January 15-19, 2018
Faculty: David Asher
“The Art of Natural Cheesemaking” offers a detailed, hands-on study of milk and how to safely create value-added, delicious, artisan cheese products in the home kitchen.
From culture propagation to rennet coagulation and on to affinage, this comprehensive and hands on course covers nearly all aspects and styles of farmhouse cheesemaking. Five days of learning allows students to prepare many styles of cheese and observe the stages of their evolution, providing insight into how many cheeses can evolve from the very same milk, with the same culture, and the same rennet. The course will focus on natural methods and a full circle approach to home and micro-scale cheesemaking. Class begins with a session on dairy fermentation, covering kefir, creme fraiche, cultured butter, yogurt, clabber, and quark. Next, we will explore fresh lactic cheeses such as cream cheese, chèvre, and geotrichum-candidum ripened lactic cheeses, including Crottin, Valencay and Saint Marcellin. We’ll deepen our study by looking at rennet cheeses: One morning, we’ll prepare a basic curd that can become many different styles of cheese. By the afternoon, the curd’s acidity will have developed, enabling us to stretch the cheese into mozzarella, burratta, and other pasta filata cheeses. We will then investigate blue cheeses and explore the different rind ecologies, including the white fungus of Camembert and the orange rinds of Limburger. Last, we make an Alpine Cheese and a Cheddar; with their leftover whey we prepare a batch of fresh, warm Ricotta. “The Art of Natural Cheesemaking” offers a well-rounded understanding of the opportunities available to safely and deliciously create value-added dairy products ecologically and without reliance on manufactured cultures.
Tuition & Fees: $1250 covers the cost of the class, most course materials, and lunch each day from our top-ranked Sterling Kitchen. Not included are airport transfers or accommodations; please let us know if we can assist you with finding or providing these.
Housing Availability & Fees: On-campus housing is not available for this course. We recommend the Highland Lodge in Greensboro, VT which offers breakfast and a daily shuttle to and from. For other recommendations please see our accommodations page.
Want some more information about the class before you register? Let us know.
Faculty Bio: David Asher is an organic farmer, farmstead cheese maker, and cheese educator based on the gulf islands of British Columbia, Canada. A guerrilla cheesemaker, David does not make cheese according to standard industrial philosophies—he explores traditionally cultured, non-corporate methods of cheesemaking. David offers cheese outreach to communities near and far with the Black Sheep
School of Cheesemaking. Through workshops in partnership with food-sovereignty-minded organizations, he shares his distinct cheesemaking style. His courses teach a cheesemaking method that is natural, DIY, and well suited to the home kitchen or artisanal production. He is the author of The Art of Natural Cheesemaking (Chelsea Green Publications).