Having grown up on a farm in the north of England, game was a seasonal regularity on our family's dinner table; pheasant or duck during the autumn months, and venison and rabbit on the odd occasion, too. Game is one of the most sustainable sources of protein available – they don't have the carbon footprint associated with the cost of farming cows, sheep, pigs and the like. The rabbit is one of the most populous land mammals in the country – it would make sense to eat more of it! In Scotland, deer populations are out of control in some areas and need to be culled to protect the local ecosystems. It's not just the sustainability of game that makes it great though, because it's wild it tastes better.
Some of my fondest memories as a cook were my years working at The Kitchin in Edinburgh. The restaurant is a famous institution for seasonal food, and the game season was the best time of the year. Grouse, duck, teal, partridge, rabbit, woodcock, snipe, venison and hare are some highlights of the menu that spring to mind. I was proud to have the position of saucier. Each bird or beast had its own specific sauce made from its bones and carcass. At some points during the season I would have over 10 sauces to make each day! I loved every minute of it, and my passion for cooking game endures to this day.