Scotland's leading chefs are calling for more grouse to be on the menu in restaurants as demand for local produce grows.

Andrew Fairlie, chef at Gleneagles, and Edinburgh restaurant head Carina Contini are teaming up with the Gift of the Grouse initiative to back the use of more of the bird in kitchens ahead of the Scottish Game Fair at Scone Palace this weekend.

Fairlie, whose Gleneagles restaurant is the only one in Scotland to hold two Michelin Stars, said: “We serve grouse every year in season and it’s extremely popular with our customers.

Andrew Fairlie is backing the campaign. Picture: TSPL

“In the summer our customers come from all over the world and they want to eat the finest local food.

“Customers like it because it’s organic, sustainable and its provenance is exact.

“Our game supplier is Ochil Foods and we are fortunate that they are only five miles away from the restaurant; here in Perthshire we are surrounded by grouse shoots, so we are very lucky to be able to source game from nearby.”

Three-quarters of UK consumers said they try to buy British food and drink if it is available, according to a survey conducted by the Institute of Grocery Distribution in December 2016.

Demand for grouse has been further boosted this year by its appearance on the BBC’s Masterchef series.

Lorna Robertson and Brodie Williams were Scottish contestants on the programme, who both made it through to the final five, serving up grouse as one of their main courses.

Scotland Food & Drink chief executive officer James Withers said: “We are very lucky in Scotland to have an extraordinary local good food story – top of the list of things visitors want to do when here is to try our local food and drink.

“Game is an increasingly popular choice for shoppers across the UK, with 41 per cent of people throughout the UK believing Scottish game is better than that from elsewhere and 63 per cent of Scots believing the same.

“These fantastic numbers provide us with a huge opportunity to promote and celebrate the locally-sourced grouse on offer.”

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