Good evening and welcome to The British Deer Society

Central Scotland

Central Scotland

Branch information and events


21 Jan Branch AGM, Grouse & Claret Restaurant, Kinross, 2.30pm
Spring 18 Habitat Impact Assessment Day, Stirling area

Branch contacts

Chairman Ron Smith  01337 860824
Secretary Iain Semple  07790 764340      


The British Deer Society - Central Scotland branch newsletter - Winter 2017

Game Cookery Evening

Back almost at the beginning of the Millennium Central Branch were looking for a new way of showcasing Scottish venison and at the same time offering members a chance to get together socially. The idea of a Game Cookery evening was discussed and it was decided to approach the local further education college to see if they would be interested in being involved. Plans were drawn up and information circulated to members and then we waited! We need not have worried. The response was great and the evening itself went even better than we could have hoped.

Skip forward to this year and you could say nothing much has changed! The price has gone up and several of us have considerably less hair but the level of enjoyment is unchanged. Those who came for the first time were amazed by the level of skill shown by the students under the watchful eye of chef/lecturer Willie Balfour. From delicate canapés using freshly smoked trout, succulent duck and other game birds to game pudding, pulled game, robust but tender pan-fried haunch of red deer and loin of roe, the excellence of the food is unquestioned. This year several guests commented that the presentation of the food improves year by year too. To top it all we come away not only replete with an excess of goodness but also with a set of recipes so that we can try to replicate the dishes! Unfortunately the canapé recipes remain a secret - mainly because several are put together by the students using 'left-overs' from the main dishes…… a real skill in itself.

And it is not only the guests who benefit. As lecturer Willie Balfour said a few years ago, “This event gives students the opportunity to handle a much wider range of game meats than our course would normally allow. The experience has been invaluable.” Hospitality students also benefit as they help to set up the rooms for the evening, one for serving welcoming drinks and canapés and also the restaurant. They then serve the food and wines, attend to any other requests and somehow remain cheerful and polite throughout! Supervisor Vicki Munro does a great job advising and directing them.

One student is also selected to assist Chef Willie in demonstrating the preparation of one of the dishes. This year he showed us how they use sous-vide techniques to ensure that marinades are taken up well by the meats and that everything is cooked to just the right level 'doneness'!! I think the student is also there to remind Willie what he should be doing when he takes his mind off the cooking to talk about the food!

Central Branch would like to record their thanks to SRUC Campus at Elmwood College, Cupar and especially to Wille Balfour, Vicki Munro and their teams, for continuing to make us so welcome - bookings are already in for next year!

Future Events

Branch AGM: This will be held in the Grouse & Claret Restaurant, Kinross (opposite Kinross Motorway Services) at 2.30pm on Sunday January 21st 2018. Further details will be sent to branch members.

Habitat Impact Assessment Day: We will be holding this event, in association with SNH, in the Stirling area in Spring 2018, probably late April. Numbers will be limited so an early register of interest will be helpful. Please use the email addresses below.

Contact by e-mail:
If you have not already done so could we remind you to keep your e-mail and mobile contact details up to date with HQ. We would like to be able to use these to keep all members informed about future events and changes. We cannot store this information locally - it has to be done through HQ.

Kind regards,

Ron Smith

Chairman of Central Branch