PITCH PERFECT: Byron Bay winner Jonas Widjaja of Fair Game Wild Venison.
PITCH PERFECT: Byron Bay winner Jonas Widjaja of Fair Game Wild Venison. Contributed

Hunters bring wild deer to our best restaurants

ASIDE from its great taste, wild venison may be the most ethical and healthiest meat available today.

Jonas Widjaja of Fair Game Wild Venison in Byron Bay has created a business that delivers premium quality, wild-caught venison straight from the Australian wilderness to restaurants and shops.

The introduced Chital and Fallow deer take a toll on the Australian environment and put pressure on local farmers, but they are a valuable food source.

Mr Widjajaja works with local hunters to ensure the deer are ethically harvested and with their delicate flavour the venison ticks all the foodie boxes as well.

His produce is often on the menu at Three Blue Ducks in Byron Bay, Harvest at Newrybar and the Italian Diner in Bangalow.

"As an un-farmed product, our venison is all-natural and free from added hormones and antibiotics," Mr Widjaja said.

"Wild venison originates from animals with a free ranging lifestyle, with unrestricted access to native Australian bush-food and prime grazing land."

Mr Widjaja brought the idea with him when he moved over from new Zealand.

"There is is a huge trophy hunting tourism industry over there and restaurateurs are keen not to waste this valuable resource," he said.

Fair Game Wild Venison is one of seven NSW regional startups that will take part in a bootcamp at the Sydney Startup Hub from August 12-14 August and compete for a spot in the finals of the 2019 Jobs for NSW Regional Pitchfest, with $20,000 in cash and prizes on offer.

Mr Widjaja also points to the health benefits of wild venison.

"Our venison has almost no saturated fat making it an extremely heart healthy protein option. It has approximately 40% less calories than beef and 10% less calories than chicken breast, but still provides more protein than both," he said.

Five finalists will be chosen from the bootcamp pitching session to advance to the NSW State Final in Wagga Wagga on 5 September. There they will pitch to a live audience and expert panel for a chance to be crowned 2019 Jobs for NSW Regional Pitchfest winner.

Go to: www.fairgame.com.au