GAME MEAT has the potential to be the next Scottish Food and Drink success story.

That was the message from the Angus Glens Moorland Group's ‘Game from the Glen’ celebration event held on Rottal Estate in Glen Clova last week.

Around 80 restaurateurs and hoteliers from across Scotland enjoyed venison, grouse, rabbit and partridge fresh from the hills of Angus, with drinks provided by local artisan gin maker, The Gin Bothy.

Cookery demonstrations were conducted by Paul Fettes, former chef at The Three Chimneys in Skye, and Eden Sinclair of Sinclair’s Larder and Sinclair’s Kitchen in Edzell and Forfar.

Local gamekeeper Bruce Cooper described the journey of wild Angus game from ‘hill to plate’, and suggested that game could and should be on more Scottish dinner tables, given the right support and a clear supply strategy. Back in 2015, Mintel earmarked game as one of the top markets to watch after sales rose 9% between 2013 and 2014.

“We have lots of quality game growing wild in our glens of Angus but, at the moment, game is under-utilised,” said Mr Cooper. “It is great to see chefs using it and restaurants being ‘game champions’ but we also need to get it into more Scottish houses.

“People eat beef, fish and lamb but not enough people know about game. It has great flavour, it is wild and is healthier in comparison to many meats and poultry," he claimed. “We need to make it affordable and more restaurants and butchers can be working directly with estates to get it processed and out there for folk to try. It could be a real Scottish success if we manage to get it into shoppers’ baskets.”

Angus Glens Moorland Group members handed out oven-ready game with recipe cards, to encourage attendees to go home and cook with the products. Local food action charities were also in attendance, with estates preparing to provide oven-ready meals to those shouldering the affects of poverty or illness over the festive period.

Chef Paul Fettes, who has worked in Scotland, England and Japan, said that game will be ripe for growth as soon as more people switch on to its many qualities: “Scottish game is a prime example of the wonderful ingredients we have to work with as chefs. It is versatile, healthier and more exciting than the more mainstream options and an important part of Scottish cuisine’s identity. It should be a fundamental part of any menu at home or dining out.”

Chef Eden Sinclair agreed: “I think part of developing game is about education and that means getting game on the butcher’s front shelf. As soon as I put grouse on the menu, the demand is there. There are people who don’t know where to go to buy it, though, and that needs to change.”