Hunting & gathering - the Gamebird Food Festival is back for 2016!
Some of New Zealand’s best restaurants are again offering game bird hunters the opportunity to have their bag professionally cooked during the 2016 Game Bird Food Festival.
The festival, which has been running for more than decade, begins with the opening of the game bird hunting season on May 7.
Restaurants from Kaitaia to Invercargill are taking part in the Fish & Game initiative to promote the variety and quality of wild harvested game. Hunters can take birds they have harvested into a participating restaurant and have it prepared and served.
“A professionally cooked meal of delicious game birds you have harvested yourself –what’s not to like?” says Fish & Game’s national communication manager Don Rood.
“Game birds are the ultimate in free range food. They have grown up in the wild without chemical additives and provide lean, tasty meat. The restaurants which are taking part in the festival are keen supporters of the idea of cooking a meal their guests have foraged for themselves”, Don Rood says.
The game bird hunting season runs from May 7 to August 28, with hunters who have a 2016 Fish & Game licence able to pursue ducks, pheasant and quail.
“Hunting is still very much a part of New Zealand life and has a proud tradition in this country. For generations, people have prided themselves on being able to put game on the table to feed their families and friends.
“The Game Bird Food Festival offers the opportunity to be part of that tradition,” he says.
“There is a lot of interest at the moment in free range food and foraging and gathering that food for yourself. The game bird hunting season allows foraging fans to take advantage of Nature’s supermarket.”
Successful hunters who want to enjoy the Game Bird Food Festival can take their bag into a participating restaurant and have it cooked and served to them.
But as Don Rood points out, there are a few conditions hunters need to take heed of.
“The birds you present to the restaurant have to be the very best and in top condition. They need to be carefully plucked and cleaned – oven ready in other words!” he says.
“Look carefully at the birds you have bagged and select only the prime ones. Avoid any with shot damage and then devote extra time and attention to preparing them for the table.
“There are some very fine chefs taking part in the festival, people who pride themselves on their skill and reputation who insist on serving only the very best fare to their guests.
“Make sure your reputation as a hunter is equal to the challenge of having these top chefs prepare your dish to perfection,” Don Rood says.
Details of the Game Bird Food Festival and participating restaurants can be found here: www.gamebirdfoodfestival.co.nz