attends the Eat Game Awards 2018 at Boisdale of Canary Wharf on October 9, 2018 in London, England.

Help find Scotland’s champion for the Eat Game Awards

The search is on to find Scotland’s game hero as the Eat Game Award launches for the second time.

There are many heroes in world of game cuisine… chefs & cooks, farmers’ market stalls, producers, restaurants, pubs, butchers, estate managers and retailers… but game is still not getting the recognition it deserves.

Already in their second year, the national Eat Game Awards (EGA) are determined to change this.

Now’s your chance to nominate those who ensure we get to enjoy this tasty, steeped-in-provenance, countryside fayre.

Public nominations are now open until 1 November, after which voting on the shortlist starts.

Scotland’s Natural Larder  – a project set up by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and run in partnership with BASC Scotland, helps people reconnect with harvested or hunted local and natural produce – is, again, sponsoring the category Scottish Champion.

Dr Pete Moore of SNH hopes Scots will get involved with the awards initiative and nominate their favourites for all the award categories.

He said: ‘Scotland’s remarkable natural landscape is the perfect habitat for many wild game birds and deer. We’re very lucky to have this versatile natural larder on our doorstop. Integral to local communities, game plays more than one key role. It brings people together.

‘It gives them an opportunity to “eat local”. It provides jobs for many countryside workers. So, what better way to show our appreciation than vote for our favourite game players?

‘Last year, Sinclair’s Kitchen at Forfar came out on top as Scottish Champion. A tough act to follow, but we’re now on the hunt for the next Scottish Champ.’

Sinclair’s Kitchen in Forfar took the Scottish champion title at the Eat Game Awards in 2018

People can be nervous around game, but there’s no need. There is no rule book. Chefs love that. Dishes that strike a chord include Richard Corrigan’s treacle cured venison loin, Jeremy Lee’s salt mallard with pickled prunes, Tom Kitchin’s venison tartare and Gleneagles’ game bon bon, to mention but a few. Delicious game such as venison, rabbit, wood pigeon, goose, grouse, pheasant, partridge and hare are wild and versatile sources of local protein.

Chef proprietor of Michelin-starred Elystan Street and TV culinary expert, Phil Howard said: ‘Eating game is one of life’s no-brainers, given that it is so abundant in this country. It’s local, lived happily and it’s lean, nutritious and cheap.

‘It is seasonal and, purely from an eating point of view, works so incredibly well with the earthy flavours of autumn and winter vegetables – given a lift with perky preserves of elderberries and jellies. Game is also quite often not presented in plastic.’

The Eat Game Awards celebrate the diversity, creativity and enterprise in the wild game world and they’re encouraging people to engage, spread the word and, most of all, reap the rewards and pleasures of eating game.

The Eat Game Awards (EGAs) were established in 2018 by three dedicated game advocates – James Horne, chairman of Purdey and founder of Guns on Pegs, Annette Woolcock of Taste of Game and Ranald Macdonald, founder of award-winning Scottish restaurant group, Boisdale.

Now in their second year, not only are the EGAs an original and national way of celebrating the innovators, creators and revolutionaries in the wild game world, they also give those less familiar with game the chance to get to know it better and the confidence to include it in their regular culinary repertoires.

The EGAs bring together the best chefs, farmers’ market stalls, creative producers, restaurants, pubs, butchers, estate managers and retailers in the country, all nominated and voted for by the general public.

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Scotland’s Natural Larder is at the forefront of Scottish efforts to encourage people to make the most of our locally-sourced and sustainably harvested and hunted wild food.