Suffolk game enthusiasts launch new venture, Brace and Hook, aimed at educating people on how to prepare and cook it

Michael Bonaccorsi and Dayle Bayliss of Brace and Hook at the Easton and Otley College stand at the

Michael Bonaccorsi and Dayle Bayliss of Brace and Hook at the Easton and Otley College stand at the Royal Norfolk Show 2017. - Credit: Brace and Hook

A chef and a business entrepreneur with a shared enthusiasm for game have launched a new venture called Brace and Hook.

Dayle Bayliss of Brace and Hook, right, with a helper and Michael Bonaccorsi in the background at th

Dayle Bayliss of Brace and Hook, right, with a helper and Michael Bonaccorsi in the background at the Easton and Otley College stand at the Royal Norfolk Show. - Credit: Brace and Hook

Michael Bonaccorsi, head pizzaiolo at Italian restaurant Lucca Enoteca in Manningtree, and sister-in-law Dayle Bayliss, a shooting enthusiast, wanted to share their experiences of game cookery and butchery and their love of traditional and artisan food with modern twists.

Dayle, who is chair of the Suffolk Skills Show and is a construction consultant based at Bentley, near Ipswich, decided to team up with Michael, who was born in Tuscany and has a rich Italian heritage of good food and wine, to demonstrate the best of local game, butchery and fish and share skills through events, catering, demonstrations and education.

From the age of seven, Michael was helping his father in his restaurant and when he was 15 the family moved to London. He has worked for award-winning Italian restaurant Zafferano and has a particular flair for game cookery.

Dayle moved to Suffolk at the age of seven and grew up around shooting and farming with a strong game-keeping influence. She recently renewed her interest in shooting and game, as well as creating a large vegetable patch with the aim of becoming more self-sufficient.

Michael Bonaccorsi, right, of Brace and Hook.

Michael Bonaccorsi, right, of Brace and Hook. - Credit: Brace and Hook

The pair have been working with Easton and Otley College at events to showcase the role the agriculture sector plays in the food industry and the traditional skills that are integral to this. They have been demonstrating some of these skills at the Suffolk Show, the Royal Norfolk Show and the Suffolk Skills Show. Dayle said she had been developing the venture in her spare time.

Michael’s family had always been involved in game shooting, and her own father is a part-time gamekeeper, she explained. At shoots, they will offer demonstrations on how to prepare and cook the meat.

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“Most of my living memory is of beating and shooting and that’s just the way we are. We go to a very local shoot which is quite small. What we shoot we take away and eat,” she said.

“Bird shoots are getting bigger and lots of people don’t know what to do with the meat. I thought: ‘There’s a little bit of a gap here where people don’t necessarily know what to do with it and we have got some great producers here’.”

Michael Bonaccorsi of Brace and Hook.

Michael Bonaccorsi of Brace and Hook. - Credit: Brace and Hook

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