Wow, what a feast of nature’s wholesome bounty.
From the elk stroganoff to the bear and yak burger sliders and the smoked trout the annual Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association game banquet was a huge treat for the palate.
As Gillian Paynter, one visitor from out of town who has attended game banquets elsewhere in the past said: “I didn’t expect a gourmet meal.”
Alison Mann put on her chef’s hat to create the feast made from contributions by association members.
Her three daughters, Lindsey Mann, Stephanie Mann, and Kristy Robins also came home to help with cooking and serving the feast.
Lindsey’s husband Doug Stephen has a restaurant in Vancouver and was also there to help.
My favourite dishes were the elk stroganoff, buffalo roast and smoked trout on cream cheese crostinis, but in taking small portions I was able to sample a little of everything.
The menu included appetizers of yak or bear sliders; smoked trout on cream cheese crostini; moose and deer sausage skewers with olives and cheese.
The main dishes were plentiful: beef and buffalo roasts, open sliders of pulled pork mixed with wild boar; Muley Irish stew with a mix of vegetables, mule deer meat and deer sausage; elk meatball stroganoff in a creamed gravy with noodles; white tail deer lasagna; and sweet and sour cougar with pineapple.
Rice pilaff and spinach salad with cranberries, sunflower seeds and feta cheese in a tangy dressing rounded out the main course.
Dessert was a simple and not too sweet, refreshing little cake with blueberries and a dollop of whipped cream.
We asked a group of people why they came to the game banquet and what dish they liked best.
“We came to try all of the wild game,” said Jeannie Rudyk. “The muley stew.”
Hanah Tsao said: “I came for the food. My husband is a hunter.”
“We saw a poster and said we have to go,” Darren Ballegeer said. “We know that wild game is healthy. The bear sliders.”
“I came to try everything,” said Elena Miramar. “My favourite was the smoked trout.”
“To support the sportsmen’s club and the community,” Victor Sharman said. “The elk stroganoff and the buffalo.”
“To support the community,” Amon Wolf said.
“The elk stroganoff.”