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Birds are on the menu once more

Tuesday 29th April, 2014

Birds are on the menu once more

The 2014 Gamebird Food Festival is opening this Saturday with restaurants from Kerikeri to Invercargill opening their kitchens to cook either this year’s catch of duck, pheasant and quail, or commercially sourced birds.

So far 13 restaurants have confirmed they are taking part in this year’s Gamebird Food Festival to celebrate the hunting season, which opens on Saturday (3 May).

The aim of Fish & Game New Zealand’s Festival is to promote game birds as a delicious, free-range food source: Hunters can take their own birds into participating restaurants to have them prepared by professional chefs, or non-hunters can choose commercially sourced duck, pheasant or quail from the menu.

Hamish Carnachan, Fish & Game New Zealand’s Communications Manager, says the Festival is now in its ninth year.

“The Gamebird Food Festival is one of the year’s main social events for some hunters, as many groups get together at their local restaurant to eat the fruits of their labour, and tell stories of the hunt,” Carnachan says. “The Festival also gives restaurants a chance to offer something a little bit different for their customers.

“It is about trying something new, whether it be taking your own bird you’ve harvested from the wild into a restaurant to be cooked by a professional chef, ordering one of their special festival dishes for the first time, or simply being brave enough to try cooking the birds yourself.”

Bryan Hughes Rotorua’s Wai Ora Group CEO says the Gamebird Food Festival is an important part of the culinary year.

"As an ardent game bird hunter having our Wai Ora Lakeside Spa Resort's Mokoia Restaurant participate in the Gamebird Food Festival is an obvious choice,” Hughes says. “Including our own event "Bye Bye Mai Mai" to the Festival has added to that celebration of what the game bird season is all about. Each year the Festival and our “Bye Bye Mai Mai” event have grown in popularity, so we are pleased to continue to grow our involvement in the Festival for many years to come.”

Stoney Creek are also pleased to be involved in the Festival again this year, and are putting all those who purchase a hunting licence for this season into the draw to win a quality duck hunting jacket.

The festival runs for eight weeks from May 3rd to July 27th. For more information please see the website

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