Mmmm, Pukeko stewNext month, there will be an unusual collaboration between urban gourmets and huntin’ shootin’ fishin’ types. The Fish & Game NZ Wild Game Bird Food Festival, which runs from the 8th to the 28th of May, encourages hunters to bring their prey into participating restuarants where their catch can be transformed into gourmet dishes. The participating restaurant, Hope Bros, already has quite a reputation for gamy goodness: remember last year’s spectacular combination of pheasant and venison during the Wild Food Challenge?

The promoter says that after the festival, “phrases such as duck prosciutto, whole foie gras, pheasant confit and semiboneless quail will have entered our country’s cuisine vocabulary”. The inclusion of foie gras on this list seems a bit odd given that it’s a wild food festival: unless someone’s been running around the countryside diligently force-feeding geese and ducks with grain, all we’re likely to get is plain old liver.

Also, you can’t just go around blasting away at anything that moves and expecting them to cook it. There’s a prescribed list of acceptable birds, which includes such delicacies as Black Swan, Pukeko and (no sniggering down the back) Cock Pheasant. The list is broad enough to provide a few culinary novelties for most of us, but the limitation is a pity for those who might fancy a bit of urban bloodsport. We might have gained inspiration from the fact that Hope Bros sits opposite the park formerly known as “Pigeon Park”, but other forms of urban pest (such as possums and skateboarders) might also be delicious when pot-roasted with sage.