Country Life talks to Eat Wild, who will be cooking delicious wild meat and game at Cornbury Park in June.
Will Thompson of Eat Wild
Founded in 2010 by Gloucestershire-born brothers William and Calum Thompson, Eat Wild started life on a mission to bring sustainably-sourced wild meat and game to the public.
Describe what you do:
“At Eat Wild, we are everything from the pot washers to the chefs plus everything in between. At the moment Calum works upstairs front of house, and I work downstairs cheffing. I like the camaraderie.”
How did you get in to your line of work?
“In 2010 I got back from travelling and was unsure what to do. I worked for a mate at a music festival and didn’t see anyone selling game burgers so I set up as a sole trader. Our father was into fishing and shooting so we’d always been taught to be responsible with game – at the time it was the only thing I felt I knew about.
“We started selling venison burgers at point-to-points and then rolled out to farmers’ markets, festivals and outdoor events [including the London 2012 Olympic Games]”
In 2014 Will and Calum graduated from their mobile catering van to a 28-seater restaurant, located on one of Cirencester’s main thoroughfares. They have now outgrown this space and are moving to a new 85-seater location in Cirencester. The new restaurant will be open at the beginning of June.
What is your USP?
“Eat Wild is about sustainability, responsibility and education. There is a bit of a stigma and cliché attached to tweed jackets, red corduroy and game and we want to dispel this. Quality sustainable ingredients, cooked simply at an affordable price allows game food to be accessible to everyone.”
In 2013 Eat Wild was awarded ‘Local Food Champion’ by the Countryside Alliance. Their Cirencester restaurant has been number 1 on Trip Advisor for the last eight months.
Why should people come and see you at the Field & Country Fair?
“On the Saturday, the plan is to demonstrate a ‘nose-to-tail’ with venison. After removing the prime cuts, the rest of the carcass will be braised for eight hours and cooked into one of our best restaurant dishes – slow braised venison lasagna. It’s about being responsible and using all of the carcass.
“It will be educational and quite funny, as someone will definitely forget what they’re supposed to be doing.”
Eat Wild (www.eat-wild.co.uk; 01285 657399)
To purchase tickets, and find out more about the Field & Country Fair at Cornbury Park visit: www.fieldandcountryfair.com