Chefs learn to handle a gun

A party of chefs joined Braehead Foods, a leading Scottish game and fine food specialist to the catering industry, for two days' pheasant shooting and deer stalking to give them an insight into the sourcing of their game.

Braehead Foods hosted Gordon Ramsay chefs, James Durant of Maze and Mark Sergeant of Claridges, as well as six other chefs, who had won various competitions initiated by Braehead Foods.

The chefs were introduced to clay pigeon shooting, pheasant shooting, stalking and game processing at Highland Game in Dundee.

Craig Stevenson, managing director of Braehead Foods, said: "We believe it's important to show our customers the quality of the meat that we are supplying to their kitchens, and the effort that goes into sourcing it.

"Going out on the hill or pheasant shooting like this means the chefs get closer to the produce they use, and by learning everything about the beast: how it lives and, particularly, how it dies, they are more inspired by it and become more determined to use only the best."

Braehead Foods invited the 2006 winners of the What's Your Game? national game cookery competition for restaurants and pubs, Mary Shaw of the Lodge at Carfraemill in Lauder and Simon Ridge of the Waterside Inn in Ayr, and the runner up of the prestigious national chef competition, the Scottish Food Scholarship, Tristin Farmer of Enverdale House in Coupar Angus.

Most of the chefs, who had never held a gun before, went clay pigeon shooting at Dunkeld Country House to learn how to hold a gun and to aim at a moving target. The following day the chefs went pheasant shooting at Braco in Perthshire, before enjoying a gourmet game dinner produced by chef Jonny Greer at Ballathie House Hotel near Kinclaven.

Tristan Farmer said: "As a chef it is important to see where the meat I am supplied with at Enverdale comes from, and the effort that goes into sourcing it. I now feel that I have a greater understanding of the whole process from field to plate."