Everyone was “game” for a good time at the latest meeting of The Chefs’ Forum at Calcot Manor in Tetbury.

The game-themed event kicked off with a Easy Jose coffee and canapé reception, during which guests had the chance to network and meet top suppliers. The delicious bites were prepared by Calcot Manor Head Chef Michael Benjamin, with the help of students from HIT Training and Gloucestershire College.

Gloucestershire College StudentsMichael said: “It was a real pleasure to be in the kitchen alongside these students today. They worked very hard and should be very proud of what they have achieved. They show great promise and I am sure they will all have bright futures. I am confident that the industry has a bright future in the hands of these stars of the future.”

Francesco DemoFollowing the reception there was a grouse cook-off, with Barry Atkins, a chef from Calcot Manor, going head-to-head with Francesco Volgo, Head Chef at Calcot’s sister hotel, Barnsley House.

Francesco was voted the winner by fellow chefs and won a copy of The Game Larder by Jose Souto.

Michael Benjamin

The guests were treated to more delicious canapés accompanied by Nyetimber English Sparkling Wine and a west country cocktail of ‘Damson in Distress’ – A Damson gin and ginger beer combo created by Wiltshire Liqueurs and Bradleys Juices.

Michael then joined forces with Annette Cole from ‘A Taste of Game’ to give a talk on how to shoot, prepare and cook various species of game, before chefs and students took part in a game identification quiz.

A tour of Calcot’s top of the range kitchens showcased fantastic Adande refrigerated draw units and impressive Charvet Ranges to the visiting chefs.

Piero Stobbia Shooting WinnerThere was also a fantastic clay pigeon shooting competition held at the event with prizes awarded for the best and most improved: Piero Stobbia of Bath University won best shot and a copy of Too Many Chiefs Only One Indian by Sat Bains. Ben Townley from Wild Garlic Restaurant & Rooms won a copy of Graham Garrett’s ‘Sex & Drugs & Sausage Rolls’ for most improved – Both prizes were kindly donated by Face Publications. The Chefs’ Forum members can get £5 off Graham Garrett’s book until the end of November – quote ‘CHEFSFORUM’ at the check-out.

Founder of The Chefs’ Forum, Catherine Farinha, said: “At the heart of The Chefs’ Forum is the desire to celebrate wonderful local and seasonal produce as well as the talents of local chefs and students, and this event has allowed us to do just that.

“It has been great to see the wide variety of game available, and the many different ways of preparing it, and I hope that people have been inspired by what they have seen today.

“I would like to thank everyone who took part, as well as all of our sponsors.”

Photography by Damien Lovegrove: