Cheese Making Workshop 201
Cheese Making Workshop 201
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Classes are Held at:
11 High Street, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370
Dancing Bear Guest House
The House in Pumpkin Hollow
Hampton Inn Suites
If you have taken our 101 cheese making class, or have already started making cheese at home and would like to improve your craft, Jim will lead you there during this class. This is a two day workshop and runs from 9am-4pm on both Saturday and Sunday.
This workshop is for anyone who wants to get to the next step in cheese making, learning to make a range of fabulous semi-soft and hard cheeses. Whether you are a home cheese maker, small farmstead, chef, or you just really love cheese and want to know more about it, this is the class for you.
We will begin with the raw materials (milk-culture-rennet), talk about their roles, move on through the individual steps (the How and Why!), and learn how they can be aged to perfection. At the end of the two days, Jim will have taken you through this process making three very different cheeses, you will have tasted a lot of really great cheese and generally had a really fun-tabulous time.
From this class you will have the background to move ahead into making many of the delicious cheeses you find at the store and your neighbors will hunger for more when you serve your sumptuous new delights.
- cheese making
I can't recommend this workshop highly enough. Jim's knowledge and insight, bought by years of experience as well as the seeking out of other experts worldwide, means that at every step of the process you will learn something new, and begin to understand the whys instead of just the hows. I immediately began to realize that following recipes or protocols for cheesemaking might get you some cheese but to refine what you have been doing to make it better, you need to learn more deeply. Jim's expertise extends throughout virtually every aspect of cheesemaking, at least every aspect that was brought up by the students throughout the workshop, in addition to the many points that he emphasizes himself. Just a 30 second consultation with Jim on why some of my epic fails happened not only solved those long-term mysteries but also gave me highly constructive insight on how to avoid those fails in the future. I left with a long list of things that I should think about doing differently, some pride that I have at least made it this far on "blind" recipe-following, and definitely a greatly stimulated interest in exploring the making of more and different cheeses beyond what I had been making. By cheeses will now be differentiated between BCW (before cheesemaking workshop) cheese and ACW (after cheesemaking workshop) cheese. It was also a great pleasure to travel to the beautiful little hamlet of Shelbourne Falls and to enjoy the hospitality of Jim and Robin, and also to meet the other students with their varied backgrounds, cheese expertise, and other interests. Worth every penny, and worth every second.
Seriously folks do you REALLY want to learn how to make cheese. "Take it to the next level" is an overused phrase but in Jim's case it really applies. Jim has traveled overseas extensively learning how cheese has been made by hand me down methods for generations. He uses his extensive understanding of the science of cheese and applies his artisan knowledge, IE long standing traditional and regional methods, to his recipes, or better yet guidelines, you find on this site. My approach to cheesemaking has changed in a number of ways. First and foremost I wanted to 'feel' the curds in the grip test. Reading about the grip test is far from seeing someone that knows that they are doing showing you and allowing your to feel the correct way. I knew I would come away with so much more and that included a new method, for me, for determining the flocculation time. Floc time is used to determine the rennet hardening time. I had used other published method but the one Jim uses makes alot more sense. Recipes. Most of use came in talking about recipes and I for one being an analytical type what precise times and method and got frustrated when the author gave time ranges. But now I understand the reason for that and we all left the workshop calling the recipes, guidelines. I gained a much better understanding of the reason for the variation and how that affects the cheese you want to make. It will take alot more experience of making cheese to develop the feel and understanding of the variations but in the end give me more control in developing the characteristics of the cheese I want to produce. I could go on but... The workshop is held in Jim and Robins home. Both are excellent hosts and Robin made some awesome lunches. Both Robin and Jim are photographers, Jim was a fine art photographer for many years before being bitten by the cheese gnat. Both of their photography grace the walls. Ask to see Jim's cheese book library and he'll proudly show off his special books. I can not recommend this workshop highly enough and Jim couldn't have picked a better time of the year for this, fall. If he has a workshop this time of the year again spend a few extra days and head up to Vermont. I did and the colors were awesome. Also if you're flying use Hartford. A friend recommended Hartford over Boston and it was the best advice.
This class was exactly what I was looking for. I have a mid amount of cheese experience, but I wanted a class to hone in my craft, and learn the science and art of cheese making. I learned of great resources, how to get consistency in curd formation, and raw milk attributes to name just a couple. I am thrilled I got to take this class and I can’t wait till I can take another of Jim’s class. Jim and his wife are the sweetest people. I feel so equipped now to take big steps forward in my cheese making. I can’t say thank you enough! I have a note book full of wonderful notes- things I never even knew I should pay attention to. I highly recommend any of Jim’s classes. He is a true renaissance man and a expert at what he does. CRB Minnesota
This class is a must for those just starting out or anywhere along the way in making artisan cheese. Jim's warmth, experience, breadth of knowledge, and ability to breakdown and share all of his cheesemaking knowledge with his students shines through. From the moment I walked up to the door of his beautiful home and customized cheese lab, I was warmly welcomed by Jim and his wife Robin and my fellow classmates. The knowledge gained, ability to work firsthand with the milk and all its variables, and to see up close many of the cheesemaking reactions is priceless. Students also learn how to make adjustments along the way which is invaluable. Added bonuses included the wonderful lunches prepared by Robin, tasting of some of Jim's homemade cheeses, a session where some of our own cheeses were sampled and evaluated, all the new cheese friends made and the Bridge of Flowers connecting the towns of Shelburne Falls and Buckland. One of the best experiences I have had in awhile.
I flew into Boston and drove a beautiful 2 hours through the Massachusetts countryside. Hartford, CT (Bradley - BDL) is a great alternate airport if you aren't local and is just 60 minutes from Shelburne Falls, MA a beautiful quaint New England town. When I arrived where the class was held, I knew I was in for a treat. Besides being immediately enamored by the beautiful rolling hills and farms along the way, Jim's home has so much heritage as well and he has an amazing and quite impressive cheese and wine cave. His wife is a great cook as well, loved the soup we had on Sunday! About the class, what I can say, an absolute must for anyone that's ready to move on from Ricki's "30 minute ricotta and mozzarella" to more complex cheeses. Jim brings an absolute wealth of information to this class. I have been making the cheeses he covers in this class from the recipes online, such as: cheddar & camembert for a few months now but knew something was missing. This class is the missing piece! Seeing an expert and artisan that Jim is at his craft in his home made all the difference! I had a great time and made some new cheesemaking friends. Hoping Jim will have some additional classes and instruction on other types of cheeses as well, I will certainly attend again! All in all, a truly wonderful weekend and a break from day to day monotony as you pursue your love and passion for crafting artisan cheeses, you will not be disappointed.