Making cheese is an ancient skill, all but lost from the domestic household in favour of products from big manufacturers and great artisan producers. Many of us struggle with the time, confidence and knowledge to approach this centuries old practise but it is much more accessible than we may think.
Steven Lamb, our expert tutor and author of the River Cottage Handbook ‘Cheese and Dairy’, is on a one man mission to show us how easy cheese making is and encourage us to embrace a few classic, straightforward recipes. As he says, ‘…the basic principles involved in turning fresh milk into most dairy products are really very similar. The main difference lies in the time that process takes. I can assure you that making your own cheese is a rewarding experience, and the more experience you gain, the more satisfying it becomes.’
Under Steven’s knowledgeable tutelage you will be guided through the simple art of soft cheese making, learning more about curds, whey, the alchemic use of rennet and citric acid and the careful balancing of temperature. The featured cheeses you create will include flavoured labneh, paneer, a fresh curd, halloumi, ricotta and mozzarella. Throughout the day, based in our purpose built cookery school with stunning views across the valley, there will be inspirational demos, hands on practicals and tastings. A delicious lunch will be prepared by the RC chefs, showcasing some of the ingredients you have been working with and there will be finished cheeses to take home with you.
09.30 – 17.00
Arrive at River Cottage
You’ll be met at the top of the hill at 9.30am and transported to River Cottage HQ by tractor and trailer (approx. a 5 minute journey).
Make yourself at home
You will meet your host and start the day with tea, coffee and treats fresh from the kitchen.
To get the day underway, Steve will cover the basics of cheese making and guide you through the process, making cheeses with you through the morning.
Food is always the focus at River Cottage, and a two-course lunch of local, seasonal fare will be one of the highlights of your day.
You’ll return to your cheese making and Steve will take you through finishing off all your cheeses.
There will be time to chat to your course tutor and your fellow scholars before being whisked back up the hill by our tractor and trailer (at 5pm), cheeses in hand.
Please note: This is a guide to the activities that will make up your course at River Cottage. This is by no means set in stone and will depend on seasonal availability.
On occasion cookery schools will use equipment that includes induction hobs. It is recommended that people with pace makers should not work on these units. If you are concerned or would like to check whether or not induction hobs will be used on the course you are interested in, please call us on 01297 630302.