Gill Meller

River Cottage on Fire

  • Recommended


    Includes personal feedback and tuition. More

  • $99

    Learn in an online classroom with no more than 20 classmates. More

Course Description

More and more people are enthused by the idea of cooking outside over fire. Not only can you create the most incredible food, it also helps us reconnect with nature and the world around us. It’s a very mindful and rewarding experience and something we should all try to do a little more often.

During this course you will learn everything you need to know about outdoor cooking. You will be taken right back to basics, how to get your fire going, manage fuel and heat as well as all the variables involved Once you have got to grips with principles of cooking over the fire, you’ll be shown how to use a wood oven, the hangai (earth oven) and be led through the possibilities offered by ember based cooking.

After watching Gill’s demonstrations, you will have the opportunity to practise what you have learned. You will practise with pizza, slow roast meat, fish, vegetables and bread – you’ll even be equipped with the skills to cook a leg of venison in your own earth oven. Gill will give you feedback on your technique, flavour choices and final dishes, and you’ll have the opportunity to ask him any question you’d like for the duration of the course.

Course outline

  • The back to basics campfire/barbecue - an ancient way to cook

    Find out why cooking outside can be so good for your health and wellbeing. You will learn how to get a fire going, the importance of fuel and heat management and the endless possibilities of cooking with open fire. This lesson will show you the possibilities of cooking in the simplest sense and give you the confidence and know how to give it a go even if your new to this stripped back, homespun approach to wild cooking. We will round off the lesson with a simple yet delicious roasted tomato dish.

  • The wood oven - From pizza to slow roast meat to fish to vegetables to bread

    Explore the versatility of a homemade cob oven (or an off the shelf alternative). Learn how to get the fire going, manage and utilise every last bit of heat it has to offer. During this lesson you will create hand-stretched wood-baked pizzas and flatbreads. You will learn how to roast fish, and will finish off with a slow roasted lamb shoulder with lentil dal and spices.

  • The hangi or earth oven - the extraordinary flavour dimensions of underground cooking

    Cooking in the earth is a technique that has been practiced in different ways and by different cultures for many thousands of years but is still as effective now as it was then.

    This lesson will show you how to make your own earth oven at home. From digging the pit, to heating the stones to digging up your supper. You will be amazed by the flavours offered by this form of cooking, and by the end of the lesson you will be able to cook a leg of venison or lamb.

  • Ember based cooking - Overcoming your natural instincts

    Ember based cooking is another ancient technique – it involves cooking food directly in the hot embers of the fire. You’ll have no need for grills after this lesson. Once you’ve grasped the principles it’s amazing what can be done. In this lesson you will make a selection of recipes including baked root vegetable salad with herbs and labneh, onions baked in their skins and served with blue cheese, honey, thyme and walnuts, blackened leeks with mussels and lemon mayonnaise and a dirty steak - cooked directly in the embers of a hot barbecue.

Choose how you want to learn

  • The Expert option


    Develop your learning further with marked assignments and personal tuition from Gill Meller

    • Start course whenever you like
    • 4 weeks tutor access for personalised assignment feedback & coaching
    • 4 assignments marked by Gill Meller
    • Certificate of completion
    • Online classroom with up to 20 classmates
    • 4 lessons with expert videos & notes
    • Group chat & direct message with tutor & classmates
    • Lifetime access to videos, notes & classroom
    Learn more
  • The Peer option

    Discover the benefits of group learning in an online interactive classroom of no more than 20 people. Get the most from shared knowledge and community study

    • Start course whenever you like
    • Practise what you learn with your peers
    • Online classroom with up to 20 classmates
    • 4 lessons with expert videos & notes
    • 4 course assignments
    • Group chat & direct message classmates
    • Lifetime access to videos, notes & classroom
    Learn more

Food & Drink classroom - how it works

  • Start anytime

    Watch video tutorials led by expert tutors

    Watch video tutorials led by expert tutors
  • Test yourself

    Practice what you learn with inspiring assignments

    Practice what you learn with inspiring assignments
  • Personal tuition

    Get assignment feedback from expert tutors

    Get assignment feedback from expert tutors
  • Share ideas

    Collaborate and chat directly to classmates

    Collaborate and chat directly to classmates

Meet Gill Meller

Gill Meller - Food & Drink
Gill Meller has been involved with River Cottage from the early days and appears regularly on the celebrated Channel 4 series and still works closely with Hugh.

A big advocate for simple, seasonal cookery, Gill makes the most of ingredients and the natural qualities they possess. Gill considers his cooking to be a reflection of his surroundings, taking inspiration from the landscape, his locality, and the amazing farmers, growers, and fishermen that produce the ingredients he uses.

Gill teaches at River Cottage and internationally. He is a regular contributor to titles such as the Observer, Guardian, Waitrose Food, Telegraph and Country Living to name but a few, and his regular recipe column can be found in the award winning Delicious magazine every month. Gill's first book, Gather (2016), won the Fortnum & Mason Award for Best Debut Food Book, and Time (2018) was nominated for the Guild of Food Writers Cookbook of the Year. His latest book Root, Stem, Leaf, Flower was released earlier this year.

Frequently bought as part of this collection

  • The River Cottage Cooking Diploma

    Master the entire subject and SAVE 26% when you buy this collection

    11 Courses • 9 Expert Tutors

    Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage HQ has long been a power-house of culinary ideology – a hub bringing together an inspiring and talented team who all share a commitment to seasonal and sustainable eating.

    "At River Cottage, we believe there are few things more important than education. And food! And so our aim is to teach and inspire you to grow, source and cook food in ways that enhance your life, increase your wellbeing and connect you more closely to the natural, sustainable and ethical sources of food.

    I believe that delicious, healthy food has never been more vital in helping us all to stay well during this global pandemic, and making those choices in a sustainable way makes the health of our planet a priority too. This opportunity to learn online in social groups provides a sense of togetherness and mutual support. It's not just a great way to learn, it's a great way to stay connected and foster a sense of shared endeavour in what could otherwise be a very isolating time in our lives."

    – Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

    Who is the course for?

    Whether you want a career change, you're already working in the food or hospitality industry, or you are an enthusiastic amateur who'd like to gain a certificate, this course is suitable for all food enthusiasts.

    What you will learn

    Through this collection of 48 cookery lessons, Hugh and the team will demonstrate, teach and guide you through their specialist subjects, setting you assignments and offering feedback along the way.

    Our experts will demonstrate a range of skills including vegetable cookery, fish filleting, and shellfish preparation with a focus on ingredient provenance, sourcing and seasoning. From baking your own bread, sourdough and pastries to making your own pickles and kombucha, this course will delve deep into a wide range of useful kitchen skills. Forage for local delicacies, combine exotic spices with delicious home-grown and local ingredients, cook meat and veg in the wild with fire and go gluten free without compromising on flavour – this collection covers absolutely everything you need to know to be at the top of your cooking game.

    In order to gain the River Cottage Cooking Diploma with a signed certificate from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, you will need to complete all courses within the collection. However feel free also to pick and choose the areas that interest you if you simply want the pleasure of learning from the top chefs at River Cottage.

    Learn more

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