Cornish chefs take on shooting challenge

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.”

“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 .” Said Richard Huxley of Cornwall Food & Drink

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.