Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons’ sizzling BBQ course paves the way for a hot summer

From Raymond Blanc’s cookery school to Argentine steaks and roasting chickens on BBQs, Chantal Borciani runs down the best BBQ and wood-fired cookery courses for adults

Great barbecue food is about so much more than a burnt burger and a floppy bun. With the most exclusive cookery school at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons taking to its outdoor grills, BBQ courses are one of the top experiences to try this year.

Raymond Blanc cookery school

English country cooking school Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons 620
Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons has a packed calendar of courses. The BBQ course is held in the immaculate gardens

Without doubt one of the finest cookery schools in the country. Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons runs an array of courses (open to all levels) year-round including the Maman Blanc course (food based on Raymond Blanc’s mother’s home-style cooking), a bread-making course for budding bakers, plus seasonal dinner party menus and fish courses for those who wish to entertain like Raymond Blanc himself.

From June, the acclaimed restaurant and hotel will also run a BBQ course. Held in the stunning gardens, this course extends bbq skills far beyond burgers and steak. You will learn how to use citrus to break down tough meats and the art of glazing, marinading, rubbing and slow cooking.

Participants will also tour the working vegetable and herb gardens of Le Manoir and see the chefs at work in the restaurant.

Cookery course Raymond Blanc Oxfordshire 620
During the course, you’ll be shown around the working gardens and micro salad greenhouses

Find out how to get the perfect crispy shoulder of lamb or crackling and cook dishes on the bbq you never thought possible. And get ready to eat! The courses at Le Manoir are all about sampling as you go and we promise you will be absolutely stuffed by the time you head home. We could hardly believe the number of dishes the course covers in one day and the tips are invaluable.

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I can safely say I learnt more in one hour at Le Manoir than I did in all the years sifting through cookery books

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Interactive, sociable and fun, Le Manoir’s courses are really accessible, despite the double Michelin star heritage of the restaurant itself.

The tips, advice and knowledge you come away with after just a day is incredible and I can safely say I learnt more in one hour at Le Manoir, than I did in all my years sifting through cookery books.

The BBQ course is £440, so not cheap, but for a food lover a trip to Le Manoir is like a religious experience. The course includes morning and afternoon tea and lunch (and all those samples).

Three other top BBQ cookery schools in the UK

Cooking classes in Devon – grill like an Argentinian

The perfect class for meat lovers! These classes take part in the garden kitchen in the grounds of the Deer Park Country House Hotel. The Grill Like a Gaucho course is all about meat, open fires and bold flavours.

The South American-inspired class uses a wood-fired oven to create a classic Argentine feast. You’ll be hands-on at the wood-fired oven making a snack of eggs with tomato and chorizo and then hone your pastry skills with filled empanadas.

The rest of the menu includes classic beef churrasco with chimmichurri, roasted, stuffed peppers, grilled ratatouille and breaded chicken breast. The class is rounded off with a dulce de leche pancake.

The class costs £95 per person.

Wood-fired pizza-making class
Wood-fire sessions Manna from Devon cookery school 620
Wood-fire sessions Manna from Devon cookery school 620

This hands on class is designed for anyone who has or is about to buy or build a wood-fired oven. Using a purpose built wood-fired kitchen featuring two Bushman Ovens, the class teaches you how to make pizza dough (shaping, topping and baking), fish stews, roast fish and griddle seafood, make pittas and farls and roast whole chickens in the wood-fired ovens. Participants taste all the food they make on the day.

The tutors will also discuss siting your oven, wood selection, lighting and heating the fire, measuring and controlling temperatures and good cooking utensils and other equipment

Wood fired course in Devon travel food holiday 620
For those investing in a wood-fired oven, the course covers methods, grilling, roasting and pizza making

Each course is limited to eight places and costs £165 per person. Lunch (lots of it) is included. 10am-4pm.

Make a weekend of it by combining this class with our Baking and Slow-Cooking With a Wood-fired Oven class. The two classes together cost £300.

The wood-fired ovens are also available for private classes at the school – to discuss private classes call 01803 752943.

BBQ techniques and marinades – evening class

Suitable for all levels and offering a wealth of new recipes and techniques, this cookery class is based in Cheshire and is a short evening class. The Cheshire Cookery School will run your through marinades, grills and sauces and after learning your new BBQ skills your group will retire to the dining room to enjoy a sociable meal and taste all the dishes.

The course runs from 6.30-9.30pm and costs £75 per person.

Philleigh Way – a cookery school in Cornwall
philleigh-way_fish and bbq cookery school Cornwall. David Griffen Photography
Philleigh Way fish and bbq cookery school Cornwall. Photo from David Griffen Photography

We slightly cheated on this but we love the ethos of this cookery school so much we couldn’t leave it out. Set on the stunning Roseland Peninsula in Cornwall, the Philleigh Way cookery school runs bakery, fish, butchery, bushcraft and foraging courses and this year has launched Asado nights, where the chefs will cook up a storm on the open fires.

Though not a course as such these wood-fired nights will give you a taste of incredible BBQ cooking and the amazing menu is cooked on grills right in front of you.

Our advice is to sign up for one of the courses – perhaps the Cornwall in a Day class where you will learn to cook with some of the finest local produce – and then stay overnight to enjoy one of the Asado nights.

Round House front Philleigh Way cookery school
The Round House can be rented from the Philleigh Way cookery school

The Woodfired Session ‘Best’ (Cornish for Beast) nights are a celebration of a typical Argentinian Asado where beef is the star of the show. Slow cooked on the Parrilla will be short ribs or flank steaks served with chimichurri and a variety of authentic side dishes and sharing plates.

‘Krogen’ Woodfired Sessions will include an array of fresh Cornish shellfish straight from the wood grill. Dishes will be plentiful and varied depending upon what is available and could include half crab served with aioili and fresh bread, Cornish mussels cooked in Rattler cider or crab cakes with a saffron and garlic mayonnaise.

Philliegh Way also offers accommodation for up to 10 people and a beautiful self-catering Round House. Great for presents, birthdays or anniversary gifts the venue runs day courses, half day courses and evening demonstrations.