Advanced Natural Cheesemaking
29 April – 3 May 2024
@roebuck farm, taranaki
Artisan cheesemaker David Asher @theblacksheepschool returns
This incredible second course with David Asher focuses on more challenging cheeses; those that require more careful curd handling like Brie, high-temperature cooking like Comte, or more complex ripening like Stilton. It also explores the subjects of commercial adaptations of natural methods, the in-house production of rennet, and the diverse microbial ecologies of cheese to much greater degrees. And proposes a new theory of natural fermentation that envelops all modes of traditional food preservation including sourdough, natural wine and vegetable fermentation.
The class will offer a review of natural methods before entering into the throes of raw milk cheesemaking. In five days we will cover a breadth of makes, including white rinded half-lactic cheeses, washed curd cheeses, milled curd cheeses, and a full alpine make, focusing on styles that are only hinted at in the introductory course.
DAY 1: we begin by preparing hand-ladled Camemberts and Bries, learning what makes these cheeses as creamy as possible.
DAY 2: we will wash our curds to make both a small & mouldy (cat fur-ripened) Saint Nectaire, and a big orange rinded wheel of Gouda.
DAY 3: we will make a Stilton, exploring the curd milled method that gives the cheese its beautiful blue veins.
DAY 4: we will learn about firmer milled curd cheeses, preparing and pressing a truckle that will ripen into a cloth-bound Cheddar or naturally rinded Cantal.
DAY 5: we will conceive a traditional full-alpine cheese, cooking the curd to a high temperature before pressing it into a massive wheel of Comté.
This second level course explores how natural methods help evolve the best characteristics in all styles of cheese. This class is for the aspiring home-cheesemaker, fiendish fermentor or farmstead producer wishing to improve their game and make more traditional raw milk cheeses without manufactured cultures, that’s preferably previously taken an introductory class with David Asher. It’s sure to be an ambitious and delicious week!
These workshops are held at Roebuck Farm, a mighty little market garden in Omata on the outskirts of New Plymouth.
This particular workshop runs for 5 days. Each day starts at 9 am + finishes at 4:30 pm
There is no public transport out to the farm. It is common to hire a car at the airport to make your way out here. It is approximately a 30-minute drive from the airport and a 15-minute drive from town out to our farm
The workshop is fully catered with produce from the farm, the locale + of course a fair amount of cheese! The food at our workshops is always amazing and we naturally cater to a range of dietary needs. However, you are most welcome to bring your own if you have special requirements.
There are many Airbnbs in this area. You want something fairly near Hurford Rd, Omata. Oakura is the next little township 10 minutes along the coast. There is also a lovely campsite there with cabins overlooking the sea. And of course, New Plymouth itself is also very close.
We are Jodi + Tanya Roebuck and we have developed Roebuck Farm, an intensive 2/3rds of an acre market garden growing in-season + delivering locally to restaurants + retail in New Plymouth.
We are proud to be an award-winning small-scale intensive market garden and recognised for our commitment to sustainability + mentorship of other growers worldwide.
We love what we do. We are passionate about growing food sustainably and profitably.