Who are we?

Our dough, smoke + fire weekends are here to elevate your knowledge and confidence in cooking outside – all whilst having a fabulous time, making new friends or catching up with old ones in a beautiful part of France.

We genuinely love and appreciate good food. Food is at the heart of everything we do. It’s the morning conversation and the night-time debate. We moved to France because we love how much the French adore and live around food too. Our dough, smoke + fire weekends aim to give you a rejuvenated look and new found love for barbecued and smoked food like never before. 

We look forward to welcoming you here! James + Lauren 

Food + us

At the sweet age of 6 years old James began his relationship with smoke + fire and cooking outdoors. Coming from a family of foodies he spent his early days in the kitchen, cooking up delights at weddings, large events and even for members of the British Royal Family and Parliament. 

His move into the British charcuterie world was a natural one, and he worked in that arena for over 6 years. Air-dried ham, salami, sausages and bacon were his forte. He elevated his knowledge of the world of meat, learning from master curers and inspirational chefs. His love for barbecue was elevated even further when he spent 3 months travelling through the southern states of America – eating and learning the art to perfectly smoked food.

After purchasing an Ooni he began experimenting with wood even more – this time with sourdough pizzas. His passion for wood fired pizzas was sparked and he took himself off on a plane, spending time in Naples to truly discover the art of a true Neopolitan pizza. 

Who says you can’t have pizza and barbecued food and hot and fast all at the same time? Through dough, smoke + fire weekends we aim to bring our love of pizzas, smoking and cooking on fire to you. 

Kit + us

We take our kit very seriously and pride ourselves in teaching on kit that you could very easily have and use at home. 

For pizzas we cook on Ooni pizza ovens, they have the flexibility of using wood, charcoal and gas and in our opinion make incredible pizzas – they are seriously great. 

For smoking we use a big old Weber Smokey Mountain and our Bristol Drum Smoker. We also experiment with cold smoking with a Pro Q cold smoke generator and offset grilling on our Weber Master Touch.

When we grill directly on the fire we use our impressive, purpose built, fire pit here in the grounds of Manoir Beaulieu. We’ve also built a table top Hibachi Grill to further elevate your knowledge of hot and fast grilling.

Cool stuff + us

When we arrived at Manoir Beaulieu all our barbecue equipment was on the back of a lorry, so for two weeks we had to improvise. We barbecued on old metal buckets, terracota plant pots and a small firepit with a cake cooling rack. We’ll show you all this, alongside the pro kit, to give you a complete apprecation for barbecueing and grilling. 

France is known for its absolute appreciation and love of food, along with cooking with the seasons. We’ll show you “out there” flavour combinations for both meats, sauces, mops, spritzes and pizza, to help you impress your friends and family back home.