Artisan Dairy: Basic European cheesemaking & dairy products

Course Description

Artisan Dairy is an intensive, full immersion, hands-on culinary program, focusing on European style cheese and dairy making. As a fundamental dairy making program, designed for professionals and non professionals, the course goes deep on all aspects of dairy production: from understanding the most basic cheese and dairy principles, to designing formulas that aim for specific results, going through the production process in detail, and all the way to enjoying some of the final products.

We spend a total of 10 days in our lab, intensively working and learning together for over 80 hours. ACS provides a method of study that allows for innovation and evolution based upon tradition, solid technical principles and scientific knowledge.

Along the theory lessons, and during the hand-on sessions, the school compromises to enhance your learning process adding raw product tastings and cooking demos.

Our facilities provide an ideal environment for learning traditional formulas, practicing key techniques, and developing your own dairy production style.

While we focus on dairy techniques and formulas, our chefs cater lunches and dinners inspired by the vast repertoire of European dairy products. Using some of the products made during the lessons, you can learn how to integrate them into menus.

 

«You have to be a romantic to invest yourself, your money, and your time in cheese.»
- Anthony Bourdain

Artisan Dairy Basic European cheesemaking & dairy products

Course available dates

No available dates yet.

Course objectives

5

Who is this course for?

5

Course duration & itinerary

5

Course price

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5

Course objectives

  • 5Get access to 40+ traditional cheese and dairy formulas.
  • 5Learn how milk is standardized for your dairy production.
  • 5Work hands-on, making dairy products every day, guided by our instructors.
  • 5Learn basic science concepts on milk and dairy.
  • 5Learn about starter cultures.
  • 5Learn about all the ingredients and additives involved in cheese making and dairy products.
  • 5Learn to use your hands in cheese making: checking for surd set, stretching pasta filata curds, etc.
  • 5Learn about truths and myths of raw milk cheeses.
  • 5Learn to use cream separators, pasteurizers, cheese forms, etc.
  • 5Learn to make cheese accompaniments.
  • 5Understand how to set up a small artisan dairy producing facility.
  • During the course you will also:
  • 5Receive a complete course manual, printed and in pdf.
  • 5Receive ACS Notepad and pens, along with a Custom ACS chef 's jacket, apron and a hat.

During this course we will make:

  • DAIRY STARTER CULTURES
  • 5Mesophilic
  • 5Thermophilic
  • DAIRY PRODUCTS
  • 5Standardized milk
  • 5Cream (different fat percentages)
  • 5Buttermilk
  • 5Yogurt suite: traditional unstrained, Greek, Icelandic (skyr), liquid yogurt, etc.
  • 5Kefir
  • 5Crème fraîche
  • 5Sour cream
  • 5Sweet condensed milk
  • 5Evaporated milk
  • 5Ymer
  • 5Ricotta suite: whey ricotta, fast milk ricotta, baked ricotta (ricotta infornata), smoked ricotta (ricotta affumicata), salted ricotta (ricotta salata), brunost, etc.
  • 5Butter suite: Cultured butter, clarified, ghee, brown, etc.
  • 5Dulce de leche
  • ACID COAGULATED CHEESE
  • 5Robiola
  • 5Caprino
  • 5Mascarpone
  • 5Cream cheese
  • FRESH RENNET CHEESE
  • 5Fresh cheese
  • 5Cuajada
  • BRINED CHEESE
  • 5Feta (firm and creamy)
  • PASTA FILATA CHEESE
  • 5Curds
  • 5Pasta filata or mozzarella for pizza (pizza cheese)
  • 5Mozzarella or fior di latte suite: ciliegine, bocconcini, treccia, etc.
  • 5Stracciatella
  • 5Burrata
  • 5Scamorza
  • 5Burrino
  • 5Caciocavallo
  • 5Provola
  • 5Provolone
  • ALPINE CHEESE
  • 5Grana cheese family
  • 5Tomme
  • PECORINO
  • 5Fresh pecorino
  • 5Semi-aged
  • 5Aged
  • GOUDA
  • CHEDDAR
  • WHITE RIND CHEESE
  • 5Brie and Camembert
  • 5Valencay
  • 5Camoscio
  • BLUE CHEESE
  • 5Gorgonzola style
  • 5Roquefort style
  • 5Stilton style
  • 5Cabrales style
  • WASHED RIND CHEESE
  • 5Taleggio
  • 5Limburger

Who is this course for?

Anyone who loves food. Culinary students, professional cooks, cheesemongers, farmers, entrepreneurs, home cooks, cheese and dairy aficionados, European culture lovers. No prior cheese and dairy knowledge or training are necessary, although having some basic knowledge will enhance your experience during the course.

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 (Alicant 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 08:00 h to 18:00 h, with a short pause for lunch starting at 12:30 h. During this course, lunches are lessons in themselves. 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. Science of milk and dairy. Milk standardization.

Day 3

Tuesday

Dairy products. Butter suite. Crème fraîche. Buttermilk. Yogurt suite.

Day 4

Wednesday

Acid coagulated cheese. Quark. Skyr. Cream cheese. Mascarpone.

Day 5

Thursday

Fresh cheese. Rennet cheese. Cuajada. Ricotta suite.

Day 6

Friday

Goat’s milk cheese. Feta. Dulce de leche. Brunost.

Day 7

Saturday

Free day (All meals included).

Day 8

Sunday

Free day (All meals included).

Day 9

Monday

Pasta filata cheeses.

Day 10

Tuesday

Alpine cheeses. Pecorino.

Day 11

Wednesday

Cheddar. Gouda.

Day 12

Thursday

White rind cheese.

Day 13

Friday

Blue cheese. Washed rind cheese.

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 minutes 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 production. Science of milk and dairy. Milk standardization.

On the morning of Introduction day, we start by quickly reviewing our course itinerary and daily schedule, and we continue the theory lesson that goes on to explain the principles and methods of dairy production. The session then veers toward core science concepts of milk and dairy. After a lunch break, we continue by working on standardizing fresh raw milk that arrives directly from the farm. After the lesson ends, we will have a short break, followed by dinner prepared by our chefs.

07:00 - 10:00 h
Breakfast at the hotel.
08:00 - 12:30 h
Introduction.
Science of milk and dairy.
12:30 - 14:00 h
Lunch.
14:00 - 18:00 h
Milk standardization.
19:30 h
Dinner.
Night at the hotel.

Dairy products.

The morning of our second hands-on day, we will start right away by making cream products, principally butter. We will pause for lunch, after which we will resume activities making three important dairy ferments: yogurt, crème fraîche, and cultured buttermilk. After we finish production for the day we will have a short break, followed by dinner prepared by our chefs.

07:00 - 10:00 h
Breakfast at the hotel.
08:00 - 12:30 h
Cream and cream products.
Butter and its variants.
12:30 - 14:00 h
Lunch.
14:00 - 18:00 h
Yogurt, crème.
19:30 h
Dinner.
Night at the hotel.

Acid coagulated cheese.

Day 4 starts with milk standardization, following by a production and theory lesson on acid coagulated cheese. We will pause for lunch, after which we will resume activities by making different types of ricotta. After we finish the lesson for the day we will have a short break, followed by dinner prepared by our chefs.

07:00 - 10:00 h
Breakfast at the hotel.
08:00 - 12:30 h
Acid coagulated cheese theory and production.
12:30 - 14:00 h
Lunch.
14:00 - 18:00 h
Acid coagulated cheese theory and production.
Ricotta suite production.
19:30 h
Dinner.
Night at the hotel.

Fresh rennet cheese.

On day 5 we start the day with milk standardization, we follow with a theory and production lesson on fresh rennet cheeses. We will pause for lunch, after which we will resume activities by having a theory lesson on rennet types and uses, and then finishing the lesson for the day by making ricotta and its variants. After we finish the lesson for the day we will have a short break, followed by having dinner prepared by our chefs.

07:00 - 10:00 h
Breakfast at the hotel.
08:00 - 12:30 h
Theory and production of fresh rennet cheese.
12:30 - 14:00 h
Lunch.
14:00 - 18:00 h
Theory on rennet and its uses.
Ricotta production.
20:00 h
Dinner.
Night at the hotel.

Goat’s milk cheese.

We start day 6 with goat’s milk standardization. We will produce different types of goat’s milk cheeses. We will pause for lunch, after which we will resume activities by making a brined cheese, goat’s milk dulce de leche, and brunost. At night we will go out for dinner at a local restaurant.

07:00 - 10:00 h
Breakfast at the hotel.
08:00 - 12:30 h
Goat’s milk cheese.
12:30 - 14:00 h
Lunch.
14:00 - 18:00 h
Brined cheese.
Dulce de leche.
20:00 h
Dinner.
Night at the hotel.

Free days

Days 7 and 8 are free. School serves lunch and dinner as usual. We invite you to explore the town and the many options around. Consult our staff for their recommendations.

07:00 - 10:00 h
Breakfast at the hotel.
13:00 h
Lunch.
19:00 h
Dinner.
Night at the hotel.

Pasta filata cheese.

On day 9 we meet again in our kitchen classroom. We have an exciting cheese production ahead of us today, as we focus on pasta filata cheese. We are making some of the most important traditional Italian pasta filata cheeses. We will pause for lunch, after which we will resume activities by finishing our cheese production. After we finish the lesson for the day we will have a short break, followed by dinner prepared by our chefs.

07:00 - 10:00 h
Breakfast at the hotel.
08:00 - 12:30 h
Pasta filata cheese.
12:30 - 14:00 h
Lunch.
14:00 - 18:00 h
Pasta filata cheese.
19:30 h
Dinner.
Night at the hotel.

Alpine cheeses. Pecorino.

On day 10, we focus on alpine cheeses. We will pause for lunch, after which we will resume activities by producing four styles of pecorino. After we finish the lesson for the day we will have a short break, followed by having dinner out at a local restaurant.

07:00 - 10:00 h
Breakfast at the hotel.
08:00 - 12:30 h
Alpine cheeses.
12:30 - 14:00 h
Lunch.
14:00 - 18:00 h
Pecorino.
20:00 h
Dinner at a local restaurant.

Cheddar. Gouda.

Day 11 is a day dedicated to cheddar cheese and gouda. In the morning we will have a lesson on cheddaring. We will pause for lunch, after which we will resume activities by finishing our production by delving deeply into the world of gouda cheese. After we finish the lesson for the day we will have a short break, followed by dinner prepared by our chefs.

07:00 - 10:00 h
Breakfast at the hotel.
08:00 - 12:30 h
Cheddar cheese.
Theory and production lesson on the cheddaring process.
12:30 - 14:00 h
Lunch.
14:00 - 18:00 h
Gouda cheese.
19:30 h
Dinner.
Night at the hotel.

White rind cheese.

Day 12 is technically advanced day, a moldy one. We set out to produce the most delicate white rind cheeses. We will pause for short lunch, after which we will resume activities by having a theory lesson on cheese molds, and by finishing the production for the day. After we finish the lesson for the day we will have a short break, followed by a hands-on dinner, making pizza and pinsa romana.

07:00 - 10:00 h
Breakfast at the hotel.
08:00 - 12:30 h
White rind cheese.
12:30 - 13:30 h
Lunch.
13:30 - 18:00 h
Theory lesson on cheese molds.
19:30 h
Hands-on pizza and pinsa dinner.
Night at the hotel.

Blue cheese. Washed rind cheese. Equipment and micro-dairy set-up review.

On our last day at the lab, we will finish by going into production of some very interesting blue and washed rind cheeses. After lunch we will go through everything related to a micro-dairy set-up, and a thorough review of all equipment necessary for production and talk about HACCP planning for an artisan producing facility. We will also go through how planning should be set for a healthy business. At night we all go out to dinner at a local restaurant where we will celebrate the closure of an amazing two weeks we’ve spent learning together. Just before dinner we will give the official ACS course certificates to everyone, and we give out the ACS course awards.

07:00 - 10:00 h
Breakfast at the hotel.
08:00 - 12:30 h
Blue cheese.
Washed rind cheese.
12:30 - 14:00 h
Lunch.
14:00 - 16:00 h
Equipment and work shop set up.
Final Q&A with the chef instructor.
20:00 h
Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Certificates and awards.
Night at the hotel.

Departure day

After having breakfast at the hotel, you can relax and enjoy the local amenities until our driver takes you to the Alicante–Elche Miguel Hernández Airport, IATA: ALC or Alicante Terminal (Alacant Terminal or RENFE train station). For those with late departures we offer a complimentary light lunch.

07:00 - 10:00 h
Breakfast at the hotel.
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

Artisan Dairy: Basic European cheesemaking & dairy products

4,800.00

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 motor-coach.
  • NFull room and board for the duration of the course. All meals are included, with water and wine .*
  • NAll lessons, theory and practical, as described in the itinerary.
  • NCourse booklet/manual, note pad and pens.
  • NCustom ACS work shirt, apron and a hat.
  • NAll course work materials.
  • NAccess to School’s online community.
  • NTwo dinners out at a local restaurant.
  • NCertificate of course completion.

* 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will we use raw milk during lessons?
Yes, everything in cheese making and dairy production starts with good milk. We will discuss the science behind raw milk cheesemaking and we will learn how to pasteurize and standardize milk for dairy production.
Will we learn how to cook with cheese and dairy products?
Our programs are full immersion. You will learn the techniques stated in the course curriculum and also have the opportunity to learn how to use each product i.e. making cheese boards with proper accompaniments, cooking with them, accompanying with fruits and vegetables conserves, and breads. Some other recipes and formulas are part of the program that enhance your experience i.e. artisan bread.
Will we discuss cheesemaking and dairy production equipment and facilities?
Yes, during this course we will keep an ongoing conversation about proper equipment, and purveyors, and on the last day, we will have a lesson on how a microdairy should be set up.
Can I combine this program with other ACS courses?
We highly recommend taking this course along Artisan Bread: France, Italy, and Spain or any of our conserves courses for a 360º view of artisan European gastronomic traditions.
Will we review health, nutrition, and well-being topics during lessons?
We will hold honest objective conversations about healthy eating habits based on science. Also, health professionals supervise all our course programs and menus.