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River Cottage on Fire

from £295.00

Spend a day with Gill Meller and learn all you need to know to skilfully cook outdoors over fire.

Under the expert tutelage of Gill Meller, author of 'River Cottage Outdoor Cooking Handbook' this one day course will equip you with the skills and confidence to cook successfully over fire. You’ll learn how to build and manage a fire and cook a wide variety of ingredients with different techniques to produce amazing tasting results.

You’ll start the day by getting back to basics and building your own individual fire. Gill will teach you how to get your fire going, manage fuel, heat and all the variables involved. Once you've got to grips with the principles of cooking over the fire you'll cook your own breakfast of mushrooms and sourdough toast over it.

Next up you will prepare a meaty stew that will simmer over your fire throughout the day. While your stew is cooking you will learn how to cook with an earth oven. You will practice this ancient cooking technique and bury a shoulder of lamb in a pit in the ground to cook slowly during the day.

After a meaty start to your morning, Gill will guide you through a selection of techniques and recipes to create some flavoursome flame-cooked veggie dishes that will prove cooking veg outdoors can be just as satisfying. Once your veg dishes are cooked, you will enjoy them as part of a light lunch.

In the afternoon, Gill will also demonstrate how to plank cook and clay bake fish. Finally, it will be time to retrieve your pit-cooked lamb and you will tuck in to for an early supper, before getting your book signed by Gill and heading home.


- Learn how to build and manage a fire

- Cook and enjoy your alfresco breakfast

- Prepare a slow-cooked stew

- Discover how to roast a lamb shoulder in an earth pit

- Learn a selection of recipes and techniques for cooking veg with fire

- Observe plank cooking and clay baking fish

- A tasty late - lunch featuring dishes you’ve cooked yourself

- Teas, coffees and welcome snack on arrival

- A complimentary copy of River Cottage Outdoor Cooking Handbook by Gill Meller

  • River Cottage on Fire

    What a fantastic day, Gill and all the team were excellent and their enthusiasm was evident and infectious. I will definitely come again to try another course or two.

    Adam Attended 23 April 2023

    5.0 out of 5
  • River Cottage on Fire

    River Cottage on Fire really does deliver the goods - a great day spent with like-minded outdoor cookery enthusiasts, creating a wide range of delicious dishes with thoughtfully sourced high-quality produce. What's not to love? And all lead by Gill Meller who is just as lovely...

    Steve Attended 23 April 2023

    5.0 out of 5
  • River Cottage on Fire

    It was awesome - whole day of learning all the techniques for cooking on and with open fire, from pits to cob ovens and even cooking directly on the coals! The ingredients used were perfect from oysters, steak, red mullet, breads and veg and herbs foraged from the kitchen...

    David Attended 5 October 2022

    4.7 out of 5

Your day

10:00 - 17:00

  • Arrive at River Cottage

    You will meet your host, and start the day with tea, coffee and treats fresh from the kitchen.

  • Session 1

    Cook a breakfast of field mushrooms, garlic and herbs on sourdough over your own campfire

  • Session 2

    Get a classic stew simmering away over the fire ready to taste later in the day

  • Session 3

    Bury a lamb shoulder stuffed with herbs to cook slowly through the day

  • Session 4

    It’s time to bring veg to the fore as you knock up some stunning veg dishes over your fire

  • Lunch

    You’ll tuck into a light lunch of your veggie creations (saving room for all the tasters throughout the day)

  • Session 5

    Gill will demonstrate the art of plank cooking and clay baking fish

  • Session 6

    Time to wrap up the day with a supper of pit roasted lamb and some smoked cream and brandy truffles prepared by the River Cottage chefs.

    Now’s your chance to get your book signed by Gill and ask any burning questions.

  • Departure

    Head up to the car park for 5pm.

Please note: This is a guide to the activities that will make up your course at River Cottage. This is by no means set in stone and will depend on seasonal availability.

On occasion cookery schools will use equipment that includes induction hobs. It is recommended that people with pace makers should not work on these units. If you are concerned or would like to check whether or not induction hobs will be used on the course you are interested in, please call us on 01297 630302.

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All prices include VAT.

Further information...

This course is run from River Cottage HQ on the Dorset/Devon borders. Full address details of HQ will be provided once you have booked.

We are a licensed venue. We have a wide selection of the finest organic wines available to purchase.

Stay in our famous Farmhouse, click here. For other local accommodation click here.

We would advise that this course is only really suitable for 12 years of age and upwards. Under 16s must be accompanied by a paying adult. We put these guidelines in place for the safety, comfort and enjoyment of all our guests.

Sorry, we’re afraid this course is not suitable for those with allergies or specific dietary requirements. However we do run Gluten Free and Veg Cookery courses. Please get in touch if you need further details.

With many of our courses there are often treats and leftovers to take away with you. In our quest to be more sustainable we are encouraging guests to bring their own containers and bags to transport their produce home. Details of what is required for each course will be included in booking emails.

  • Sustainable Restaurant Association
  • Food and Travel Magazine 2017
  • Great British Food Awards 2017
  • Great British Food Awards 2018