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Artisan Dairy: Comprehensive Program

Course Description

The Artisan Dairy: Comprehensive Program is an immersive two-week experience designed to take participants on a deep dive into the world of artisan cheesemaking and dairy product creation. This all-encompassing course seamlessly combines our Basic European Cheesemaking and Dairy Products course with the Advanced Cheesemaking program, offering a complete education from fundamental techniques to sophisticated cheese crafting. Ideal for those passionate about dairy, from aspiring cheesemakers to culinary professionals, this program provides a thorough understanding of both the science and art behind creating high-quality, artisan dairy products.

Course available dates

October

2025

From October 12th to October 25th

Course objectives

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Who is this course for?

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Course duration & itinerary

5

Course price

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Program Highlights

  • Strong foundations: Begin with fundamental dairy science, including milk types and processing, and advance to mastering complex cheeses like Gouda, Cheddar, and blue cheeses.
  • Hands-On Experience: Engage in extensive hands-on practice in every aspect of cheesemaking, from basic curd preparation to the intricate art of aging and rind development.
  • Cultured Dairy Products: Learn to make a variety of cultured dairy products such as yogurt, kefir, butter, and crème fraîche in the first week, setting a solid foundation for understanding fermentation and bacterial cultures.
  • Advanced Cheesemaking Techniques: Learn advanced techniques including the stretching of mozzarella, crafting the perfect blue cheese, and understanding the nuances of washed and white rind cheeses.
  • Aging and Affinage: Explore the art of affinage, learn how to age cheeses to perfection, manage an aging room, and develop flavors through different rind treatments.
  • Diverse Cheese Families: Study a broad range of cheese families and styles, from the Pasta Filata family to soft-ripened and hard cheeses, gaining versatility in your cheesemaking skills.
  • Quality Control and Flavor Development: Understand how to evaluate cheese for quality, texture, and flavor, and learn how to incorporate various ingredients to create unique cheese profiles.
  • From Concept to Creation: Take a concept through to a finished cheese product, learning about recipe development, scaling, and adaptation for both small-scale and commercial production.
  • Business Insights: Gain insights into starting or expanding a cheesemaking business, including regulatory considerations, marketing, and sourcing high-quality milk.
  • Community and Networking: Join a community of like-minded individuals, sharing experiences and ideas, and building connections that last beyond the course.

Who is this course for?

The Comprehensive Artisan Dairy Program is meticulously designed for a wide array of individuals with a shared passion for dairy, seeking to either embark on or deepen their journey in artisan cheesemaking. This all-encompassing course is ideal for:

  • Aspiring Cheesemakers: Individuals looking to dive into the art and science of cheesemaking as a profession, seeking a thorough grounding in both basic and advanced cheesemaking techniques.
  • Culinary Professionals and Chefs: Those in the culinary field who aim to broaden their expertise with the addition of artisan cheese and dairy products to their repertoire, enhancing menu offerings and culinary creativity.
  • Food Entrepreneurs: Entrepreneurs planning to start or expand their business in the artisan dairy industry, or that need comprehensive knowledge from production to aging, alongside business insights.
  • Agricultural and Dairy Farmers: Dairy producers who wish to add value to their milk through the creation of artisan cheeses and dairy products, diversifying their product range and increasing sustainability.
  • Culinary Students: Students pursuing culinary or food science degrees who are looking to specialize in dairy or cheesemaking, enhancing their qualifications with practical, hands-on experience.
  • Hobbyists and DIY Enthusiasts: Home cooks and dairy hobbyists eager to elevate their home cheesemaking from a casual hobby to a more serious pursuit, with professional techniques and knowledge.
  • Sustainable Living Advocates: Individuals focused on sustainable eating, local sourcing, and self-sufficiency, interested in making their high-quality dairy products from local milk sources.
  • Food Bloggers and Culinary Content Creators: Content creators looking to deepen their subject matter expertise or add a new niche to their culinary content, through hands-on experiences and artisan dairy product creation.
  • Educators in Culinary Arts: Teachers and workshop leaders seeking to expand their knowledge and skills in artisan cheesemaking to educate others, either in academic settings or through informal workshops and classes.

This program caters to those who are serious about mastering the craft of cheesemaking and dairy product creation, providing them with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to pursue their passions, whether that be for personal fulfillment, professional development, or business innovation. Participants will leave the course with a profound understanding of dairy processes, ready to explore the vast opportunities that the world of artisan cheesemaking has to offer.

 

Course duration & itinerary

Arrival days are on Sundays, and student check-in into the rooms must be after 14:00 h. The course price includes transport from the Alicante–Elche Miguel Hernández Airport, IATA: ALC, or Alicante Terminal (Alacant Terminal or RENFE train station) to the hotel. Each student must promptly communicate their pick-up details to our Client Relations liaison. From Monday to Friday, there are regular lessons from 09:00 h to 17:00 h, with a short pause for lunch starting at 13:00 h. On the last day, Saturday, we have departure day, when students travel to the airport or train station.

Day 1

Sunday

Arrival day.

Day 2

Monday

Introduction to Dairy Science and Milk Types.

Day 3

Tuesday

Cultured Dairy Products.

Day 4

Wednesday

Basic Cheesemaking Techniques.

Day 5

Thursday

Introduction to Aged Cheeses.

Day 6

Friday

Flavor Development and Additional Dairy Products.

Day 7

Saturday

Free Day.

Day 8

Sunday

Free Day.

Day 9

Monday

Mozzarella and the Pasta Filata Family.

Day 10

Tuesday

White Rind Cheeses.

Day 11

Wednesday

Blue Cheeses and Washed Rind Cheeses.

Day 12

Thursday

Gouda and Cheddar.

Day 13

Friday

Advanced Techniques and Aging.

Day 14

Saturday

Departure day.

Arrival Day

Upon your arrival at the Alicante–Elche Miguel Hernández Airport, IATA: ALC, or Alicante Terminal (Alacant Terminal or RENFE train station), you will be greeted by one of our drivers, who will promptly take you to school by private shuttle. After checking in at the hotel, you can enjoy the local amenities until 19:00 h, when we will all meet for a quick 30-minute orientation session, after which we will share a welcome dinner prepared by our chefs.

All day
Arrivals at the airport or the train station.
13:00 h
Light lunch for early arrivals.
14:00 h
Check-in at the hotel.
19:00 h
Orientation session.
19:30 h
Welcome dinner.
Night at the hotel.

Introduction to Dairy Science and Milk Types

Today sets the foundation with an overview of dairy science, highlighting the composition of milk and the impact of using milk from different animals. Participants learn about the critical role of milk types in determining the texture, flavor, and nutritional content of dairy products. The afternoon session focuses on milk processing techniques, emphasizing pasteurization and preparation for fermentation, along with essential hygiene and safety standards in dairy processing. This day ensures a strong theoretical base, preparing participants for the practical cheesemaking and dairy product sessions ahead.

08:00 - 10:00 h
Breakfast.
09:00 - 13:00 h
Introduction lesson.
13:00 - 14:00 h
Lunch.
14:00 - 17:00 h
Milk standardization.
19:00 h
Dinner.
Night at the hotel.

Cultured Dairy Products

Today we study cultured dairy products, starting with the making of yogurt and kefir. Participants explore the fermentation process, understanding the role of live cultures in developing these products' unique textures and health benefits. The afternoon shifts to butter, ghee, and crème fraîche, covering the techniques for creating these rich, versatile dairy products. By focusing on cultured items, this day aims to broaden participants' understanding of dairy beyond cheese, showcasing the wide range of products that can be made from cultured milk.

08:00 - 10:00 h
Breakfast.
09:00 - 13:00 h
Introduction lesson.
13:00 - 14:00 h
Lunch.
14:00 - 17:00 h
Milk standardization.
19:00 h
Dinner.
Night at the hotel.

Basic Cheesemaking Techniques

Today’s sessions introduce participants to the art of cheesemaking, focusing on fresh cheeses. The morning session covers the essentials of using cultures and rennet, guiding participants through the steps of curdling milk and draining whey to form cheese. In the afternoon, attention turns to forming, flavoring, and enhancing fresh cheeses, with hands-on practice and discussions on texture, flavor analysis, and techniques to improve cheese quality. This day is crucial for mastering the basics of cheesemaking and setting the stage for more complex types.

08:00 - 10:00 h
Breakfast.
09:00 - 13:00 h
Basic cheesemaking.
13:00 - 14:00 h
Lunch.
14:00 - 17:00 h
Basic cheesemaking.
Ricotta suite production
19:00 h
Dinner.
Night at the hotel.

Introduction to Aged Cheeses

On day 5, participants learn about aged cheeses, exploring the science behind aging, including how environmental factors affect rind development and the maturation process. The morning session provides an overview of the equipment and conditions necessary for aging cheese. The afternoon is dedicated to starting a simple aged cheese and discussing the basics of the aging process, care, and monitoring. This introduction to aged cheeses demystifies the aging process and prepares participants for more advanced cheesemaking techniques.

08:00 - 10:00 h
Breakfast.
09:00 - 13:00 h
Basic cheesemaking.
13:00 - 14:00 h
Lunch.
14:00 - 17:00 h
Basic cheesemaking.
Ricotta suite production.
19:00 h
Dinner.
Night at the hotel.

Flavor Development and Additional Dairy Products

This week’s final day focuses on flavor development in cheeses, exploring techniques for incorporating herbs, spices, and other flavorings to create unique, enhanced profiles. The morning session also touches on the basics of affinage, or cheese aging, to develop flavors. In the afternoon, participants expand their dairy repertoire by making paneer, labneh, and quark, learning about these products' preparation, storage, and culinary uses. This day ensures participants leave the course with a comprehensive skill set, ready to explore the diverse world of dairy products further.

08:00 - 10:00 h
Breakfast.
09:00 - 13:00 h
Basic cheesemaking, Flavor development.
13:00 - 14:00 h
Lunch.
14:00 - 17:00 h
Additional dairy products.
Dulce de leche production.
19:00 h
Dinner.
Night at the hotel.

Free days

In our Comprehensive Artisan Dairy Program, we understand the importance of balance between intensive learning and rest. Therefore, we've designated Saturday and Sunday as free days for participants to relax and recharge. During these days, we provide accommodations and all meals, ensuring our students have a worry-free experience. We encourage participants to take advantage of this time by exploring the charming town of Altea and its surrounding areas. This picturesque region, known for its stunning landscapes, vibrant culinary scene, and rich cultural heritage, offers a wonderful opportunity for students to immerse themselves in local Spanish culture, find culinary inspiration, and enjoy the Mediterranean lifestyle. Whether you're strolling through Altea's historic cobblestone streets, sampling local delicacies, or simply soaking up the sun on the beautiful beaches, these two days promise a delightful break before diving back into the world of cheesemaking.

08:00 - 10:00 h
Breakfast.
13:00 h
Lunch.
19:00 h
Dinner.

Mozzarella and the Pasta Filata Family

Today introduces the captivating world of Pasta Filata cheeses, focusing on the unique stretching process that defines this family. The session begins with an in-depth exploration of the science behind acidity and temperature's critical role in achieving the perfect texture. Participants will then dive into hands-on practice with mozzarella, learning the art of curd preparation, stretching, and shaping. The day extends into variations such as provola and scamorza, offering participants a comprehensive understanding and practical experience in making these delightfully stretchy cheeses.

08:00 - 10:00 h
Breakfast.
09:00 - 13:00 h
Pasta filata.
13:00 - 14:00 h
Lunch.
14:00 - 17:00 h
Pasta filata.
19:00 h
Dinner.
Night at the hotel.

White Rind Cheeses

This week’s second day is dedicated to the elegant world of white rind cheeses, such as Camembert and Brie, renowned for their creamy texture and mold-ripened rinds. Participants will delve into the specifics of milk selection, the critical role of cultures like geotrichum candidum and penicillium candidum, and the nuances of mold development. The afternoon brings the opportunity to apply this knowledge through the making of their white rind cheese, focusing on techniques for encouraging mold growth and managing rind development during the aging process.

08:00 - 10:00 h
Breakfast at the hotel.
09:00 - 13:00 h
Introduction to molds.
13:00 - 14:00 h
Lunch.
14:00 - 17:00 h
Hands-on cheesemaking.
19:00 h
Dinner.
Night at the hotel.

Blue Cheeses and Washed Rind Cheeses

We dedicate today to a dual exploration, starting with the intense flavor profiles of blue cheeses. The morning session covers the inoculation process with Penicillium roqueforti, the art of piercing, and optimal aging conditions for developing the characteristic veining. The afternoon shifts to the aromatic world of washed rind cheeses, detailing the wash process to cultivate distinct rinds and flavors.

08:00 - 10:00 h
Breakfast.
09:00 - 13:00 h
Blue cheese.
13:00 - 14:00 h
Lunch.
14:00 - 17:00 h
Washed rind cheese.
19:00 h
Dinner.
Night at the hotel.

Gouda and Cheddar

Focusing on two cheese giants, Gouda and Cheddar, day four offers a deep dive into their traditional cheesemaking processes. The morning is all about Gouda, hands-on practice allows participants to make their cheese, emphasizing the steps that define its unique qualities. The afternoon is reserved for Cheddar, exploring the cheddaring process, which contributes to its firm texture and tangy flavor. Participants will engage in making Cheddar, gaining insight into the importance of each step in achieving its signature profile.

08:00 - 10:00 h
Breakfast.
09:00 - 13:00 h
Gouda.
13:00 - 14:00 h
Lunch.
14:00 - 17:00 h
Cheddar.
19:00 h
Dinner.
Night at the hotel.

Advanced Techniques and Aging

The final day takes the cheesemaking experience to a higher level with advanced techniques and a focus on aging. The morning session explores the intricacies of affinage, the art of cheese aging, discussing strategies to enhance flavor and quality through natural rinds, waxing, and other protective methods. The afternoon is dedicated to aging room management, essential for maturing cheese under optimal conditions. Participants will review the cheeses they've started during the course, outlining care plans for aging, and setting the stage for these cheeses to develop into their full potential in the months to come.

08:00 - 10:00 h
Breakfast.
09:00 - 13:00 h
Advanced cheesemaking techniques.
13:00 - 14:00 h
Lunch.
14:00 - 17:00 h
Aging cheese.
19:00 h
Dinner.
Night at the hotel.

Departure day

Following breakfast at the hotel, take some time to unwind and make the most of the local facilities at your leisure. When it's time, our arranged transportation will escort you to either the Alicante–Elche Miguel Hernández Airport (IATA: ALC) or the Alicante Terminal (Alacant Terminal or RENFE train station), depending on your travel plans. For guests with later departure times, we're pleased to provide a complimentary light lunch to enjoy before you leave.

08:00 - 10:00 h
Breakfast.
Until 12:00 h
Express checkout of the hotel.
13:00 h
Light lunch for late departures.
All day
Transport to the airport or train station.

Course price

All-inclusive price

€4,500.00

The enrollment fee for the Artisan Dairy: Comprehensive Program is set at €4,500. This all-inclusive price covers not just the comprehensive culinary education you will receive but also ensures a worry-free and comfortable experience from start to finish. Included in this fee are land transportation services to and from Alicante airport or train station, ensuring a seamless journey. Accommodations are provided at a luxury boutique hotel in Altea, offering a restful and elegant stay throughout the course. All meals are covered. Additionally, the fee includes all necessary coursework materials and a professional kitchen uniform. Upon completion of the course, participants will receive a certificate. This all-encompassing package is designed to offer an unparalleled educational experience, allowing you to focus entirely on your culinary development.

All the following are included in the price:

  • NTransport to and from Alicante–Elche Miguel Hernández Airport, IATA: ALC or Alicante Terminal (Alacant Terminal or RENFE train station) to the school by private transport.
  • NFull room and board for the duration of the course. All meals are included, with water and wine*.
  • NAll lessons, theory and practical, as they are described in the itinerary.
  • NCourse booklets/manuals, notepads, and pens.
  • NCustom ACS kitchen uniform: one professional chef jacket, one apron, and a hat.
  • NAll coursework materials.
  • NAccess to the School’s online community.
  • NCertificate of course completion.

The all-inclusive price of €4,500 is based on single occupancy. For those wishing to share their room with a companion, we offer attractive discounts.

*All wines are local, selected by our resident sommelier. Wines are served at dinner according to European hospitality customs

What is not included in the price?

  • MTravel insurance.
  • MAirfare and any travel expenses not stated in the itinerary.
  • MPersonal expenses and shopping during the course, excursions, visits, outside dinning.

The itinerary is subject to change if the instructor deems necessary, only for the improvement of the overall experience of all students.

Base price

€3,250.00

Alternatively, for students who prefer to handle their accommodations and logistics, we offer a course-only modality priced at €3,250. This option includes the full educational experience of the course— practical cooking sessions, and all necessary coursework materials—while allowing students the flexibility to arrange their stay, transport, and meals outside of class hours. This modality is ideal for local students or those who wish to explore living arrangements on their terms.

All the following are included in the price:

  • NMeals from Monday to Friday: Lunches and dinners.
  • NAll lessons, theory and practical, as they are described in the itinerary.
  • NCourse booklets/manuals, notepads, and pens.
  • NCustom ACS kitchen uniform: one professional chef jacket, one apron, and a hat.
  • NAll coursework materials.
  • NAccess to the School’s online community.
  • NCertificate of course completion.

What is not included in the price?

  • MTransportation to the School.
  • MAccommodations.
  • MBreakfasts.
  • MTravel insurance.
  • MAirfare and any travel expenses not stated in the itinerary.
  • MPersonal expenses and shopping during the course, excursions, visits, outside dinning.

The itinerary is subject to change if the instructor deems necessary, only for the improvement of the overall experience of all students.

Frequently Asked Questions