The Grand Gourmand Associate Certification: April 2024

The Grand Gourmand is proud to be partnering with the Academy of Cheese to offer their Level One Cheese Training Programme. Level One is designed to appeal to anyone with a personal or professional interest in cheese.



Level One Cheese Course: For Cheese Lovers & Industry Professionals

Join Franco Sessa, well-known international cheese Judge, accomplished cheese monger, lifestyle magazine contributor and editor, on a virtual guided tasting.

Franco will show you how, through the use of the structured tasting approach developed by the Academy of Cheese, your enjoyment of cheese will be elevated to the next level. Open to all, this is a fantastic opportunity to develop your cheese knowledge with cheese courses provided by The Grand Gourmand.

This Level One course is an introduction to the universe of cheese. You’ll learn the basics of cheese making, cheese aging, and cheese pairing. We’ll discuss the principles of cheese service and cheese tasting. You’ll get acquainted with the Make Post-Make classification model created by the Academy of Cheese. The course will consist of interactive live webinars spanning a total of 6 hours, with one session exclusively dedicated to cheese tasting.

Who’s it for?

It is perfect for anyone looking to advance their career in the cheese, dairy, or hospitality industries, or if you are an enthusiast and would like to improve your knowledge and understanding of cheese.

What’s included in the price?

For Level One, you get :

· Two x 3-hour-long (Sat-Sun) evening online webinars over the course of one week; sessions begin at 6pm (Auckland time)

· One of the webinars is dedicated to a tutored tasting of cheeses (the cheese set is included in the basic price and it will be delivered to your door)

· 12 months access to the Academy of Cheese Level One online Learning Road (in English), tasting study material.

· The Level One exam

Cancellation Policy

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.

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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