Smart Group 5

OH DEER

On Tuesday 26th January we all got together for our first ever Smart Supper Club…

LOCATION: HUNTER, GATHER, COOK, LEWES, SUSSEX.

ATTENDEES:

OUR LEADER: GREG LAWSON

THE CHEFS: STEVE WILLIAMS, DAVID RIDGWAY, SIMON MASON, SIMON READ, MATT HUGHES

THE EVENT GIRLS: ELLE HARPER, CHARLIE TANNER, CHLOE MARTIN

SPECIAL OPS: DAN JOHNSON-ALLEN, LULU BEASLEY, RICHARD GROVES, RICH GEE

THE ACCOUNTANTS: MARTIN REAL, CHRISTOPHE TRAMONI

THE STRAGGLERS: ABBY SQUIRE, JAKE LAWSON, ELAINE SAWFORD, ANDREW HODGE

WARNING: NOT SUITABLE FOR VEGETARIANS!

OVERVIEW:

We learnt the art of seam butchery, with a hand on experience which taught us how to make the most out of a Roe Deer entire carcass. Once the deer had been jointed, we were taken through all the different cuts and helped prepare our lunch of venison kebabs and burgers. We went for a foraging walk, learnt how to build a fire and had a few cocktails to finish the day off accompanied by venison carpaccio!

We arrived at 10am at a farm near Lewes, Sussex and were led through the woods to their hand crafted treehouse. Built with money raised through Kickstarter, it was spread over two floors, with an outdoor oven, full kitchen and massive table for us to work around on the ground, and a deck to enjoy our prepared food on upstairs. Branches had been used to strengthen the bannisters, antlers were displayed on the front, and cast iron pots and pans hung from the rafters.

After quick introductions and a cup of tea, we got straight to work on our deer, which had been shot humanely just a week prior. Our teacher for the day, Nick, started us off and demonstrated how to start removing the skin whilst keeping it in intact, and then we all got stuck in!

SKINNING!

JOINTING!

Nick talked us through the various cuts of the deer and how to extract such delights as the pencil fillets (go Elaine), and then the rest of the joints, we turned out to be a bunch of very skilled butchers...

CHOPPING!

It was time to start preparing lunch, mincing and cubing were on the agenda…

Whilst the Hunter boys got cracking with the cooking, we headed upstairs for a glass of Malbec or two whilst we waited for our lunch. First up were delicious kebabs, served with a red cabbage salad, crispy onions and soft tortillas.  The venison was cooked to pink perfection and melted in the mouth.  Next up venison cheese burgers, with roasted garlic mayonnaise and potatoes wedges dripping in butter…. The whole meal was pretty damn good and definitely worth the wait.

First on the afternoon’s agenda was a foraging walk, learning about the different types of edible, and not so edible, plants in the area.

After that we needed to warm up so pelted it back to the fire, where we were given a workshop by fire starter Dustin, who took us through the alternative ways of making a flame and showed off an impressive array of pyro tools. We all felt rather proud when we managed to light a fire using just a flint.

By the time we returned it was cocktail hour! Back on top deck we made our own whisky sours infused with a woodland oak smoke. Not a bad way to finish off an eventful day!

We had such a fantastic day at Hunter Gather Cook, and went back up to London with clothes reeking of wood smoke and smiles on our faces. We would like to give a massive thanks to Nick, Dustin and B (the truffle hunting dog) as we were blown away by the passion they have for what they do.  

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