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Children game for creating winning pheasant recipes

Pheasant recipes devised by Seahouses schoolchildren during an innovative day to teach them about local food are taking pride of place on the specials board of the village's Bamburgh Castle Inn to celebrate Great British Game Week.

Youngsters from Seahouses Middle School's Year 8 spent a day learning about game, how it is reared and how it is used to create delicious meals to celebrate British game. At the end of 'Pheasant Day', the children were challenged to come up with their own pheasant-based recipes, with the best ones being chosen for inclusion on the Bamburgh Castle Inn's specials board.

Now diners at the coastal inn, which prides itself on using local and seasonal produce, can sample Eleanor Brown's Pheasant with Bacon and Roasted figs and Ella Cavener's Surprise Pie, which contains pheasant breast in a mustard and cider vinegar sauce. The two recipes were chosen by the Inn's chef, David Barella, who came up with the Pheasant Day concept to give the children a unique insight into where their food comes from and to celebrate Great British Game Week which runs from November 24 – 30.

David said: "It was just too difficult to choose one winning recipe because the children had such great, inventive ideas that really showed off pheasant as an ingredient.

"Game is a great ingredient to cook with because it is so versatile and it is a real taste of Northumberland. We have game on our menu as often as possible when it is in season and the two dishes created by Eleanor and Ella have proved a real hit with diners."

The Bamburgh Castle Inn has strong links to the community and frequently works with Seahouses Middle School on initiatives to teach children about food and cookery. The Pheasant Day gave children the opportunity to see pheasants in their natural surroundings at the nearby Ellingham shoot, managed by Colin Rutter, and learn about how they are raised. Back at the Inn, the group learned how a pheasant is prepared for cooking and tasted four different game dishes. In many cases, it was the first time they had tried game.

David said: "So much has already been done to show children the concept of field to fork eating with beef, lamb and pork, but many of the children just weren't aware of game.

"The whole exercise was important too because it encourages the children to respect any food source that that has been reared for them to eat."

Diners will be able to tuck into hearty Northumberland game-based dishes at the Bamburgh Castle Inn throughout the pheasant season, which runs until February.

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