Fourth-generation Dilham farmer swaps the tractor for the kitchen and reaches the finals of a game-chef competition

Guy Paterson, farmer and deer manager, has made it through to the finals of the CLA Game Chef of the Year competition.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY Guy Paterson, farmer and deer manager, has made it through to the finals of the CLA Game Chef of the Year competition. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Sabah Meddings sabah.meddings@archant.co.uk
Friday, June 6, 2014
7:30 AM

A 26-year-old farmer has beaten professional chefs to reach the finals of a cooking competition – serving venison he shot himself.

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Guy Paterson, farmer and deer manager, has made it through to the finals of the CLA Game Chef of the Year competition. The dish that got him through to the finals. PHOTO: SUBMITTEDGuy Paterson, farmer and deer manager, has made it through to the finals of the CLA Game Chef of the Year competition. The dish that got him through to the finals. PHOTO: SUBMITTED

Guy Paterson is a full-time fourth-generation arable farmer and also looks after deer management on his family farm at Dilham.

And after spotting a newspaper advert for a game cooking competition, he decided to enter, having just a week to prepare his high-end dish.

Mr Paterson, who lives at Manor Farm with his girlfriend, Rosie, 23, said he wanted to show his different skill sets.

He said: “I thought, if I am going to go all that way, I want to go with something I can take on anyone with and push myself to a level I wouldn’t normally do.

Venison Wellington.

Recipe to serve four based on a roe deer.

Ingredients: whole loin of venison

Pre-made puff pastry

200g chestnut mushrooms

2 shallots

Clove of garlic

Prosciutto ham – 6 slices

1 egg

Tea spoon of mustard

2/3 drops of truffle oil (optional)

Butter, salt, pepper and crushed garlic.

Method: Heat a pan until very hot, oil the season the loin and seal until brown on all sides.

Remove the loin from the pan.

Add a large knob of butter to the pan and reduce to a medium heat.

Add the sliced shallots and mushrooms and sweat down for 2-3 minutes, add the crushed garlic, salt and pepper – continue cooking for two minutes.

Once cooked, sift the shallots and mushrooms to remove any liquid and blend in a food processor to make a rough blend.

Lay the slices of Prosciutto side by side onto a length of cling film and spread the mushrooms and shallots across but not all way to the edge, place the loin in the middle and roll tight in the cling film.

Refrigerate for one hour and pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees.

Roll out the puff pastry so it will cover the loin when rolled.

Brush a little beaten egg onto the edge of the pastry, remove the cling film, place the loin in the middle and roll it up tight.

Brush the egg wash over the pastry and cook in the oven for 25 minutes for medium rare, 28 minutes for medium and 30 minutes for medium well.

Rest for five minutes and serve with seasonal vegetables.

“Food is my life, I like using the bits that normally get wasted. The liver can be really good.”

He prepared his game-based dish in five days, and sent a two-minute video with a unique recipe. And after being selected for the next round, he travelled to Berkshire where he was up against three professional chefs and a vet.

The judging panel was made up of a Michelin-starred chef, a magazine editor and the competition organiser.

Two-weeks later, he heard the news he was to compete in the finals at Blenheim Palace on July 18 to 20 at the CLA Game Fair.

The venison Mr Paterson cooks will be shot on his family farm, as part of a deer management programme.

A deer-stalking course taught him how to humanely kill the animals, which include red and muntjac deer.

He said: “We have a large number of wild deer on the farm, the most common is the muntjac and can be shot year-round.

“In the UK deer numbers are booming. When I was growing up around here I never saw deer.

“I enjoy hunting but I cook every animal I shoot and nothing is wasted.”

Mr Paterson’s dish for the competition was a trio of muntjac, including tempura venison liver, seared loin and a miniature haunch-and-kidney putting.

Although he is not ready to give up farming, he has plans to carry on cooking with a private-dining business.

Have you got an unusual passion? Email sabah.meddings@archant.co.uk

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