“Cooking outdoors whatever the weather!” This is the motto of Marcus Bawdon, a vegetarian of 14 years, who dreamed about the perfect steak, from well reared cattle, dry aged and full flavoured, and cooked over fire to perfection. “The smell of the smoke, fire and the food cooking…. It’s just magic!”
Founder of CountryWoodSmoke as well as editor of The BBQ Mag, Marcus has been filming and documenting his journey with food and fire by means of his own YouTube channel with over 250 videos of BBQ recipes, methods, tips and tricks which receive hundreds of views each week.
Marcus has taken these unique recipes and written his own bestselling outdoor cooking book, “Food & Fire” and is currently writing his second book, “Skewered” due to be released later this year.
From “Smash Burgers” on the griddle; “Planked Salmon” in the wood fired oven; “Boerewors” on a Camel Thorn ‘Braai’ and not to mention “Dirty Steaks” direct on the coals, (caveman style!) Marcus has converted his back garden at home into CountryWoodSmoke HQ… a true fantasy land for any BBQ enthusiast!
“A British BBQ usually consists of poor-quality supermarket meats, cremated on the outside and raw on the inside. Well things are changing, there is a vibrant BBQ scene developing in the UK, and it’s my passion to help you to take your BBQ to a whole new level.
I have started UK BBQ School, here at CountryWoodSmoke HQ in rural Devon to give people confidence in BBQ and cooking outdoors. They can learn skills and techniques to wow friends and family, to make sure burnt bangers and undercooked chicken are a thing of the past.
This course is intended for people who are looking to get into real BBQ, how to control heat in a BBQ, and which fuel, smoke and food combinations work well.
The atmosphere is lovely and laid back, you will take lots of new ideas and techniques away to get you inspired to cook outdoors.”
When Marcus isn’t filming or writing his own books and feature pieces for the likes of Great British Chefs, he’s performing live-fire demonstrations at events and festivals; he’s currently booked to cook at Black Deer Festival later this year, an American styled country music festival with a BBQ twist!
We sat down with Marcus recently and asked him a few questions, and this is what he had to say:
What was your very first experience with cooking over fire?
I remember sitting round bonfires as a kid, we'd pull jacket potatoes, slightly charred and crisp skinned from the embers, load them up with good butter, that taste stays with me.
What inspired you to write your own book?
I felt there was a real need for a BBQ book that took people on a journey, with recipe ideas from around the globe, that people found simple to cook, and inspired to go on their own BBQ journey.
What is your favourite BBQ recipe?
My favourite recipe would be a quality surf n turf, sirloin steak and scallops.
What is your favourite thing to drink whilst sat around a crackling fire?
A nice IPA or a bourbon whiskey.
What advice can you give to anyone out there who is just starting out at BBQ?
Keep things simple, use a digital probe thermometer, and have fun.
Lastly, of course, we must ask… what did you think of our Namibian hardwood?
I'm a big fan of your braaiwood, I worked in southern and West Africa many years ago in the oil industry, and the smell reminds me of those times and great food. I love the spice and savouriness of the smoke, and that you can cook on the embers for hours.
With one cookbook under his belt, (and another on the way) more than 25,000 followers on Instagram and Facebook, as well as another 7,000 subscribed to his YouTube channel, the ever-humble Marcus Bawdon is certainly making a huge impact in the UK BBQ scene.
If you’d like to learn more about Marcus and his journey with food and fire, then check out the below links to his various platforms:
Marcus' new book is due for release on 27th April 2021.
In closing, what better way to end off this feature than with an epic video interview of Marcus sharing his outdoor cooking story. A love of BBQ…
Until next time, cheers!
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