Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Finding a Cheese Making Class Near You

Happy participants at Curds on the Way in Portland, Oregon
One may be closer than you think!
You know you want to make your own cheese, but you need a little boost into the "great unknown."  What better way to start than by attending a cheese making workshop or class?  It seems like they're everywhere these days! 

Merryl Winstein in St. Louis, Missouri
How do you choose?

When you have a choice of classes, these are a few factors which might help you decide which one you want:

1.  Type of milk.  What kind of milk do they use?  (For example, if you will be using your own sheep's milk or goat's milk to make cheese, you might want to go to a class they will be working with that kind of milk.)

Or, if you live in a city and you will be using pasteurized, homogenized milk from the store, you might want to go to a workshop where that will be used or at least discussed. You can ask about that before you enroll.

Jim Wallace in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts
2.  Location.  Is the class located at a farm?  If you have animals and you want to ask questions about their care and feeding, this might be important to you.

3.  Number of participants.  How many participants will there be?  You may enjoy being in a larger group or a smaller group, so this might be a factor for you.

4.  Length of class.  The length of the class is important.  If it's a one or two day class, you have to ask yourself if you are up to it.  For older participants, this can be a long time.  Many classes are half-day.  On the other hand, if you are flying a great distance, you might want to attend a two day intensive class to make it worth your while.

Preparation for Curds on the Whey class
taught in Bridgeport, WA
5.  Level.  It probably goes without saying that the level of the class is important.  If you are a beginner, do not think you can jump into an advanced class.  You will not be happy you did.  There will be lots of time later to take more advanced classes when you are ready.

6.  Supplementary materials.  Will you walk away with any supplementary materials?

7.  Access to products.  Will you be able to buy products (like cultures and rennet, molds, wax, etc.) at the workshop?

8.  Price.  If the price seems high, the class may be more advanced than you need.  If you pay more than you want to, you will be miserable and less likely to continue making cheese after the workshop.  So, stay at your financial comfort level.

Location! Location! Location!
Classes Listed Online May 25, 2011
I did a brief survey on Google to see how many websites currently have classes listed, then I sorted them by geographical area.  (Note:  This is just a list of websites I could find online where classes are listed right now (May 25, 2011).  It is just a snapshot of current classes, so I will not be updating it or adding to it, however, if you would like to add your website, you are welcome to do it in the comments.)

This list is for home cheesemakers only.  Many colleges and universities have dairy courses, but they are almost all geared for professionals.  One exception is the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese at the University of Vermont.  This year they are planning to offer some beginner courses for the general public.  For more info: 802-656-8300 or

I know this list is just a drop in the bucket.  There are many places where classes are given regularly, but right now they may not have any listed.  I just want you to be able, today, to go to the last URL given if you see a class near you.  I divided the country by the regions designated on the map below:

New England


Hartstone Inn
Camden, Maine
Beginner course taught by Appleton Creamery at their farm (25 minute drive from Inn).  Goats.
Ricki Carroll at New England
Cheesemaking Supply Co.


Formaggio Kitchen
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Feta & Mozzarella class in June

New England Cheesemaking Supply Co.
Ashfield, Massachusetts
One day beginner workshops & 2 day advanced workshops
413-397-2012 (advanced) (beginner)


Dancing Dog Farm
Peterborough, New Hampshire
3 hour soft cheese workshops.

Westminster Artisan Cheese in Vermont

Three Shepherd's Cheese
Warren, Vermont
Three day and one day courses at farm.  Sheep, goat & cow milk.

Westminster Artisan Cheese, Peter Dixon
Westminster West, Vermont
2 and 3 day workshops


Murray's in NY, NY

The Artisanal Premium Cheese Center
New York, New York
Hands on Mozzarella classes

New York, New York
Cheesemaking 101 and Mozzarella Making


Sur La Table
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
2 hour class in August


Bobolink Dairy
Milford, New Jersey
Half day classes at the creamery, limited to 4 participants.

Valley Shepherd Creamery
Long Valley, New Jersey
Classes on Sundays at farm.  Sold out until September, 2011.  Sheep.
908-876-3200 x 22
South Atlantic


CornerStone Farm
Red Oak, Virginia
Classes March-Early Fall and Farm-Stay
866-977-FARM (3276)

Sur La Table
Richmond, Virginia
2 hour class in June

Suzanne McMinn's Stringtown Rising Farm

Stringtown Rising Farm-Suzanne McMinn
Gandeeville, West Virginia
Retreat in September with classes

East North Central


Pioneer School of Homesteading at Quaker Farm
Harrisville, Michigan
Half-day classes, none July-September.  Goats.

Cheesesmithy in Charlotte, Michigan
Cheesesmithy-Gary Colles
Charlotte, Michigan
2 evening classes in June


Moonwise Herbs
Sheboygan, Wisconsin
Two classes in July sponsored by The Driftless Folk School
920-452-HERB (4372) 

The Cheesemaker
Plain, Wisconsin
5 weekend workshops this year

Token Creek Eco-Inn
Madison, Wisconsin
5 hour class in October

East South Central


Standing Stone Nubians
Gallatin, Tennessee
Full days starting in October.  Goats.

Fieldstone Organic Farm
West North Central


Fieldstone Organic Farm
Gardner, Kansas
One day, Saturday classes offered April-June.  Goats.


Merryl Winstein
St. Louis, Missouri
Wide variety of classes in St. Louis and other locations in Midwest.  Goats.

West South Central


Eagle Mountain Farmhouse Cheese
Granbury, Texas
Two 3-day courses in November

Mozzarella Company
Dallas, Texas
2 hour classes

Sur La Table
Houston, Texas
2 hour class in July

Rebeccah Durkin's class at The Ploughshare Institute
The Ploughshare Institute for Sustainable Culture
Waco, Texas
One day classes in both hard and soft cheesemaking



Sur la Table
Scottsdale, Arizona
One 2 hour class in June.


Briar Gate Farm
Hygiene, Colorado
Short beginner classes, will come to your home and teach.  Goats.

Rich McGaughey
Denver, Colorado
Many classes at different locations

The Goat Cheese Lady
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Half-day classes.  Goats.


Nampa Brewers Center
Nampa, Idaho
Classes limited to 4, so they fill up fast.


Nature Hill Farms
Cedar City, Utah
Three hour classes at the farm and 2 day workshops at nearby inns.

Mama Rae's Cheesemaking Supply
Payson, Utah
Second Wednesday and last Saturday of every month, and every other Thursday.

Davis Food Co-op, Davis, CA


Chez Cherie
La Canada, California
Evening classes in Mozzarella & Ricotta

Curds and Wine
San Diego, California
2 1/2 hour classes

Davis Food Co-op
Davis, California
Afternoon & evening classes at their teaching kitchen.

Elements of Taste
Sonoma, California
Half-day classes at Ramekins Cooking School and various other locations.  

Heather Westenhofer
Orange County, California
Also teaches at The Orange County School of Domestic Arts

Love Apple Farm
Santa Cruz, California
Half day classes at farm. Goats.

Sur la Table
Carlsbad, California
2 two hour classes in August

Sur la Table
Los Angeles, California
Two hour class in May
Two hour class in June

Sur La Table headquarters in Seattle, WA
Sur la Table
Los Gatos, California
1 two hour class in September

Sur la Table
Newport Beach, California
Two hour class in June
Two hour class in July

The Cheese School of San Francisco
San Francisco, California
Extensive list of classes.
415- 346-7530


Curds on the Way
Portland, Oregon
Classes are held in a variety of locations in the area.

Kookoolan Farms
Washed curd class at Kookoolan Farms
Yamhill, Oregon
Mostly half-day classes at the farm.


Bader Beer and Wine Supply
Vancouver, Washingtom
Half-day classes.

Mark Solomon
Seattle, Washington
3 hour evening classes

Monteillet Fromagerie
Dayton, Washington
One day courses and 2 day intensives.  Goats and sheep.
509-382-1917 or 509-876-1429

North Seattle Community College
Seattle, Washington
Half day and evening.

Olympia Food Co-op
Olympia, Washington
3 hour class in July

River Valley Ranch
Fall City, Washington
3 hour workshops, one Saturday every month.

The Cellar Homebrew
Seattle, Washington
3 hour evening classes.

You still can't find a class?  They're not all listed online.

These are just a few of the many places to look:
Cheese specialty shops
Upscale grocery stores & Whole Foods
Free universities
Colleges with non-credit classes
Learning centers
Dairy farms
Culinary schools

You have other options ...
Ricki made our DVD Cheesemaking 101"> and it's just like being in her workshop, except you can watch it again and again!  There are several other videos on the market, as well.

You may also find hundreds of YouTube videos about making cheese.

So, get going!  What are you waiting for?


Andrew said...

Here is a place in Nampa, ID that offers small cheese making classes.

Jeri said...

Thanks, Andrew. I went ahead and added it to the list because I didn't have any others in Idaho. Happy Cheesemaking!

Robert said...

I know you're not planning on updating or keeping this list current, but cheese classes are offered in California at:

Jeri said...

Yes, check Robert's Home Brew out (in Sacramento). He is not on the list because he doesn't actually schedule his classes unless someone calls him up and asks. Then, he limits the class to 3-4 folks.

I recommend him to you because a small class like this can be a great learning opportunity. Plus, you can schedule it at your own convenience.

G@CurdsandWine said...

In the San Diego area, Curds and Wine ( offers cheesemaking classes and a complete line of cheesmaking supplies. Also, Great News cooking school ( offers classes.

Gina Marcell said...

MOUNTAIN GOAT LODGE B&B in Salida Colorado (South Central Colorado)teaches goat husbandry, and cheese making classes using our fresh goat's milk.
More info at our website:
or call 719-539-7173

Gina Marcell said...

Mountain Goat Lodge ( Bed and Breakfast located in Salida, CO (South Central Colorado) offers classes on goat husbandry and cheese making for guests and non-guests alike. Check our website and also call for class reservations. Generally classes are 4 hrs each Sunday. 719 539 7173.

Jeri said...

In a further e-mail, Gina added that classes are for guests and non-guests and they are usually 4 hours on Sundays.

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Gloria Putnam said...

Hi! I teach a 3-part cheese making series at my urban micro-dairy in Altadena, CA. The series includes 3 day-long classes, one each month, and restarts every quarter. We are currently in the middle of our 5th series. Registration is through the Institute of Domestic Technology Thanks!

Jeri said...

This could be a free ad in our classified section. Contact

Leon said...

You can join us for a cheese making course in South Africa. We present in Stellenbosch mostly - this is very close to Cape Town in the Western Cape Winelands area - so makes for a memorable visit :-)
2 Day course with practicals on gouda, cheddar, feta, pizza mozzarella, halloumi and ricotta.