day’s con­sumers want to know the prove­nance of their meat and they want to eat lo­cally sourced food. Grouse is unique – a lo­cally reared, free-range meat of­fer­ing trace­abil­ity from hill to plate, which is also low in fat and high in cal­cium, iron and pro­tein. It is a gift for dis­cern­ing din­ers wish­ing to eat only Scot­land’s finest food.

“Es­tates to­day are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing huge de­mand from na­tional and in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors keen to come and shoot some of the world’s most chal­leng­ing quarry in some of the world’s most glo­ri­ous scenery. This is a time-hon­oured tra­di­tion syn­ony­mous with ru­ral Scot­land. But are Scot­tish res­tau­rants serv­ing grouse? Only a few. We would urge all Scot­tish res­tau­rants to make the most of this won­der­ful re­source and to put grouse back on the menu come Au­gust 12.”

Within a state­ment from The Gift of Grouse, An­drew Fair­lie, owner of twoMiche­lin-starred restau­rant An­drew Fair­lie at Gle­nea­gles, said: “We serve grouse every year in sea­son and it’s ex­tremely pop­u­lar with our cus­tomers. We tend to serve it as a clas­sic dish with­out too much to dis­tract from the flavour of the meat. Ac­com­pa­ny­ing the grouse will be sea­sonal veg­eta­bles and gar­nishes. Our game sup­plier is Ochil Foods and we are for­tu­nate that they are only five miles away from the restau­rant; here in Perthshire we are sur­rounded by grouse shoots so we are very lucky to be able to source game from nearby.”

Chef Ca­rina Con­tini, who co-owns award­win­ning Con­tini Ge­orge Street, Can­non­ball Restau­rant & Bar and the Scot­tish Café with hus­band Vic­tor, said: “Grouse is quite sim­ply a Scot­tish trea­sure. If you love food, the start of the grouse sea­son on the Glo­ri­ous Twelfth is a date to be keenly an­tic­i­pated. I know from speak­ing to game­keep­ers and farm­ers that grouse is a great, sus­tain­able choice, and it also tastes fan­tas­tic.” Mark Green­away will also be serv­ing grouse at his epony­mous restau­rant in Ed­in­burgh. “Chefs up and down the coun­try get ex­cited about the Glo­ri­ous Twelfth. Grouse is a rich meat that owes its flavour to the heather that the birds graze on. It is one of the last re­main­ing truly wild meats that we eat.”

Mar­tin Wishart, a chef and restau­ra­teur who owns a num­ber of es­tab­lish­ments across Scot­land and who has con­trib­uted a grouse recipe for The Gift of Grouse web­site, said: “Scot­land has a rich and var­ied larder and I am pas­sion­ate about cooking with Scot­tish pro­duce when­ever pos­si­ble. I look for­ward to the start of the grouse sea­son with much an­tic­i­pa­tion, as grouse will be a favourite across our three res­tau­rants come the Glo­ri­ous Twelfth. I would en­cour­age as many lo­cal res­tau­rants to serve grouse as it is a true Scot­tish del­i­cacy.”

For more in­for­ma­tion on The Gift of Grouse, visit giftof­

roast grouse, which is high in cal­cium and iron, has less than a third of the fat and twice the pro­tein of roast chicken.

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