Join dairy expert Paul Thomas to learn more about the production techniques and tricks used at the professional level of cheesemaking.

This specialist three-day course combines technical information with practical sessions guided by dairy industry expert Paul Thomas, giving you all the skills and confidence you’ll need to take cheesemaking to the next level.

The range of topics covered includes:

  • The selection and use of commercial starter cultures
  • The role of acidification, drainage and technological parameters in the flavour-development, safety and textural properties of the finished cheese
  • Microbiological and biochemical processes crucial to the ripening of hard cheeses
  • Rind treatments such as lard and cloth, plasticoat and smear-ripening
  • Control of batch variation with regard to processing steps and milk composition
  • Troubleshooting common defects.

Cheeses made on this course include:

  • A continental-style hard/extra-hard cheese of the Gruyère type
  • Two territorial hard cheeses: Cheddar and Cheshire.

Raw milk is used to produce cheeses on this course but the content is suitable for producers of raw or pasteurised products. Vegetable-based rennet can be used if required.

The course is designed so that the practical knowledge, skills and understanding gained during the three days can be applied to improve the production of any hard cheese type.

Refreshments will be available throughout each day, as well as buffet-style lunches prepared by our team of artisan chefs. All ingredients, equipment and recipes will be provided.

At the School of Artisan Food we make a conscious effort to reduce waste and packaging, so encourage you to bring your own containers to transport your cheeses home.

If you are a member of the SCA (Specialist Cheesemakers Association) you can receive a 15% discount during checkout by using code: CHSEPGST15

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  • Paul Thomas


"As demand for artisan food increases so does the demand for knowledge about it. Not only is the general public hungry for knowledge about the food they eat but also the need for skilled artisans is ever increasing. I have been involved in the renaissance of artisan cheese in Britain for 30 years and seen the number of these cheeses increase from a handful in the late 1970s to hundreds now. But the knowledge and craft of artisan cheesemaking is still held by very few and now is the time to teach what we know. Fifty years ago there were several schools in Britain providing training for hundreds of cheesemakers and now there are none. The School of Artisan Food fills that gap."

Randolph Hodgson Founder of Neal’s Yard Dairy