Chefs hail grouse as demand for local ingredients soars
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 giftofgrouse.com.
roast grouse, which is high in calcium and iron, has less than a third of the fat and twice the protein of roast chicken.