Awards celebrate game to eat

This year’s Eat Game Award winners have been crowned at a glittering dinner and ceremony in London.

The awards marked the culmination of a national search to find businesses and individuals championing the use of British wild game.

More than 11,000 votes were cast by the public, with the shortlisted businesses and individuals in each category going forward to be reviewed by a panel of expert judges.

The awards are organised and run by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation’s (BASC) Eat Game initiative, which promotes the nutritious, taste and sustainability benefits of British wild game.

The ceremony, hosted by rural TV presenter Adam Henson, announced the winners of eight categories including best small game retailer, best game restaurant/pub and best game butcher.

As well as being named champion in their category, each winner received a £1,000 prize awarded by the category sponsors. An overall winner was crowned Champion of Champions in a category sponsored by BASC.

Annette Woolcock, Eat Game Awards co-ordinator and BASC’s head of wild food, said: “Huge congratulations to all our worthy winners and to everyone who was nominated.

“Thank you to all those people who took the time to nominate the businesses and individuals who they thought should be recognised for doing an outstanding job in the game meat sector.

“Consumer trends and preferences are in favour of local, seasonal, healthy meat. BASC’s Eat Game initiative supports these trends and exhibits exactly how British game can continue to grow and be celebrated.”

Host and Country Food Trust patron Adam Henson added: “The winners represent the best of the best of British game and I was delighted to play a part in recognising their role by presenting the Eat Game Awards.

“The awards give game meat a platform from which its wide array of benefits can be showcased and from there it can be tried and enjoyed by a whole new audience.

“Wild game is wonderful and to see it celebrated in such a positive way is excellent.”

The winner of the Champion of Champions category was Billy Wyatt, founder of the Giving up the Game Facebook group. Started in 2016, the group is an incredible source of information, with members sharing butchery and cooking methods. It encourages people to try game for the first time and now has over 24,000 followers.

Billy said: “It is such a great honour, thank you to the judges and all who nominated me. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine the Facebook group growing as large as it has or that I would be receiving this award. Wild game is such a fantastic asset and I am just delighted that through the power of social media we can reach so many people.”

The full list of winners is:

Best Game Restaurant or Pub – Kitchen W8, London

Best Game Cook/Chef – Chef Pascal

Best Small Game Retailer – Deer Box, Berkshire / Wiltshire

Best Large Game Retailer – Aldi

Best Game Butcher – Hanks’ Meat and Game, Herefordshire

Best Game Added Value Product – The Wyre Pie Company’s venison pie, Worcestershire

Best Game Influencer – Billy Wyatt’s Giving up the Game

Best Game Educator – Scotland’s Regional Moorland Groups

Champion of Champions – Billy Wyatt’s Giving up the Game

For more information on the winners, those shortlisted and the awards visit the Eat Game Awards website.

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