There’s Scottish success at the Eat Game Awards

Scotland’s regional moorland groups have scooped a top award at the prestigious Eat Game Awards 2021.

Winners in the Best Game Educator category, Scotland’s Regional Moorland Groups beat off strong competition from finalists Joe Mann, past winner of Teacher of the Year and the award for Best School Food in Devon and Jose Souto, senior chef lecturer Westminster Kingsway College and author of Venison & Feathers The Game Larder.

More than 11,000 votes were cast by the public across all award categories in this year’s Eat Game Awards.

Now in their fourth year, the awards organised and run by BASC’s Eat Game initiative, celebrate businesses and individuals that go the extra mile to promote and celebrate game.

Scotland’s regional moorland groups continue to champion game and to educate the public about eating game – among the most sustainable of all meats. The panel of expert judges were impressed by two of the group’s flagship initiatives in particular – the ‘Estates that Educate’ project and the ‘Game for Giving’ programme.

Lianne MacLennan, national coordinator of Scotland’s Regional Moorland Groups said: ‘We are absolutely thrilled at winning Best Game Educator as we were up against strong competition from across the whole of the UK. Congratulations to Joe Mann and Jose Souto for being very worthy finalists in the category.

‘It was great to meet some of the top influencers in the game industry at the gala evening and sample some delicious game dishes.

‘So many organisations are now doing their bit to help spread the word about game and its sustainability and health credentials. Game is locally sourced and sustainably harvested which allows you to trace exactly which moor or hill it came from and results in extremely low food mileage.

‘Game also offers a way of life to those living in rural communities be it gamekeepers, butchers, chefs and restaurants so it’s vitally important our work to educate the public on this wider economic benefit continues.’

Estates that Educate offers school pupils a day on a Scottish estate with gamekeepers, shepherds and ghillies learning about traditional moorland management, moorland biodiversity and Scottish game. Children have also been offered the opportunity to cook with game and learn butchery skills. Hundreds of children take part in the events every year.

The Game for Giving initiative started in 2016, donating game-based meals to local charities, community groups and vulnerable people throughout the season. From its initial roll-out in the Angus Glens, the initiative now also encompasses Grampian, Strathdearn and Speyside. This season 3,000 meals using Scottish game such as pheasant, grouse and partridge have been donated through the scheme.

Amongst the winners in this year’s Eat Game awards included Kensington’s Michelin starred restaurant Kitchen W8, Chef Pascal offering private catering including delicious game dishes and supermarket Aldi for its innovative range of game products.

The Eat Game Awards winners were announced at a gala dinner held last Thursday at the Nave Grand Junction London, hosted by BBC Countryfile presenter and Country Food Trust patron Adam Henson.