Eat Game Awards: Best chef & restaurant

As we count down to the fourth annual Eat Game awards, which take place on 24 March, at the Nave Grand Junction Paddington, we take a closer look at each of the finalists.

All entries were nominated via the website, before the public voted on each category, whittling down the nominees to those who made it to the final.

The Eat Game Awards is a celebration of wild British produce. Eight categories make up the awards, which recognise the achievements of champions of game, including chefs, producers and retailers.

The awards aim to raise the profile of game meat and reward the passion, innovation and success of those working with wild game.

This year the winners have the added bonus of receiving a £1,000 cash prize to help them grow their business.

In the first in the series of four articles, which put the spotlight on this year’s finalists, we take a look at the best game restaurant and chef.

Best Restaurant sponsored by Fieldsports Journal

To qualify for this award, the restaurant/pub must serve a variety of game in season and they will also actively promote game dishes, for instance through Great British Game Week, a game menu, and pictures on their website/social media.

From the online nominations, the top 10 went forward to the public voting, with the three below topping the votes.

The three finalists will be judged by a mystery shopper visit, scored against set criteria before the winner is announced at the awards.

Kitchen W8

Holding a Michelin star but also feeling like a neighbourhood restaurant is Kitchen W8 based in Kensington. Offering both a tasting menu and set lunch where game is regularly served including carefully sourced venison and the full array of game birds.

The Caddy Mann

A regular feature in the Eat Game Awards this restaurant is set in the heart of the Scottish Borders. With daily specials in particular using the best of Scotland’s natural larder game is a key feature of the menu with local venison cooked in a full range of dishes. They were a previous winner, named best restaurant in 2019.

The Clarendon 

The award-winning Clarendon is a traditional 18th Century inn located in Hebden in the heart of Yorkshire Dales National Park offering real ales and home-cooked. Wholehearted food is served with the venison shanks with honey-roasted parsnips rightfully famous.

Best Game Cook sponsored by Weber

The criteria and judging process for this category is the same as that for the restaurant (see above) with the emphasis on great food as well as a passion for game.

Chef Pascal

Pascal Proyart was born and raised in a small fishing village on the Brittany coast, where his family have been restaurateurs for three generations. After 23 years of cooking in London, Chef Pascal decided to pursue his ambitions of spending more time in the countryside, bringing his cooking passion, knowledge and skills to the heart of people’s homes. A passionate hunter, fisherman and countryman he shares his knowledge to deliver game to new audiences and has also recently released his first game cookbook.

Gamey Jaimie

Jaimie Haselock has over 15 years of experience in the restaurant trade and is proudly the current game chef of the year. Jaimie’s private cooking skills are well known amongst numerous shooting estates, wine experts and restaurant critics.

He is passionate about creating recipes using seasonal food and has an uncompromising commitment to sourcing fine ingredients locally and ethically.

Graham Mitchell

Inspired by lockdown and the need to support people who were struggling to get to the shops or missing the social aspect of dining out, Graham launched Tarragon Catering.

The venture focuses on fine dining and bespoke catering in the Aberdeenshire area, making the most of wonderful local fresh produce. Graham, who is also head chef of The Scullery at The Newmachar Hotel and the Scottish National Culinary Manager loves cooking with Scottish game and is a Braehead Foods British Game Chef of the Year two-time finalist.

Ross Horrocks

Ross is chef and owner at the Caddy Mann in Jedburgh. A regular fixture in the Eat Game Awards Ross serves inventive dishes making the best of the local produce. Priding themselves in great service and fantastic food it is a popular destination restaurant in the Scottish Borders.

Click here to read more about the retail finalists, here for the game products and here for those sharing the message and their love of game.