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Posted: 29 October 2012
A good pub chef has to be game for anything, and 10 head chefs from Shepherd Neame were given the chance to put their skills and versatility to the test at a ‘Fur and Feather’ game cookery workshop.
Held in the cookery school at K College in Tonbridge, the day gave the chefs the opportunity to learn more about the range of popular dishes that can be created using the abundance of game available in season from local farms and country estates.
The workshop started with a series of practical demonstrations, showing chefs how to produce a series of cuts from a deer carcass, as well as prepare game birds including pheasant, mallard and partridge for the oven.
After learning about the seasons when different game is available, and discussing the flavours and ingredients to use, the chefs, who all work in Shepherd Neame managed pubs, put their newfound knowledge to work.
A cook-off competition saw each chef given a selection of game and a mystery box of ingredients, and asked to create a dish for a pub menu.
The winner was Christopher Tomlinson of the George Hotel in Cranbrook, who cooked a venison steak served with potato and celeriac rosti, vegetables and a cherry jus. Runner up was Ellina Smith from the Wharf, Dartford, with pheasant breast stuffed with pheasant liver and wild mushrooms, and served with winter cabbage and bacon and a shallot game jus.
Simon Howlett, Shepherd Neame development chef, said: “Game dishes are very popular on pub menus, and are a great way to make the most of local and seasonal produce, which is one of the hallmarks of the food served in Shepherd Neame pubs.
“The aim of the game cookery workshop was to give our chefs more confidence when it comes to sourcing and cooking game, and the high quality of the dishes they produced shows we succeeded.”
The workshop was supported by Nestlé Professional, with Rob Marle, business development chef and Peter O' Brien, customer intimacy lead for the CHEF brand, in attendance.