Westmorland Gazette Article – 5th May 2011

Westmorland Gazette feature Smoky Jo's, May 2011

Westmorland Gazette feature Smoky Jo's, May 2011

 

Smoking can be fun
And historic
art really bring
out food flavours
by KATE PROCTOR

Named as one of the top ten
food schools in Europe, Smoky Jo’s
in Shap is fast becoming the
premiere destination to
learn the ancient art of
smoking.
Chipotle chillies,
Applewood cheddar,
kielbasa sausages and
kippers smoked over tea and
rice are just some of the
culinary combinations
guests taking a Smoky Jo’s
course will learn how to
create.
After quitting high
ranking positions in the
police, Jo Hampson, 54, and
Georgina Perkins, 46, turned
their hand to smoking on a
whim after noticing The
Smoke House at Brougham
near Penrith was for sale.
“We both thought there
must be more to life than
our jobs in the police and so
when we saw the advert for
The Smoke House we
thought, let’s do something
different- and we have so
much fun doing what we’re
doing now,” said Jo.
They sold The Smoke

House to new owners a few
years ago and now solely
concentrate on rtmning
weekend and day courses
from their house in Shap
during the summer and at
the Wild Boar, Crook, in the
winter.
With guests coming from
all over the world to learn
how to smoke meats,
vegetables and cheses using
hot and cold smoking
methods, Smoky J0’s has
developed a global name for
the experience if gives
guests.
It was judged ninth best
food course in Europe by
Lonely Planet travel guides
for its contemporary take on
historic techniques.
“I think there’s a great
deal of enjoyment to be had
from making your own food.
People like to bake bread
because it gives them
involvement and they find it
relaxing, and it’s the same
with smoking. We really
focus on the brines used to
prepare the meat or
vegetables before smoking,
creating deep flavours that
come out during the
process,” said Jo.
The pair also pride
themselves on using only
local meat – from Bellas’
Butchers of Shap — and fish,
which guests must catch in
the Bessy Beck at
Newbiggin on Lune.
And for the dedicated, Jo
and Georgina will show you
how to make your own
home-made smoke house
from a tiling cabinet.
There are still places
available on weekend
courses in May and June.
Call 01931 716 638 or visit
www.smokyjos.co.uk for
more information.

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