Wednesday, April 24, 2024

BBQ to celebrate Kiwi venison

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A mid-winter barbeque featuring venison instead of beef sausages could be an option on August 7, when the inaugural New Zealand Venison barbeque day is celebrated.
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The brainchild of Shanghai-based expat and venison importer Hunter McGregor, the day is aimed at broadening international awareness of venison as a meat choice and as a barbeque option.

“I figured that almost every other food and beverage has their own day, including Sauvignon Blanc (May 7), eggs (October 8) and beef (April 6). So, I figured why should there not also be a day for venison?” McGregor said.

McGregor has been based in Shanghai for the past 15 years, plying venison sourced from Canterbury company Mountain River to the city’s restaurants, including those with both Western and local menus.

“But this is about more than what I am doing here. I want the day to encourage people everywhere to share their photos and videos of their particular venison barbeque dish online, using the hashtag #NZvenisonBBQ to tell the world about Kiwi venison,” he said.

He says it was often a misconception that venison was a “winter” dish, requiring hours of slow cooking or braising.

“This is the first Saturday in August, the height of Northern Hemisphere summer, it’s a pretty simple concept that can get the message out there that venison is an ideal healthy option to consider for your barbeque,” he said.

Deer Industry NZ (DINZ) is putting some weight behind the campaign through its NZ Venison site.

DINZ venison marketing manager Nick Taylor says the organisation is running a competition through Facebook, getting participants to tag a friend to go into the draw to win venison barbeque packs.

Prizes will also be offered on the day for the best venison barbeque photos shared on social media.

“We are also working with our stakeholders in Europe, with a number of activities on the go, and in the United States,” Taylor said.

McGregor says he hopes the day would encourage Kiwis to dust off their barbeque in the middle of winter and enjoy venison, whether it be farmed or shot.

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