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Pig. Smoke. Fire

The day will involve the butchery of a whole pig body with one of our butchers, either Francesco or Nicholas.

Led By Francesco Visco/Nicholas Thomson & Michael Van de Elzen

Pig. Smoke. Fire

Your day here at the school will start with tea or coffee before we get into the butchery of a whole pig with one of our specialist butchers,  Francesco or Nicholas.

We’ll be running through boned and rolled legs and shoulders, butterflied cuts, racks, ribs, belly and best of all sausages. With plenty of time and opportunity throughout the day to discuss techniques and skills shown by our butchers and pick up some top tips.

We don’t stop there, you’ll then move onto the imparting of great flavours as Mike leads you in some hands on cooking time, learning about wet marinades, dry rubs, salsas and sides.

Utilizing our Hot and Cold smoker to run through some cold smoking techniques, hot smoking the sausages. Also firing up the amazing outdoor Engel fireplace to cook some other pork cuts over open flames for lunch. If we have time we’ll head to the beautiful kitchen gardens to stretch our legs before returning to a plating demonstration, ensuring every dish is as beautiful as it tastes. Making you more confident the next time you host a dinner party!

The day will conclude with a late lunch with various cuts of meat, sauces, sides and greens from our extensive gardens. Whilst enjoying a complimentary housemade soda, locally made wines or craft beer (x1 per person) and views over the wonderful Muriwai Valley area.

We encourage you all to ask questions throughout the day leaving with a sense of learning and enjoyment from the day’s experience.

This class is perfect for the home cook wanting to learn more about butchery, small goods, smoking and cooking over flames.

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Our butchers

Francesco Visco

Starting his career as a pastry chef in his hometown of Modena. His appreciation for meat started when he was asked to help a friend at the opening of his restaurant in Barcelona. His style of food was based on traditional Basque cuisine: big, aged beef steak cooked on charcoal. It was a revelation for him to understand the work behind every single piece of meat – the ageing process, the cutting, the seasoning, the cooking, the way every piece smelt and how they treated it with the utmost respect.

Arriving in New Zealand in 2013, and after working as the head pastry chef at Botswana Butchery Auckland Harbourside, and OKO Dessert Kitchen, he decided he would be the first pastry chef and butcher – taking care of butchery’s intricate details whilst still being respectful of the animal.

Dario Cecchini, an internationally renowned Italian Butcher from Chianti was an inspiration to Francesco.
Today, as a chef and a butcher, he chooses to live by Cecchini’s words:

There is no premium or lower cuts of meat, but rather all the parts of the animal are usable if butchered with respect and cooked in the same way.

Dario CecchiniInternationally renowned Italian Butcher from Chianti

Nicholas Thomson

Growing up north of Auckland, on the Hibiscus Coast, food ran in Nicks blood from an early age.

He completed his apprenticeship, and now has over twenty years of hands on experience under his belt. Nick honed his craft around the world in NZ, AUS, the UK and Europe, working alongside and closely with some of the world’s most renown chefs.
‘Food to me is medicine. What we put into our bodies and knowing what we are putting into our bodies, is very important. Food to me is medicine, community & conversations. As a butcher, I just view my craft as finishing off the great work the farmer has done, and creating cuts that bring simplicity to the home cook. I’ve been lucky enough to work alongside the likes of Fergus Henderson, Michael Van de Elzen, and Gill Miller. I’ve learnt alot from those guys’.
Nick now runs and owns butchery ‘Marrow’ based in Orewa, Auckland

Pig. Smoke. Fire

summer / autumn / winter / spring

9 am until 3:30 pm
$340 per person

Your day with us

  • Tea or Coffee on arrival
  • Tour of Kitchen gardens
  • Hands-on cooking class with an emphasis on butchery and includes smoking different cuts and making sausages.
  • Late Lunch served with x 1 complimentary locally-made beverage per person
  • Recipes

Please note: we require a minimum of 10 people for this class to commence. We do also require all guests to wear closed toe shoes for this class.

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