Annual festival sees game birds on restaurant menus

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18 April 2012

With the opening of the 2012 game bird hunting season only days away – Saturday, May 5 – the annual festival that celebrates wild game birds as a delicious, free range and totally organic food source is back for 2012.

The 2012 Gamebird Food Festival runs from May 5 to July 8 and this year includes new features to encourage more people to enjoy game birds as a healthy and ethical food source.

The ever popular opportunity to take game birds into restaurants to be prepared by top chefs returns as part of the festival again this year.  The list of restaurants and top chefs involved in the festival is building daily with organisers aiming for more than 30 participating eateries this year.

Multi award winning chef and TV presenter Al Brown is well known for his love of creating meals from fresh, wild produce and he’s proud to endorse this year’s Gamebird Food Festival.

“To me, the most satisfying meals involve food that you’ve harvested yourself.  Nothing beats going out hunting or fishing and sharing a meal of your catch with your mates at the end of the day, and the Gamebird Food Festival provides a great opportunity to do just that.”

Al Brown shares one of his fantastic wild duck recipes with the Gamebird Food Festival this year and it can be found on the website along with all the details about festival events throughout the country.

New to the festival are events that will demonstrate how to prepare game birds and cook delicious meals at home.

“Many people are unsure how to best prepare and cook game birds to get the best results on the plate,” says Nicola Pentelow, 2012 festival manager.  “The festival will help them create mouth-watering everyday meals in their own homes.”

All the festival details are available on the website



  • The Gamebird Food Festival is a once a year opportunity to dine on wild game birds restaurants as regulations prevent their sale.  During the festival, however, hunters can take game birds they have harvested into a participating restaurant and enjoy a meal prepared for them and their dining companions.
  • Game birds include mallard and paradise duck, pheasant and quail.
  • The game bird hunting season opens nationwide on May 5, 2012.
  • The Gamebird Food Festival is an initiative of Fish & Game New Zealand.

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