Duo Deli Restaurant in Perth
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DONALD WHERES YIR TROOSERS?

Hello!

So my blogging was hi-jacked by recruitment posts and interviews – I’m not going to grumble as we’ve just welcomed back a wonderful old friend to the Duo Kitchen and we’re delighted with how our front of house team has shaken down. A really warm, friendly bunch who seem to have slotted into the Pig’Halle / DUO ways with great ease.  It is so wonderfully relaxed when everyone is in sync.  Duo took off so much quicker than even we expected and poor Sylvie has been a one woman band of pizzas, smiles and coffees!  Now its like a graceful dance between kitchen, floor, deli and two restaurants! (Ok. Maybe I took that too far!)

But here we are back at the stories again!   Anyone who has been into Pig’Halle recently will have seen the magnificent  stag head sitting pride of place just to the right of the kitchen hatch. A truly majestic beast that presides over the entire room with his watchful gaze, we’ve had many comments on him since he took position a few weeks ago.  The staff have named him DONALD…

So how did we come by him..? Well, Herve shot him!   I have to say killing and butchering your own animals is a natural part of life where I come from but I know it leaves some people squeamish.  They don’t really want to deal with it. For this reason I have been very nervous about hanging him in the restaurant and then telling people the story. But I was speaking to a friend about and she said this:

“Paula, you’re in Perthshire! We shoot, we fish and we hunt.  Get the beast hung pride of place!”

And so here he is and what a great response we’ve had!  You see, the sport of hunting isn’t one I particularly enjoy but the practical aspect of animals as food is as natural as the hills these wild deer run free on.  Herve has recently gained his Deer Management (Level 2) which qualifies him to shoot, hang, butcher and sell his own venison.   He has loved this latest challenge in his life as a chef; he has been out and about on Scottish Forestry Commission land in Perthshire  with a local game dealer who is helping him get the very best out of the animals he shoots.

He hangs the deer for 20 days before he butchers the entire thing and we use it in Pig’Halle and Duo.   In light of recent scare stories in the media about the provenance of food, what you’re eating and how its sourced I think we’re doing ok!  When it comes to our venison we have the whole traceability question covered.  Its all done by one man!

Shooting Deer on Forestry Commission Land in Perthshire

Herve Tabourel With Donald The Stag

So, between the great political debates of the moment – Deer Culling and Horsemeat – Herve reckons he’s a one man band of all that is good and virtuous in looking after our land and putting a plate of meat on the table!  Can you imagine living with this man right now?!

Joking aside though, these are serious issues for our times and for the education of our children and their children.  It is crucial that we talk about this if we want to ensure the same debate isn’t happening 20 years from now.  Scotland has a world class deer management system; the issues with the overstock and potential cull belong to England and Wales.

And the traceability issue?  I grew up butchering pigs and eating the animals I had given a name.  Scotland has some of the best meat in the world and yet we don’t know what our children are eating. Food, meat, how we eat…. We absolutely should be talking about farming animals for food,  shooting animals for food, how we butcher these animals and how we get them as food to the table.  I want to know what I’m eating and where it came from.

So – rant over! At the moment he’s shooting Roe Deer, Red Deer and Fallow Deer. The venison produced is amongst the very best I have ever tasted and we’ve added it to the main A La Carte menu in Pig’Halle for this reason.  Herve is, as you can guess, venison crazy at the moment and we’ve had everything from a real rustic, slow cooked Roe Deer Casserole to the very French Pave De Biche Grand Veneur which is Haunch steak with a redcurrant port and wine sauce. Served with potato dauphinoise this, in my opinion, is quite simply Food Of The Gods.

Our old pal / new chef that I mentioned, is one Jack Marsh who many of you will remember from Breizh and Sante. Jack is a purist when it comes to food (look out for a whole host of bread ideas coming into the DUO Deli very soon!) and he and Herve have been very animated, talking about venison proscuitto and their own venison sausages.   With Herve’s qualification we can sell these in DUO Deli so much excitement and tasting lies ahead!

Me, I love to eat it and I like to gaze at Donald. He was taken to a taxidermist in Speen Bridge before making his journey back to us in South Street.  I quite like the fact he’s presiding over the spoils of his life and the pleasure of people eating his meat.  I guess that means I’m over the squeamsih bit. I best go order a tweed jacket from Bruar!

We hope to see you all very soon,

Bon Appetite Paula x

 

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