Local students game for a win

Rachael Hamilton MSP and Borders College winners Billy Ewart and Ann Letham
Rachael Hamilton MSP and Borders College winners Billy Ewart and Ann Letham

Gamekeeping and hospitality students from Borders College beat off competition from across Scotland to come top at a Holyrood celebration dinner.

Borders MSP Rachael Hamilton hosted a ‘Celebration of Game Dinner’ in Holyrood, which saw gamekeeping and hospitality students from across Scotland compete for the ‘Field to Fork’ award. The aim of the dinner was to highlight Scottish game and celebrate the achievements of young people in the rural sector.

Each college entered a pair of students - gamekeeping and a chef - to come up with dishes that celebrate the best of Scottish game, with the best three dishes being presented as starters at the dinner.

The award was won by Borders College students Billy Ewart (gamekeeping) and Ann Letham (chef) for their curried rabbit samosa, a variation of a classic Indian dish.

The award was presented by Great British Bake Off finalist, Flora Shedden after the Borders students fought off fierce competition from students of the North Highland College and SRUC Elmwood Campus.

The dinner was organised by various countryside charities and organisations, including Scottish Natural Heritage, BASC, Scottish Land and Estates and the Scottish Countryside Alliance.

MSP Ms Hamilton said:“I am indebted to all those who came together to make the ‘Field to Fork’ competition and dinner a tremendous success.

“Congratulations must go to our Borders winners, Billy Ewart and Ann Letham. Their twist on a classic samosa was delicious with their hard work really paying off!

“It goes to show how game is so versatile and has significantly lower food miles than other types of produce.

“The Borders College offers fantastic courses in rural skills, and these offer young people wonderful opportunities.

“The students’ efforts were very impressive and it is encouraging that many young people are learning vital skills in order to keep our countryside alive.”

Borders College catering and hospitality students skills will also be on show next month when the college hosts a charity dinner and auction in aid of the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation on Tuesday, February 26. Rugby legend Doddie Weir and Hawick High School depute headteacher Bruce Aitchison will host the dinner.