The Glorious 12th – beat the grouse race

The race is on…

Early this morning, we set out to Bingley Moor ready for the start of the shooting season – and to start shooting our next instalment of the perfect ingredient and our Glorious 12th challenge.

Part one – the challenge, from shoot to chef in one day

We are aiming to deliver the perfect grouse, shot this morning in Yorkshire, to chef Michael Wignall at The Latymer in Surrey ready for his evening menu.

Chris Emmot who organised the shoot said: “It’s a very exciting day, one of the most prestigious shooting days on the shooting calendar. There will be a lot of excited people today.” See the action in part one now.


Part two – at the shoot 

We had a fantastic morning with perfect weather and an abundance of birds. Watch the best of the shoot in part two now.

Chris says: “The morning has gone very well, there’s been plenty of sightings of grouse, they’ve shot a few birds and the quality of the birds are very fine.”


Part three – the bag

Even the dogs are tired having collected dozens of plump grouse this busy morning. We’ve packed our bag – a crate to be precise – and now we’re heading south to Surrey and The Latymer.


Part four – at The Latymer

After the arduous journey down, road works, traffic jams and an A5 detour, we arrived at The Latymer right on time with grouse in hand – or crate.


A taste of home for Sam Burgess

On their arrival, it’s not quite straight to the kitchen. Pennyhill Park – the hotel where The Latymer is located – is also the training base for the England rugby union team. As we unpack the crate and select the finest grouse to be prepared by the kitchen, Sam Burgess, England rugby player, takes this chance to see the birds before they are prepared for the evening service. He’s picked a fine looking specimen!

Just like our grouse, Sam is a Yorkshire native – hailing from Dewsbury, just down the road from the moor where the bird was shot this morning.

Good luck to the lads for the rest of their training, and for their first game next month against Fiji. Come on, boys!


To the kitchen

After the England lads had finished sharing the limelight with the grouse and headed back to training, junior sous chef Keiron Stevens got straight into plucking and soon the birds were ready to be cooked.

Head chef, Michael Wignall said: “We’re going to keep it quite simple so all the flavours sing for themselves.”

The grouse was half poached at a low temperature and then stuffed with heather and other ingredients that the bird would have eaten to keep it as natural as possible. It was then finished with foaming butter and roasted. And those flavours really did sing.

We were delighted to be able to bring the first birds of the season to Michael, and to be able try his brand new, and delicious dish he created for the season.

Best of all we completed our beat the grouse challenge!

And now onto the next one…