I advertised courses locally last summer but had too small a response for me to go ahead with any of them. I will be trying again in late spring this year to see if I have a better response.
The challenge is how to give the course a title that will attract the right people. I did some (limited) market research before creating the course and it turned out that anything called "BBQ" was assumed to be sausages and burgers so people were not interested and anything called "Smoking" was either assumed to be smoked salmon or just resulted in blank looks. Practicality is an issue too as a meaningful smoking course would need to be delivered over a longer period of time than can be fitted in to a single day.
I am in the process of converting my garage into a commercial grade kitchen and so will revisit the courses once that has been completed.
One that you may like to take a look at is the Weber Academy in Oxford. I was given one of their courses as a present last year and although it was relatively basic it was a very enjoyable day.
I will be only to glad to pass on my experiences of the course, and hopefully put some photos up.
Wade, interested in your garage conversation. I recently converted our old workshop into a commercial kitchen, mainly for prep work. We do not have any ovens installed as we cook on site. If you need any advice or a second opinion PM me.
Let us know how the course goes as I may slot myself on the one in April. I have already had a go at most of what they are covering however you always learn new tips and techniques from these course.
The kitchen conversion will have a similar purpose for me. I am currently producing smoked goods for local small scale retail but am preparing to expand into a number of different areas. I recently went through the plans with my local EHO and I am starting to get the necessary product shelf life testing under way. It will also be used for giving small group courses - if I can find more people interested - lol.
Once the base construction has been completed I will give you a shout regarding the fitting as I am sure your experiences will be of great help.
The venue is in a great setting, Grade 11 listed building.
Refreshments served on arrival, included fresh bread and pastries cooked in the on site bakery, with bacon and sausage.
Two instructors took the course and they interacted very well. Between them they have many years experience in Butchery. First hour was on the history of Curing & Smoking, breeds of pigs, the science of Curing & Smoking.
I put myself on the course today and have just got home. Although it is a fairly basic course it is full of good hints and tips. Very little about smoking but a lot about curing. They don't get too deep about the use of nitrate, unless asked, however most people will come away with something that they are comfortable doing and will taste good. I would recommend it.
Hello Wade. You were just up he road from me. I hope you waved as you went by. I live about 1 mile from the main line. If I want to go ANYWHERE eats I've gotta cross the train line and the A1 is east of me and so is my job. THAT'S THE LONGEST LEVEL CROSSING IN ENGLAND. It's gotta be. And they must have a hidden camera sokeplace so they can see me coming. I am CERTAIN it's personal. One Sunday morning at 05:00 am the gates came down just as I got there. I sat there for 20 mins.. Nothing crossed the road but a stout carrying a mouse and then the gates came up. Had a look at that course. Bacon is on my "to do" list am I am sure I'd learn several tips and hints. Also a popular course. Hard to book a date. Both you and S.M. recommend it so good enough for me. Will keep the course in mind. Thanks.
Hi Wade, gland you enjoyed the course. Hope you enjoyed Rich and Chris course, I have done some work for these guys since I did the course, they are starting a business called Rutland Charcuterie, doing mainly Salamis, looked at fridges for them.
They are two good guys, that will answer any questions.
Hope you also enjoyed the hospitality of the school, the food the provide is outstanding as well.
Hello S.M. If you know these folks how about asking them to join the Group? We could use some knowledgeable people like that. Either they will or won't join but at least they have been invited. We might be able to pass on some tips to them. Just an idea. Keep Smokin!