The Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese stopped offering cheese making classes last school year. But, following in the footsteps of an October class at Vermont Technical College, Sterling College will fill the void beginning on January 13 with its first Artisan Cheesemaking short course.
According to the Craftsbury Common institution’s dean, Pavel Cenkl, it was a long-term relationship with the Cellars at Jasper Hill that landed Sterling the Cellars’ cofounder, Mateo Kehler, as a partner in the class. “Both Jasper Hill and Sterling College are passionate about cheese and artisan culture. We want to give hands-on classes in cheese making, and also work with people interested in moving our food system in a much more responsible direction,” Kehler said in a press release.
According to Cenkl, Kehler also helped connect Sterling with instructor Ivan Larcher. Larcher is based in France, but the affineur and cheese-making consultant has taught in Vermont before as a visiting international expert for VIAC. Cenkl says that the enticements of instructors Larcher, Mateo Kehler and the latter’s brother, Andy, have attracted students from across the country to the intensive. In fact, Sterling’s director of communications, Christian Feuerstein, warns, “There are just a few seats left.”
Class sessions are also taught by the director of Sterling’s sustainable food systems program, Anne Obelnicki, and take place at the Cellars at Jasper Hill, Hardwick’s Vermont Food Venture Center and the college.
The $3000 course lasts two weeks and covers all aspects of the science of cheese making, beginning with milk and ending with troubleshooting problems that come up in production. Students learn about sales, distribution and marketing, as well as cheese history and food-systems awareness. The result should be a crew of about 20 prospective cheese makers ready to start their businesses.
The cheese making intensive will be offered again in May and August 2014. But if curds aren’t in your future, Sterling has other options coming up in the summer. Look for more info soon about an artisan meat program and a short course on lacto-fermentation.
The original print version of this article was headlined "Cheese, Please"