Academy of Cheese Level One @ WSET School London with Patrick McGuigan

Join author and expert Patrick McGuigan in London for a day of cheese tasting and learning, plus a special section on the art of cheese and wine matching.


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Academy of Cheese Level One @ WSET School London

Join author and expert Patrick McGuigan in London for a day of cheese tasting and learning, plus a special section on the art of cheese and wine matching.

Patrick will be teaching the Academy of Cheese Level 1 qualification at the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) School in London for the first time this September. This follows many years co-hosting cheese and wine evening tastings at the WSET school.

The fun, interactive day course will be packed with information based on Patrick’s 15-year career in cheese, which has seen him visit and learn from the best cheesemakers, maturers and cheesemongers in the world.

Patrick also holds the WSET Level 3 and French Wine Scholar qualifications, so is excited to bring his love of curd and grape together with a special section during the class looking at perfect pairings.

What does the course cover?

The day-long, classroom course will help prepare students for the Academy of Cheese Level 1 assessment (which students can take in their own time online).

The course will cover:

· How to taste cheese professionally

· Milk composition and cheese making

· Cheese maturation

· Cheese history

· Cutting, wrapping and storage

· Creating show-stopping cheeseboards

· PLUS: a special session looking at perfect pairings of cheese and wine

Students will taste 12 cheeses through the day, plus wine samples.

Who should take part?

Anybody who loves cheese! Level One is popular with a huge range of people, including foodie members of the public, who want to increase their knowledge to share with friends and family, but also industry professionals: chefs, sommeliers, retailers, cheesemakers, wholesalers and food and drink writers.

What’s included?

· 9.30am – 5pm class at the WSET London School, 39-45 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3XF

· 12 cheeses to taste (these include raw milk and non-vegetarian cheeses; substitutions not possible)

· Wine samples

· The printed Academy of Cheese Delegates’ pack, including a book profiling 25 Cheeses and Cheese Tasting Sheets

· 12 months access to the Academy of Cheese Level One Learning Road and Cheese Library

· The Level One assessment (must be taken within 12 months of signing up)

· Upon successful completion of the assessment you will also receive a pin badge designating you as an Academy of Cheese Associate and a professional certificate suitable for framing

About Patrick McGuigan

Patrick McGuigan is one of Britain’s leading cheese writers and communicators. He has written about cheese for titles including The Telegraph, The Financial Times and Delicious, and is the author of two books: The Philosophy of Cheese, published by The British Library, and The Cheese Life, co-authored with Mathew Carver.

His 15-year career in cheese has has seen him visit and learn from cheesemakers, affineurs and cheesemongers everywhere from the Swiss Alps to the pastures of Vermont, and throughout the UK.

He is also a senior judge at the World Cheese Awards, a member of the Guilde des Fromagers and the co-founder of the British Cheese Weekender festival. He holds the WSET Level 3 Award in Wines and the French Wine Scholar qualification.

What delegates are saying

“You have been a fantastic teacher! It has been a pleasure to share your experience and passion and I have appreciated your good sense of humour throughout. Thanks once again Master Gouda (like my Master Yoda)!” Stephaine H.

“Patrick is a walking cheese encyclopedia and, most importantly, he can teach.” Richard J.

“Huge thanks to Patrick for being an awesome tutor!” Megan H.


Please note, once the course is booked it is non-refundable. All bookings are final.

We reserve the right to cancel a course at short notice should events beyond our control make this unavoidable. Should this occur, delegates will be offered a place on our next available scheduled course or a full refund

Includes instant access to the Associate learning road and certification

  • How to describe the key ingredients used in cheesemaking and their purpose
  • Have an overview of the steps involved in cheesemaking and maturation
  • Understand the Academy of Cheese Make/Post-Make (MPM) Model
  • Understand how milk is produced
  • Recognise the condition of a soft mould-ripened cheese in terms of degree of ripeness
  • Understands cheese grading and its relevance
  • Understands the role of maturation and affinage in adding value to the product
  • Knows the different techniques to accelerate and decelerate ripening in soft mould-ripened cheese
  • Understand of how cheese is bought and transported including the term “chill chain”
  • Understand the importance of offering an appropriate range of cheeses for a cheese board
  • Select and use appropriate packaging, to wrap and re-wrap cheese
  • Be able to cut cheese using appropriate tools
  • Understand the importance of caring for, cutting and serving cheeses appropriate to the variety
  • Understands the key descriptors of cheese i.e. country of origin, species of milking animal, vegetarian/animal rennet, raw/pasteurised milk, MPM Model, protected status, age
  • Understands the principles of pairing cheese and drinks
  • An overview of the history of cheesemaking
  • Understand the differences between large scale and artisan production
  • Understand an overview of the nutritional value of cheese
  • Demonstrates good hand-washing techniques
  • Understand how to handle cheese safely
  • Understand the difference between “use by” and “best before”
  • Understands how to use the Academy of Cheese Level 1 Structured Approach to Tasting Model
  • Practical assessment of cheese using the model

At Level One you are required to study and taste 25 iconic cheeses. You will find details on each cheese in your delegates pack and in the online Cheese Library. Whether you attend an online or classroom course you will be expected to have tasted the 25 cheeses on the Level One list by the time of your assessment.

Use the Structured Approach to Tasting Cheese (SATC) sheet to record your tasting notes.

Whichever way you chose to study, you’ll need to take the online exam to become a certified Academy of Cheese Associate. It’s 30 questions in 30 minutes, you’ve got this! 


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