Learn to make your own cured and smoked meats, fish, vegetables and spices with Alex Chambers - artisan sausage maker, charcutier, qualified teacher and founder of the educational food charity Slow Food Warwickshire.
The unique Squisito Artisan Curing & Smoking at Home workshop is designed for keen amateurs, butchers, chefs, coeliacs and as a practical introduction to curing and food preservation at home.
Squisito (that's squiz-eat-oh or 'exquisite' in Italian) are qualified teachers as well as working food producers. We are also BBC Good Food Show & Slow Food Bursary Award Winners in addition to being the only Midlands food producer shortlisted by the judges as 'Best Food Producer' in the BBC Food and Farming Awards 2012. Ours is the voice of experience.
Unlike other courses Squisito workshops are practical and educational so you will be tasting, making and learning the functional skills of curing and smoking to gain a compass to work by so you can assess recipes or products you collect to pass your skills on to your friends and family.
The workshop is run in a Victorian butchers shop so students can learn that award winning results by modern standards are achievable in your own home without sophisticated professional equipment in the way of our forefathers.
The day starts with an educational breakfast of cured and smoked products followed by basic bacteriology or 'how curing and smoking actually works' so you gain diagnostic skills and not just recipes. Students then learn to make a brine, gravad lax, salt beef or pastrami, pancetta (dry cure bacon), and a choice of cured n'duja (spicy smoked semi-dried Calabrian sausage), Berlin Currywurst, bresaola, soused mackerel or local trout, venison biltong or smoked cod's roe (if available fresh) plus how to prepare and smoke spices and vegetables in season as the pace allows.
All you need is a good size cold bag or similar to put your produce in, comfy boots and a fleece jacket with 'layers' (Victorian butchers were designed to be cold in the age before refrigeration!) and a good night's sleep since you will actually be curing and and learning how to smoke at home at the butcher's workbench so it's 'brain and brawn' rather than sitting down for a demonstration like a 'cookery school'.
Don't but kit in advance as you may find that a little knowledge saves a lot of money on unnecessary and complicated gadgets!
Courses start at 09:30 for 10:00am and finish at 5:00 to 6:00pm. The price of Artisan Curing & Smoking at Home is just £145.00 including meat and fish.
Maximum course size is just 4 people so that students get personal attention and time to learn and practice their skills. You also get to take home a share of the day's produce. Our workshop is a working day not a holiday!
Squisito provide extensive PDF course notes with hundreds more recipes and hyperlink links for reference and reinforcement. Click on the pictures to see examples. All Squisito recipes are gluten free and the workshop includes an introduction to food safety and HACCP for food producers.
The workshop objective is to inspire the student to cure and smoke food at home easily and safely with skill and artistry. Artisan Curing & Smoking at Home is the foundation for Artisan Sausage Making at Home and the Advanced Salami Making Course in Tuscany with Sapori e Saperi.
Our student's Squisito reviews speak for themselves.
Click on the pictures to view sample pages from the Artisan Curing & Smoking at Home course notes.
For groups of 4 or more students Squisito can arrange to teach at your own home, village hall or suitable venue.
All courses are on the Squisito shop and available to book on specific dates or as an open gift voucher. If you wish to give a day as a present we can liaise with your friend to arrange a suitable date and provide personalised gift voucher which we print and post or email for you to print out at home. Squisito also design fully professional one-to-one tailored workshops with full HACCP and practical production advice in addition to functional skills and affective learning. We can arrange to teach you at your own premises or farm and organise a programme or apprenticeships for your staff.
To book a workshop click here or call us on 07824 314 235. Alternative dates by arrangement.
As a small family business Squisito reserve the right to alter course dates if circumstances or weather dictate. Refunds cannot be given once booked but Squisito will make every effort to arrange alternative workshop date.
smoked Nduja hanging in kitchen
artisan pancetta 'stesa'
"The sausage making course and the home curing and smoking courses are exceptional. Alex takes you through the fundamentals in an entertaining and informative way that makes it easy to remember when you get home and go solo. Not only do you get the chance to make great tasting food under expert supervision, you get to take it home to share with friends and family. The courses are great value and I'd highly recommend to anybody who loves good food."
9 months later
"I just wanted to write to you to say I had no idea how the two days we spent together last Autumn would change our whole family's lives for the better.
Besides the amazing food we created, your educational "re-programming" has had the most incredible beneficial effect in terms of the food choices we make every day and over the last few months I have developed a real passion coupled with a discerning eye for the procurement of real ingredients to create real food.
Believe it or not, never a day goes by without me hearing at least one of your phrases in my head when I am making a culinary decision!
The only problem now is that I find it almost impossible to gain any satisfaction unless I have prepared the food myself, however we are off to Napoli / Sorrento this summer, so i look forward to putting on half a stone in a week tasting what they have in store for us there.
Anyway, I just thought I would let you know as it's been an amazing transformation.
Thanks again, Warren"
9 days later
"Just tasted the loin I dry cured - it's f&^%$g amazing!!"
"An amazing insight into . . . well, everything actually! Thank you for helping me to see the (food) revolution! p.s. The race car analogies were perfect!"
Warren - Classic Racing Car Builder
"I thoroughly enjoyed your teaching style and personally benefit from an up-front, no nonsense approach to any subject.
I felt a little out of my depth with regards to the science but that highlights my shortcomings rather than the course's.
The hands-on side of the course was great with plenty of treats to take home and share at the end of the day.
The most important treat however was being inspired by what you're doing and the knowledge you've amassed over the years - truly this course had an impact on me that will last.
Love the thrifty approach and rustic philosophy; gives me hope that small businesses can really thrive and has given me a lot of food for thought for my future in this industry."
Owain - Chef & Restauranteur
"Thank you for the courses - I really enjoyed both days and learnt an lot of new stuff.
The pancetta is coming along nicely – I an massaging it every day. Also I have been turning the salt beef every day, I would like to smoke it and make it into a pastrami.
We tried your Sugo di Salsiccia recipe with the Tuscan sausage tonight (minus the creme fraiche & parmesan) – absolutely fantastic."
"Words fail me, best day, food, talk and - just everything! Don’t miss the Curing Course!
A very very happy - Janice"
"Days like this don't come around often - delicacies appearing throughout the day . . . porc tartare - mindblowing brie - local beers - arancello. We've tried a few tastings these last few years and the day we were making sausages turned out the best of all. Alex has taught more amusing connotations of sausages than I could ever have thought up and left us with kilos of of the output to take home. Thanks for giving my Pa a great birthday."
"Alex, you are a natural teacher - full of passion that you want to pass onto others - with a real love of what you do. We've had such a good day starting with a cracking breakfast and you took us at our own pace. Well done to you both. We've had a hands-on day and will head South full of enthusiasm with some new skills to apply. Until next time . . . "
"Alex came to my home to teach Dave and I the art of ARTISAN sausage making. It was one of the most interesting and informative days I have ever spent. Dave has not stopped calling me about different recipes and ideas. Alex cooked us breakfast and lunch which was sublime. I can only recommend this course to any one who wishes to develop their skills in the art of making "real" sausages. Alex is a very knowledgeable man with a wealth of experience and an easy teaching style."
"The reviews on your website spoke for themselves. I had to come along. I can't thank you enough."