Level Two at The Courtyard Dairy & Rind, with hands-on Cheesemaking: June 2024

Spend two days in the stunning backdrop of the North Yorkshire Dales, with this new and interactive in-person Level Two course, taking in the practical and theoretical skills towards your Member Certification.


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We are excited to offer a new date for our Level Two course at the highly-acclaimed, award-winning cheesemongers, The Courtyard Dairy, in Settle, North Yorkshire. Situated in a beautiful stone barn, this specialist cheese shop, cheese production room, cheese museum and on-site restaurant is a mecca for cheese industry professionals and enthusiasts.

Don’t miss out on this remarkable opportunity to learn cheesemaking skills, cheese cookery and mongering techniques whilst fine-tuning your tasting skills, at this awe-inspiring venue, in the presence of cheese industry experts.

An unmissable opportunity, open to all cheese professionals and passionate consumers who have already completed Level One, this course, with it’s strong emphasis on cheesemaking and cheese as an ingredient will appeal particularly to cheesemakers, cheesemongers, chefs, restaurateurs and fromelliers.

“I got to meet many amazing people who also cared deeply about cheese” – Chelsia Choi, Level Two Alumni

Course Itinerary:

1: Cheesemaking

Get “hands-on” with the cheesemaking modules at Level Two, using a range of different equipment, concentrating on making two styles of cheese – one lactic set and one rennet set, Camembert-style. The cheese styles are chosen to demonstrate how different approaches to coagulation in the Make ultimately impact the finished cheese.

  • Learn the two different processes to making soft cheese.
  • Learn how to select cultures for acidification and for ripening.
  • Learn how pH, titratable acidity, and flocculation play a role in cheesemaking
  • Use a range of different cheesemaking equipment.
  • Expand your knowledge of the different Make Post-Make categories
  • Understand the essential elements of Food Safety in a cheesemaking context and see how Regulation and Good Practice is applied in a working dairy.
Cheese students in a cheesemaking room assessing newly made soft camembert cheeses

Back in the classroom, your practical work will be backed up with innovative teaching methods demonstrating the science behind cheesemaking.

2: Tasting & Sensory Analysis

Develop your tasting skills with Patrick McGuigan and calibrate your palate with those of your fellow delegates, whilst completing your Level Two Tasting Sheets. Patrick will take you through the science, theory and practical aspects of tasting cheese, using the Structured Approach, highlighting the difference between simple tastes and complex flavours.

  • Taste 20 of the 75 cheeses studied at Level Two.
  • Learn how to taste and describe a cheese objectively, overcoming any prior personal bias.

“This was the first time in my life I understood the difference between taste and palate. The Structured Approach To Tasting Cheese is systematic in understanding the difference, in terms of tasting and knowledge of Make and Post-Make.” – Lucy Hunt, Level Two Alumni

3. Cooking With Cheese

A unique opportunity to spend some time with the team from The Cheese Bar’s latest venture, Rind, to learn how to use cheese as an ingredient and gain an understanding in the different applications of cheese in a culinary context.

You will also get to enjoy lunch in the new restaurant with views over the beautiful North Yorkshire Dales.

4. Cutting & Wrapping Skills

Fine tune your mongering skills with a masterclass of cutting and wrapping. Learn how to cut and wrap a variety of shapes and sizes of cheese, using a range of different cheese tools.

Benefits of attending this course

Becoming a Level Two Member, through attending the course and subsequent successful completion of the study modules and coursework, will be of significant benefit to cheesemakers, cheesemongers, fromelliers and other cheese professionals. By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Exhibit a refined knowledge of cheesemaking and the different styles of cheese, allowing better negotiation with suppliers and customers.
  • Demonstrate advanced mongering skills to staff, peers, managers, and the public.
  • Confidently use your palate to objectively assess and eloquently describe a cheese.
  • Gain an understanding of cheese and its applications within a restaurant environment, including pairing and accompaniments.
  • Fast-track your cheese career through commitment to continued professional development.

Who will be Teaching the Course?

Industry experts, Katy Fenwick and Patrick McGuigan bring to life some of the modules of this Level Two certification in a fun and approachable manner, making the connection between the theory and the practical skills. This course will give you the foundations on which to take your Level Two exam and to continue to develop your cheese knowledge.


Katy is a freelance cheese making consultant and educator, with external qualifications in HACCP, Food Safety Management and Internal Auditing as well as specialist training in Dairy Hygiene. With over fifteen years experience in the specialist cheese industry, including the role of retail manager for Neal’s Yard Dairy, she has spent time with cheese makers and retailers both in the UK and overseas. Driven to share her knowledge and love of teaching, she went on to teach at the School of Artisan Food. Most recently, she spent 18 months at Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont, working in their creameries, affinage facilities and new product development.


Patrick is a UK-based cheese writer, teacher and World Cheese Awards Judge. He writes extensively on the subject for national newspapers and magazines, such as The Telegraph and delicious, and has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme.

He is an experienced host and speaker, running regular cheese talks and tastings for the public and corporate clients. Cheese and drinks matching is a particular specialism, extolling the beautiful harmony between cheese and everything from wine, beer and cider to sherry, sake and Port.

Patrick’s first book, The Philosophy of Cheese, was published by The British Library in 2020 and his second, The Cheese Life, co-authored with Mathew Carver, was published by Kyle Books in October 2023.

Additional to attending the two-day course you will also receive access to:

  • Level Two online Learning Road, consider this your digital course book
  • Printed delegate pack with 75 cheeses book
  • Knowledge check questions to test your progress as you study
  • Downloadable Tasting sheets
  • Level Two Exam
  • Cheese Library containing over 450 cheeses
  • 12 months access to your Learning Road and all of the resources within.
  • Pin badge and certificate, suitable for framing, upon successful completion of the exam.

Essential Details

Accommodation Options

Delegates are responsible for booking their own accommodation. If you’re travelling from further afield there are various accommodation options in the nearest town of Skipton, as well as the local areas of Kirkby Lonsdale and Settle. It is also commutable from Leeds or Lancaster.


Places are limited to 12 delegates. We reserve the right to cancel a course should events beyond our control make this unavailable or if minimum numbers are not met. In the unlikely event of this happening, delegates will be offered a place on our next available scheduled course, or given a full course refund.

Please note, once the course is booked it is non-refundable. All bookings are final, however, if you are unable to attend you can reassign your booking to a new available date or to another person. We require 14 days’ notice prior to original booking date.



Includes instant access to the Member learning road and certification

  • L2 S01 Understands the role of the ingredients used in cheesemaking and the impact they can have on the finished cheese.
  • L2 S02 Understands the impact of milk composition and quality on the finished cheese (e.g. species, morning/evening milk, season, lactation stage)

  • L2 S03 Has knowledge of the key milking breeds – Cows (Bos taurus)

  • L2 S04 Has knowledge of the key milking breeds – Goats (Capra aegarus hircus) and Sheep (Ovis aries)

  • L2 S05 Has knowledge of the key milking breeds – Water Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis)

  • L2 S06 Understands how cheese style, flavour, texture and safety are influenced by cheesemaking techniques and acidity development

  • L2 S07 Understands how rind washing is carried out and how it affects the flavour profile of cheese.
  • L2 S08 Understands how flavour-added cheeses can be made (e.g. smoked, re-milled & flavoured, herbs and spices added to curd
  • L2 S09 Understands the role of the ripening microflora and the effect of salt on the flavour and texture of cheese
  • L2 S10 Understands the typical temperatures and maturation times for Hard and Soft cheeses for further ripening
  • L2 S11 Understands how cheese safety is affected in Hard Make and Soft Make cheeses at different stages of their maturation and storage
  • L2 S12 Understands the importance of brushing and turning cheeses, where appropriate, to ensure that they remain in optimum condition
  • L2 S13 Is able to recognise the condition of a hard and blue cheese in terms of maturity
  • L2 S14 Is able to recognise some common defects of cheese arising from the milk and cheese-making processes (e.g. blowing/gas defects, mechanical openness, cracking, excessive moisture, mite damage)
  • L2 S15 Is able to use a cheese iron
  • L2 S16 Understands how to calculate cost of goods sold, gross profit, profit margin. Understands the difference between margin and mark up.
  • L2 S17 Understands the various ways that products are distributed (e.g. direct from producer, via wholesaler, via a consolidator)
  • L2 S18 Understands the cost structure of the supply chain and the impact of wastage on profitability
  • L2 S19 Understands the importance of offering an appropriate range of cheeses and can recommend appropriate ranges in specific circumstances (e.g. dinner party, restaurant service or a cheese counter)
  • L2 S20 Is able to select an appropriate range of accompaniments to match a cheese selection (e.g. dinner party, restaurant service or a cheese counter)
  • L2 S21 Understands how cheese may be safely stored and presented in different environments (e.g. thehome, retail and foodservice)
  • L2 S22 Is able to recognise common cheese quality defects arising when presenting and serving cheese in a retail and foodservice environment (e.g. drying of the cut face, mould growth, discolouring/light damage, sweating) and know how to manage them.
  • L2 S23 Understands the role of temperature and importance of effective pre-requisite controls on quality and safety when maturing cheese in the retail environment
  • L2 S24 Is able to cut, re-pack and present cheese to achieve best quality in a retail or food service environment
  • L2 S25 Understands the importance of implementing effective stock management systems for cheeses on display with regard to batch identification and expiry date Read this
  • L2 S26 Understands the use of different types of cheese in cooking variety
  • L2 S27 Understands how key descriptors can be communicated verbally or non-verbally to the customer in retail or food service environments
  • L2 S28 Understands that different customers may rank the importance of key descriptors differently
  • L2 S29 Understands the health benefits of cheese
  • L2 S30 Is able to advise people on the safe consumption of cheese to high risk groups (i.e. very old, very young, pregnant women, immunocompromised), individuals with allergies or coeliacs
  • L2 S31 Can suggest appropriate cheese pairings with food and drink
  • L2 S32 Has a detailed understanding of the history of cheese in the UK
  • L2 S33 Has an understanding of current market trends in UK and world cheese consumption – Key Events
  • L2 S33 Has an understanding of current market trends in UK and world cheese consumption – Top Cheese Consuming Countries in the World
  • L2 S34 Has an understanding of current market trends in UK and world cheese consumption – Trends
  • L2 S35 Understands the requirements relating to the approval of food businesses
  • L2 S36 Understands the seven principles of HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points difference between “use by” and “best before”
  • L2 S36 Knows the main pathogens relevant to cheesemaking, maturation and storage and their most likely source
  • L2 S37 Understands the role of the food enforcement officer (e.g. Environmental Health Officer)
  • L2 S38 Understands the legal requirements relating to labelling and trading standards
  • L2 S39 Understands the terms withdrawal and recall and the circumstances in which these would be carried out
  • L2 S40 Understands how to use the Academy of Cheese Level 2 Tasting Model and can assess cheese using the Model – Tasting Cheese
  • L2 S40 Understands how to use the Academy of Cheese Level 2 Tasting Model and can assess cheese using the Model – How SATC Level 2 differs to Level 1
  • L2 S40 Understands how to use the Academy of Cheese Level 2 Tasting Model and can assess cheese using the Model – Pre-Taste Assessment
  • L2 S40 Understands how to use the Academy of Cheese Level 2 Tasting Model and can assess cheese using the Model – Mouthfeel
  • L2 S40 Understands how to use the Academy of Cheese Level 2 Tasting Model and can assess cheese using the Model – Taste Assessment
  • L2 S40 Understands how to use the Academy of Cheese Level 2 Tasting Model and can assess cheese using the Model – Assessment Conclusion
  • L2 S41 Recognises the specified 100 cheeses by name, MPM class, species of milking animal, protected status, heat treatment, rennet type and country/region of origin
  • L2 S42 Knows the background information, cheese make, maturation process and key characteristics for the cheeses specified on the Level 2 list

Whichever way you chose to study, you’ll need to take the online exam to become a certified Academy of Cheese Member. It’s 40 questions in 40 minutes, you’ve got this!  


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