ac-master

What is a Master of Cheese?

A Master of Cheese is someone who is passionate about cheese and has completed all the stages of learning with the Academy of Cheese. This cheese aficionado has demonstrated a thorough understanding of all aspects of the Cheese Industry from cheese making to cheese tasting and they can recognise and recall information about cheeses from around the world.

A Master of Cheese is always looking to expand their knowledge as well as evangelise beyond the dairy industry with communities, to encourage more people to share knowledge and spread the appreciation of truly great cheese.

A master of cheese means many things. But for most people it comes down to knowledge and experience. Let’s explore what “Master of Cheese” means to some key industry figures.

Raymond Blanc

For me, a Master of Cheese will demonstrate a true passion for the craft, as well as possess a deep understanding of provenance and the process of transforming milk into one of life’s great food experiences. They will also take great pride in passing on their knowledge to others.  

RAYMOND BLANC – MICHELIN STAR CHEF
Mary Quicke, Quicke’s Cheese

The Master of Cheese is the aspirational peak of people in cheese: knowledgeable and experienced across the world of cheese and the world’s cheese; generous in developing those around them; providing a lasting, acknowledged and widespread contribution to cheese.

MARY QUICKE – QUICKE’S CHEESE
NOEMÍE RICHAD

To my view, practice and experience are key elements to becoming a Cheese master. Cheese is an ecosystem of life which can only be understood through practice and observation.

Cheese is also at the midway between the farmer and the chef that is why it’s important to dominate the technique of cheese making but also the knowledge of its uses and application.

The desire to share one’s passion is also very important and the reason why cheeses have been and recognised for thousands of years around the world.

NOEMIE RICHARD – PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT AND CHEESE EDUCATION GROUP MANAGER, SAVENCIA
Roland Barthélemy

A woman or a man being recognised by other fellow experts for his/her knowledge and experience. Main values and competencies should be the respect for the planet, caring about others and listening carefully but also sharing one’s knowledge.

ROLAND BARTHÉLEMY – PRESIDENT OF THE GUILDE INTERNATIONALE DES FROMAGERS
Sam Day

It’s an aspiration. It’s the ultimate demonstration that you have grappled with the very essence of cheese and it’s industry.

SAM DAY – FARNDON FIELDS FARM SHOP

What do you think? Have your say

What does Master of Cheese mean to the industry?

We asked our members What would it mean to the industry to have Masters of Cheese? here’s what some of them said.

Roland Barthélemy

Technical support, development, creation and human transmission

ROLAND BARTHÉLEMY – PRESIDENT OF THE GUILDE INTERNATIONALE DES FROMAGERS
Hero Hirsh

There is a thirst for knowledge within our industry and this development programme really delivers a holistic approach to growing this knowledge.  I hope that it will also reinforce the concept that the cheese industry can be a legitimate and serious career choice rather than something people just fall into.

HERO HIRSH – BRANCH MANAGER PAXTON & WHITFIELD
Sam Wilkin – Cellarman Sam

It would be extremely valuable. My hope is that these are the individuals who help further the interests of the industry whilst forging ahead through development and education. They are the guardians and the champions of the British Cheese Industry.

SAM WILKIN – HEAD CHEESEMONGER AT THE CHEESE BAR
Vincent Laloyaux

The more Cheese Masters there are, the best it will be to promote “Cheese” throughout the world. We are at a time where new consumer types are appearing looking for more information about the food they are having. We need to reinforce the education giving to these “Masters” the right tools to teach around the Cheese (from process to nutrition). All the industry will benefit from it.

VINCENT LALOYAUX – DIRECTOR OF THE CHEESE MONGER INSTITUE IN FRANCE

Sam Day

Such an accolade not only awards those that have achieved greatness but also encourages others to aspire to it. To know that there is a standard like ‘Master of Cheese’ gives you a goal to push for in mastering your craft.

SAM DAY – FARNDON FIELDS FARM SHOP

What do you think? Have your say

What should a Master of Cheese know?

Raymond Blanc

I believe that the skills of a Maître Fromager are not too different from a Maître Chef. Both strongly believe in the critical importance of provenance first and foremost. In this case, the choice of the milk, the breed of the animal, its seasonal diets, and intricate knowledge of every step of the supply chain in order to create the best possible cheese. Then they must have a deep knowledge of the art of ageing/ ‘affinage’, which will create the magic… allowing the cheese to develop the most incredible textures and flavours over time. 

RAYMOND BLANC – MICHELIN STAR CHEF
Roland Barthélemy

A Master of Cheese must have a huge knowledge on the organoleptic aspect of dairy products. By dominating this, an expert is able to understand the cheese from the production to the possible uses of it.

ROLAND BARTHÉLEMY – PRESIDENT OF THE GUILDE INTERNATIONALE DES FROMAGERS
Hero Hirsh

Everything! Whilst the level 1-3 are all about developing knowledge over all areas of the industry, I would hope that a Master of Cheese would have the opportunity to expand in specific areas; perhaps bringing original research to the table in order to help our understanding of the subject and actively advance the industry.

HERO HIRSH – BRANCH MANAGER PAXTON & WHITFIELD

Sam Wilkin – Cellarman Sam

The science and craft of cheesemaking of course but also how to communicate that with passion and deep knowledge and appreciation.  The Master of Cheese should be the go-to expert for anything regarding cheese, the cheese industry, cheese history and should have the tools and know-how to help shape the direction of the industry. 

SAM WILKIN – HEAD CHEESEMONGER AT THE CHEESE BAR

Vincent Laloyaux

Knowing everything does not seem possible as the Cheese world is constantly moving and consumers are more and more demanding. It is though important to keep informed of any news, techniques of cheese making and presentation. Merchandising and display are a key area that a cheese master should constantly investigate.

VINCENT LALOYAUX – DIRECTOR OF THE CHEESE MONGER INSTITUTE IN FRANCE

Sam Day

There should be no part of cheese and its industry that you aren’t an expert on. Cheesemaking is an art and a master should have an instinct for the process like no other. But, it’s also a science and so that instinct should be backed up by a deep understanding of the bio-chemistry of cheese.

The industry is constantly changing and a master should always have their finger on the pulse. To know when a cheese will be at its best. Whether a maker has changed their process and to know what effect that will have before it’s even happened. Developments in the logistics of cheese and the trends in sales. A master of cheese should be able to tell you what the best cheese in the world will be at any given time for the next year, just by looking at the weather predictions.

SAM DAY – FARNDON FIELDS FARM SHOP
Jean Berthaut, Epoisses Berthaut creamery

“I come from a family that has been making Epoisses for many generations. The science and observation behind Cheese making is what has made the Epoisses Berthaut a success throughout time.

A cheese master should be an expert in the cheese making technologies to then understand how to conduct the “affinage”.

The work done by the Cheese Maker is aiming to create the best product out of the farmer raw material and the cheese monger has to respect and protect this work until the consumer.

A great Cheese Master should be working in gathering Milk producers, Cheese makers and Cheesemongers and work towards the education of the Cheese throughout the world. This would be a great opportunity to make every actor of the channel closer to each other and to develop the consumer knowledge around Cheese.”

JEAN BERTHAUT – EPOISSES BERTHAUT CREAMERY

What do you think? Have your say

Who should consider becoming a Master of Cheese?

Whether you make cheese, sell cheese, use it as an ingredient or just love cheese, YOU could become a Master of Cheese. The programme is open to anyone! All you need is a passion for cheese and the dedication to succeed – Ready to get started? Sign up for level one.

Retail professionals

Distributors

Food Writers

Cheesemongers

Chef’s & Restaurateurs

Fanatical foodies

Cheesemakers

Sommeliers

Cheese Judges

Get involved! Help us to deliver the gold standard.

We are well on the way to completing the Master of Cheese certification programme but there is still a lot to do and we need your help! Here are three ways that you could help us to deliver the gold standard for the industry.

Become a Patron

As a not for profit organisation, the Academy requires financial support to further develop the course structure. Ultimately, the aim is to become self-funding but investment is currently needed for the Academy’s committee to progress our ambitious programme. Patrons play a crucial role in making standardised industry accreditation a reality, and this is where we hope that you can help.

Become a Supporter

Those businesses whose passion for making, selling and promoting cheese is what inspired the creation of the Academy of Cheese. We are here to help you sell more cheese through our educational programmes, communication and campaigns. But, we need your help to help us to do more to support you.

Become a Friend

Those businesses whose passion for making, selling and promoting cheese is what inspired the creation of the Academy of Cheese. We are here to help you sell more cheese through our educational programmes, communication and campaigns. But, we need your help to help us to do more to support you.