2019, a review

2019, a review

2019, a review

2019, a review

2019, a review

2019, a review

2019, a review

2019, a review

2019, a review

2019, a review

2019, a review

2019, a review

January 2019

After 24 years of living in sin, Helena and I surprised just about everyone and got married. It snowed but the sun shone.

I had my stag do in Meribel with my friends from the Snowcats skiing group, not that any of them knew they were on my stag do, not until after the wedding.

Stat: Ski trip #1

Our wedding in Ely, not in the cathedral though

Skiing in Japan

February 2019

I’m lucky enough to not just have one job, I also do some aeronautical engineering with my great friend Paul from JR Technology. We’ve been friends since sixth form. In February we made a trip to Japan to see one of our key suppliers. 

On the way we got to visit the KLM repair faciilities at Schipol airport. 

Our 8 day trip allowed us a little while to ski with Wakai San, our supplier, visit Tokyo and also take the bullet train past Mt. Fuji to Kyoto.

Stat: Ski trip #2

March 2019

We were in full swing getting the Meat Smoke Fire cooking school set up ready for our firsts guests. The weather was really kind being lovely and warm. 

I took off for my final ski trip of 2019, again with the Snowcats. We visited Champoluc in Italy, a very well kept secret with some superb skiing. We even managed a day trip to Cervina, skiing next to the Matterhorn. 

Stat: Ski trip #3

Skiing in Champoluc, Italy

Finishing touches to the Meat Smoke Fire Cooking School

April 2019

The Meat Smoke Fire cookery school opened its doors for the first two group cooking classes. We couldn’t have asked for two more lovely groups to get us underway.

Stat: Group classes 1 and 2

May 2019

It was a busy month with 4 group classes including our first weekend of back-to-back classes.

The ‘lads’ in the photo came to the first of the two, and following the class, we all went for a beer at my local. It was a great day and the only class of the year that wasn’t a sell out. All five have booked to come back in 2020 to our new follow-on class and we can’t wait to see them all again.

Helena and I also had our ‘family moon’, renting a beautiful house, Seascape in Croyde, Devon for a week. It was a fabulous week with family and friends celebrating my birthday while we were there.

Stat: Group cooking classes 3, 4, 5 and 6, several private classes

Our first back to back weekend of classes

The arrival of Smoke and Fire, our pigs

June 2019

Every other year we keep pigs at our friends house in the village. We collected just two piglets this year and introduced them to their new pen. Our friends’ kids named them and I was suprised to find out they’d been named Smoke and Fire. 

While we only had 3 group classes, the month was busy with several other private classes.

We have a village annual camping weekend where just the dads and kids go camping, leaving all the mums behind to enjoy themselves kid free. I tag along despite having no kids. This year we took 3 Roccboxes and managed to serve around 100 pizzas in the middle of a field with everyone making their own from the dough we made. 

Stat: Group classes 7, 8 and 9

July 2019

That little bottle in there, it’s a methusela of Cristal Cuvee 2000 champagne, 6 litres of very expensive pop. We got to have a glass, probably around £200’s worth per glass. It was one of the bottles drunk at a private class I gave.

For the rest of the month we enjoyed a break in Cornwall. We even gave a private cooking class in a penthouse apartment overlooking Fistral Beach on a beautiful day. 

Stat: Group cooking class number 10

A 6 litre bottle of Cristal Cuvee 2000

Cooking some beautiful sardines on the OFYR

August 2019

We started the month in style, taking my nephew to an England Gymnastics training squad in Barnstaple, Devon. It meant Helena and I got to go camping and surfing for 3 nights.

My aeronautical engineering work took me to the British Airways Maintenance Centre to deliver a series of training courses. I then got to calibrate some hot bonding controllers at a heicopter repair facility in Wiltshire on the way home. It was interesting seeing the British Touring Car Chanmpionship paddock being set up while I was at Thruxton.

Later in the month I travelled to Inverness to deliver a class to Big Gree Egg reseller, Bonk and Co.

Stat: Group classes 10, 11 and 12

September 2019

We were lucky enough to get back to Scotland for a few days and stay with some of my skiing group. Helena and I stayed in the van on their drive but this was the view. We had absolutely stunning weather and were able to waterski for the whole weekend. I found out I’m suited to a version of waterskiing that takes place mainly under water. 

Following our break we returned to take Smoke and Fire, the pigs, to the abbatoire, not something we enjoy doing. After collecting them, Simon and I spent an afternoon cutting them into joints while Helena vacuum packed everything. If you’re going to eat meat, going through this really makes your appreciate the whole process. The bonus is your home grown meat tastes stunning.

Stat: Group cooking class number 13

Waterskiing on Loch Earn in Scotland with the Wetcats

Shooting with Big Green Egg's management team from the US

October 2019

We gave the last of the 2019 cooking classes at the beginning of October. We’ve really enjoyed having so many people through the school, 83 people in total this year. 

I spent 2 days with the Big Green Egg UK and US management teams in Hampshire. 5 of the US team visited. On the first day we took them to a pheasant shoot in Wiltshire which was great fun. I had to buy myself all the gear. My good friend Rob gave me a little practice the week before which paid off, I managed to shoot 18 birds during the day. 

The month was wrapped up with three days exhibiting at the Advanced Engineering Show at the NEC in Birmingham.

Stat: Group classes 14, the final one for 2019

November 2019

We started the month with a 3 day trip to Thessanoliki, Greece, visiting to watch my nephew in his first International Competition for England Gymnastics. It was a superb weekend with stunning weather, great food and drink and to top that, Sol took gold in 4 of his 6 apparatus and gold in both the individual compeition and the team compeition. It doesn’t get better than that. 

My next trip was to Space Tech Expo in Bremen, Germany. Yes I now consider myself a rocket scientist. 

 

Stat: my first Space Enginerring conference.

I fly on them as well as repairing them

Christmas day forerib of beef, reverse seared on the Egg

December 2019

 I thought we’d get a few days to ourselves to get ready for 2020. A lot of you had other ideas buying Meaters, Thermapens and Cooking Classes for Christmas presents. We are very grateful to all of you. We’ll leave 2019 with over half the classes for 2020 sold already.

We enjoyed a long weekend in Heidelberg with friends soaking up the Christmas markets.  I met Sabine when I was 12 on a canoe exchange trip and we’ve stayed good friends ever since.

Obviously we used the Eggs to cook our Christmas meals including burgers on Christmas Eve and three different curries on Boxing Day.

Stat: 61 of 120 spaces for 2020 classes sold to date

 

Our Plans for 2020

2019 has been a fabulous year, 2020 should be even better. Both Helena and I will turn 50 and so we’re planning a few celebrations. 

I’ve decided we’re going to concentrate on our group cooking classes and run more of them in 2020. As a result, Julie, who joined the Meat Smoke Fire team in 2019, will be giving the majority of the private classes. Julie already has many bookings. 

We’re also offering classes in the north east. Mark from Smokedfinefood will be giving them. He’s already taking bookings too.

We hope you all have a fabulous New Year and look forward to seeing you in 2020. 

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