Upcoming Cheesemaking Workshops in the Kootenays!

Posted by Kristen Nammour on June 02, 2015

Contemporary cheesemaking as practiced in North America is decidedly unnatural; The Black Sheep School provides a much needed alternative.

This new/old approach to cheesemaking is inspired by traditional practices, and based on the ecology of raw milk. The Black Sheep methods include cultivating starter cultures, growing the fungi that ripen cheeses, and working with the indigenous cultures of raw milk. The methods are liberating and empowering – they help cheesemakers wean themselves off packaged powdered cultures, synthetic rennets and unnecessary chemical additives and sanitizers, and help cheeses develop their best possible flavor. The Black Sheep School helps cheesemakers take back their cheese.

Kootenay Food is hosting two days of Cheesemaking classes in Winlaw this June!


Cultured Butter, Yogurt and Kefir 101 :  10 am -1pm
Fermented dairy products of all sorts are the focus of this introductory session.  Participants will learn all about kefir culture, and how it can be used as a starter to make yogurt, creme fraiche and cultured butter.

Introduction to Natural Cheesemaking 101 :  2 pm -5 pm
This introductory lesson looks into the making of two basic fresh cheeses: yogurt cheese, a delicious fresh cheese akin to cream cheese, and basic rennet cheese curds, the foundational recipe from which nearly every type of rennet cheese evolves.  Also to be explored in this class is the making of Camembert.


Chèvre and Mouldy Goat Cheeses 201 :  10 am -1pm
Fresh Chevre is the starting point for this introductory workshop – a simple cheese that is a breeze to make at home. Participants will then learn how to prepare mouldy aged goats cheeses like Crottin, Saint Valencay and Saint Marcellin from the very same Chevre curd.

Hard Alpine Cheeses, Blue Cheeses and Ricotta 201 : 2 pm -5 pm
In this advanced class we will explore the making of Hard Alpine Cheeses and Blue Cheeses. See the most effective way of transforming lots of milk into a long lasting and delicious cheese; and learn how to grow your own fungus for making cheeses blue. And then with the leftover whey we’ll prepare a fresh batch of creamy Ricotta.

David Asher is an organic farmer, farmstead cheese maker and cheese educator based on the gulf islands of British Columbia. A guerrilla cheesemaker, David does not make cheese according to standard industrial practices – 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 workshops teach a cheesemaking method that is natural, DIY, and well suited to the home kitchen or artisanal production. He is the author of the upcoming book ‘The Art of Natural Cheesemaking, to be published by Chelsea Green in July 2015.

Find out more about David and the Black Sheep School of Cheesemaking: http://www.theblacksheepschool.com/