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Catering students in Rugby cook up a storm during culinary masterclass

Catering students in Rugby have taken part in a culinary masterclass to gain a valuable insight into the preparation and cooking of game meat.

Experts from the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) joined Level 3 catering students at Rugby College to deliver an interactive session exploring game meat.

Catering students in Rugby cook up a storm during culinary masterclass

The comprehensive session was delivered by Amy Thompson and Matt Dutton, from BASC, who provided insights into various types of game, handling techniques, and practical cooking skills, and educated the students on sustainable practices.

The masterclass then moved into the kitchen where students had the opportunity to witness the preparation of game birds and venison firsthand before testing their skills.

The day was rounded-off with a Ready Steady Cook-style challenge, where students were tasked with utilising their newfound knowledge to create delicious dishes with game meat.

This saw students cook up dishes including pan fried pheasant with blackberries in a red wine and port jus with braised red cabbage and parsnip crisps, Kentucky fried pheasant and Sriracha mayonnaise, pheasant and poached quince with honey roasted parsnips and pheasant with fondant potato, fragrant Asian spices and pak choi.

As a result of the session, Rugby College has now integrated specialised game masterclasses into its curriculum, providing students with continued opportunities to explore the culinary possibilities of game meat.

Geoff Sykes, of Rugby College, said: “The BASC masterclass was a resounding success, providing students with a thoroughly enjoyable and educational experience.

“Amy and Matt's expertise, combined with the hands-on nature of the session, left a lasting impact on the students.

“What stood out most was the emphasis on sustainability and affordability in culinary practices.

“The rising popularity of game meat in culinary circles has underscored the importance of understanding and utilising it responsibly.

“BASC's efforts to promote game-based cooking align perfectly with this trend, offering students a valuable skill set that is both environmentally conscious and economically viable.

“One of the highlights of the day was the Ready Steady Cook challenge which not only encouraged creativity, but also reinforced the lessons learned throughout the session.

“With the integration of game-based cooking into the curriculum, Rugby College is poised to lead the way in culinary education, preparing students for success in an ever-evolving industry, and we look forward to welcoming BASC again in the future.”

Matt Dutton, of BASC, added: “By being able to introduce the students to game meat and educate them on its incredible diversity, we hope to help equip the chefs of tomorrow with knowledge that they will carry through to their future careers.

“It was a genuine privilege to work with such enthusiastic and passionate young people!" 

To find out more about catering courses at WCG, visit

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