Print this page

Two of Scotland’s iconic products team up to give Eat Scottish Venison Day 2010 an extra push

September 2010

Scottish Venison and Glengoyne have joined together this year to promote Eat Scottish Venison Day (4 September), with Chef Tom Lewis of Monachyle Mhor demonstrating, with two new dishes, how whisky and venison are a perfect partnership.

Visitors to Glengoyne Distillery’s launch event sampled the new recipes from Tom Lewis, along with award-winning Glengoyne 10 year old, the perfect accompaniment. Guests were also able to watch demonstrations by Tom, showcasing how easy it is to cook with venison.

Eat Scottish Venison Day and the website www.scottish-venison.info were first unveiled by the Scottish Venison Working Group, a marketing alliance of Scotland’s venison producers, in 2009 at Blair Castle,

This annual focus is designed to prompt chefs, caterers and food service companies, retail buyers and the general public to think about Scottish venison, to encourage them to ask for it, and to visit the website.

Scottish venison is increasing in popularity; so much so that one major processor is now importing 15,000 carcases to meet current demand.

Attending the launch, Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

“Scotland is a land rich in primary produce with a vibrant food and drink sector. Consumers associate Scottish produce with outstanding quality and taste, and they are becoming increasingly aware of what's available on their doorstep and the associated economic, health and environmental benefits.

“I am determined to enhance Scotland's reputation as a world leader for quality food and drink and Eat Scottish Venison Day will raise awareness of this iconic Scottish product. The Scottish deer management industry is important to our economy contributing about £105m each year and directly employing over 900 people.  A significant proportion of venison is now produced to Scottish Quality Wild Venison (SQWV) standards and it is one of healthiest products on the market. Initiatives like this help demonstrate to consumers that venison is an easy to cook, versatile and succulent food.

“Our ‘provenance on a plate’ toolkit encourages restaurants, pubs and cafes to show origin information on menus. This means that whether eating out or doing the weekly shop, consumers have a greater opportunity to choose fresh, seasonal produce – such as Scottish venison. I am pleased that the Working Group has succeeded in bringing together Scotland’s main producers of wild and farmed venison in a joint campaign to market Scottish venison.”

Peter Russell, Chairman of Ian Macleod Distillers, hosts of the launch at their Glengoyne Distillery said:

“Glengoyne and Scottish venison is the perfect partnership both in terms of taste and as quality iconic Scottish products. We are proud to be working with the Scottish Venison Working Group, further enhancing Glengoyne’s Real Taste of Malt, Real Taste of Food credentials.”

Richard Cooke, Vice Chairman, Scottish Venison Working Group, said:

“We are looking at a tremendous opportunity. Venison has some of the best qualities in terms of health and nutrition of any meat, and we have a market that literally cannot get enough, fuelled by continuous welcome mention on food and cookery programmes and by leading chefs. We also have a very strong local market being serviced through farmers’ markets, farm shops and local independent butchers. We need to capitalise on this, and one of the priorities of our Group now is to develop and bring forward ways where we can meet this demand and increase the value of this income stream to our rural economy. The potential is enormous.”

Tom Lewis, chef and owner, Monachyle Mhor, Balquiddher, said:

“Chefs have always recognised Scottish venison as a great product - delicious, nutritious, easy to cook, and perfect for creativity. It’s a very versatile meat that lends to all types of cooking, from exotic celebration meals to simple fare. Not only our local distillery, Glengoyne’s unpeated, natural taste is the perfect ingredient and accompaniment to the recipes, bringing out the best qualities and flavours of the venison.”

Tim Hughes, Chef Director, Caprice Holdings, said:

“Over the years that I have spent at the Caprice Group, I have noticed a significant change in customers’ tastes.  They are now very clued up about provenance, seasons and sustainability.  And some are intent on keeping trim, so very watchful of the fat and vitamin content of what they eat.  Scottish venison ticks the boxes, because it is a high quality free-range product, with very little fat, a high percentage of protein and, to boot, it is easy to cook.  We have it on the menus at many of our restaurants - The Ivy, J Sheekey, Le Caprice, Rivington Grill and Scott’s - during the season and it always proves very popular with the customers.”

Rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead helps to launch Eat Scottish Venison Day with celebrity chef Tom Lewis, plus Stephanie Kennedy and Calum McNicoll of Glengoyne Distillery.