Head chef at the top of his game

Ingredients for young grouse with salt baked celeriac, brmables, girolle mushrooms and roasted nuts.
Ingredients for young grouse with salt baked celeriac, brmables, girolle mushrooms and roasted nuts.

Grouse from the Lammermuirs are the stars of Great British Game Week, as moorland groups highlight the ‘hill-to-plate’ credentials of the game bird.

Head chef of Michelin-starred Number One at the Balmoral Hotel, Brian Grigor, is passionate about cooking with grouse, having grown up with both his father and grandfather being gamekeepers on grouse estates in the Lammermuirs.

Brian became the UK’s first Game Chef of the Year in 2012 and each year he heads back to the Lammermuirs on August 12, to get the first grouse of the season to cook in his kitchen that evening.

Brian said: “I look forward to the start of the grouse season each year. Not only is it an occasion for me to engage in an activity that has been a way of life for my family for generations, but grouse is so popular that the restaurant is fully booked weeks in advance by customers coming to enjoy our grouse dish.

“This dish hasn’t changed in four years as I feel it is perfect and obviously so do the customers as it sells out every time it’s on the menu.

“Grouse is a low-fat healthy meat offering a rich flavour and it is fantastic to hear that more consumers are cooking with grouse at home.”

Brian Grigor has shared one of his appetising grouse recipes for those keen to cook ‘oven-ready’ grouse at home. Brian’s ‘Young Grouse with Salt Baked Celeriac, Brambles And Roasted Nuts’ recipe can be found on the GoG blog.

Another supporter of British Game Week is Bob Webster, owner of the East Lothian Gosford Bothy Farm Shop, which this year has started selling oven-ready grouse sourced from estates in the Lammermuirs.

Bob Webster, owner of the Gosford Bothy Farm Shop, said: “You still hear people asking how to go about cooking grouse and if it comes with feathers still on.

“It’s the same as selling chicken fillets and whole birds, we pluck and present grouse as a consumer-friendly produce ready-to-cook. This is the first year we have stocked grouse and we have been delighted with its popularity.”