Cliveden House, Berkshire
What inspired you to become a chef?
My grandmother worked at the Pump Rooms in Bath and I started working at 15 at a local hotel at weekends: I soon became fascinated by the hospitality industry, hotels and restaurants.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
The creativity you can use on dishes, and seasonality.
What is your favourite game bird to cook at home?
I think pheasant, simple to prepare and very versatile.
What is the most important thing to bear in mind when cooking game at home?
To keep clean, be prepared, keep it simple, don’t overcook it.
What game in particular, benefits from hanging?
All game benefits from it. Venison will need a week, birds from 3-5 days. The flavours will develop and enzymes will soften the meat.
You are cooking for a dinner party at home – with game as the primary ingredient, what would you serve for starters and mains?
A rich and flavourful pheasant veloute with wild mushrooms and little pasta raviolis and roast haunch of venison, with roast vegetables all served down the table.
Is there a particular game dish you serve regularly in your restaurant?
I always have venison on, I really love the meat and we are lucky to have it stalked locally so we get wild roe and sika deer.
What is the best way of encouraging people to eat more game?
We need to raise awareness more and it need to become more accessible. People are obviously scared to cook it because its not widely used anymore, and the consumer has become spoilt at supermarkets with everything prepped and packaged. Look online, get some ideas, and have a go.
What’s the best – and worst – game dish you’ve ever eaten?
The best was Hare Royal at Guy Savoy in Paris, a spectacular dish and really rich. The worst, I honestly cannot remembe