24 Jan 1st Frenchsmoker week-end
Let me introduce myself : I am Guillaume Marchand, admin of the Frenchsmoker Facebook group. Six months after the group was created, we had the crazy idea of organizing a members’ only meeting week-end.
We already knew where it would take place : Patrice Pichery, member and moderator of the group, runs a camping site close to Montpellier. He supplied most of the logistics (accomodation, barbeque, smoker…), an online butchery, (Le goût du bœuf ) quickly offered to supply the meat, and we received the charcoal from Établissement Rousseau, a producer living in Périgord. We were now ready for the week-end to begin.
We left Périgueux, Dordogne, at around 5pm on Friday and arrived around 10pm at the camping site, welcomed by the owner, Patrice, we put our cases in the mobile-homes and went to see the smoking area.
Jed Thompson, the driving force behind the event, was already working : the shotgun smoker was already doing its job. The goose skirts had been kept warm the whole afternoon and were waiting for us to flambé them with Jack Daniel’s after a quick Reverse sear.
Most of us discovered the Black Angus Creekstone briske that day A delicious meat Jed Thompson imported from Arkansas organic farms. We then spent our evening talking about our different ways to barbaque (while drinking a several good bottles).
On Saturday morning, some woke up early to start smoking the food for dinner.
At around 10 :30, all the smokers were working and everything was set up. David Dhaussy chose that moment to make us taste some northern French cheeses he brought (Maroilles, Petit Lille, Boulettes d’Avenne with Arleux garlic and smoked shallots). That Spanish inn style snack lasted until 3pm included Bulgarian specialities, cold meats, oysters, smoked salmon, kimchi and cheeses…
At 3pm, a newbie arrived, Craig Price. We had already talked to each other on the Facebook group but we didn’t know much about each other. He quickly helped us cook ribs and introduced us to his sauces… We got along very well.
The afternoon kept going, everybody was chatting, listening to music, testing all the equiptment and getting to know each other… in short we enjoyed the week-end.
At 8pm, Rafa kindly taught us how to smoke and how to choose the right smoker and so on. We were all Excited and everybody was chatting but the audience listened to him until the end.
At around 9pm, it was time for dinner. On the menu was ribs, Black Angus, Aubrac briskets, pulled pork, kidney beans, coleslaw and mac n’cheese. It lasted until 4-5am with late beers on the terraces of our mobile homes.
On Sunday morning, Patrice’s wife cooked an amazing pancake recipe (that many of the group members ended up pinching !) and then we went on directly with the lunch and trying to finish all the leftovers, before packing our bags.
Verdict after two gruelling days for my scale : an awesome souvenir and a strong will to be at next year’s party with many newbies and a KCBS round !