Meet the Experts : Frank Shellard

At Vale House Kitchen, we’re keen to get everyone who attends our courses to reconnect with where their food comes from, whether that involves getting your hands dirty digging up vegetables, or having a go at killing and butchering your own meat. Not only does our passion for food mean we want to get stuck in at all stages, but we think this approach also makes us all more responsible consumers – and that’s why we love working with Frank Shellard, expert marksman, CPSA-qualified and owner of Shellard’s Shoot.

Frank’s been shooting ever since school, when he admits it all started with poaching pigeons, rabbits and pheasants. He went on to set up a big commercial shooting operation, but decided that the large scale was making it too hard for him to preserve his own principles of sustainability – so he cut the numbers down, and now offers smaller shoots with an emphasis not just on the shooting itself, but also on the rearing of the birds, and the preservation and care of the land. The birds are all raised locally, and once shot are taken by a local game dealer who makes sure that they all end up on the table – so there’s absolutely no waste. The land used is rented from nearby Manor Farm, and is almost all under Higher or Entry Level Stewardship, with a heavy emphasis placed on conservation, including the protection of wildflower meadows, banks and hedges, for insects, butterflies and bats, and established barn owl corridors. The farm is also partially organic and a member of the soil association.

So why work with Vale House Kitchen? For Frank, it’s a natural progression of the sustainability and responsibility angle, teaching people how to butcher, prepare and cook the birds they’ve killed. He felt an immediate affinity with our approach, and worked together with us to create our Shooting Experience, one of our very best offerings. Over the course of a weekend, you will learn all about Game shooting, with a full briefing and expert guidance from Frank and his team throughout. Followed by a day in the Vale House Kitchen classroom with chef Tim Maddams, covering cleaning and preparation of the birds as well as a selection of delicious recipes. For more information and availability, click here.