Fourth-generation Dilham farmer swaps the tractor for the kitchen and reaches the finals of a game-chef competition
- Credit: Archant
A 26-year-old farmer has beaten professional chefs to reach the finals of a cooking competition – serving venison he shot himself.
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.
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'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.
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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.
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