Artisan Cheesemaking Fundamentals

Course Duration

5 days


Ivan Larcher



2024 dates

Monday 26 Feb – Friday 1 March  (FULL)
Monday 13 May – Friday 17 May
Monday 15 July – Friday 19 July
Monday 30 Sept – Friday 4 October


8:30 am to 5:00 pm




Perfect for those who want to become or are in the process of becoming professional cheesemakers, or who want a refresher of the all-important basics of professional artisan cheesemaking, Artisan Cheesemaking Fundamentals is a structured hands-on small-scale course run over 5 days. It is as it says – the fundamentals you need to learn what is required to make great artisan cheese, including the latest tips and techniques for improving artisan cheesemaking outcomes.

Led by world-renowned master cheesemaker and educator Ivan Larcher, ‘Artisan Cheesemaking Fundamentals’ will provide you with the practical tools and scientific knowledge needed to make small-scale artisanal cheese successfully and consistently, with invaluable tools for managing production and working through the challenges of the inherently variable processes of milk quality, cheesemaking and ageing.

There are no pre-requisites for this course, but some knowledge of and experience in cheesemaking or food science is recommended.

This course is a pre-requisite for the various Advanced courses we run (unless you are already an experienced artisan cheesemaker).


This course offers a whole-system perspective on artisan cheesemaking:

  • Beginning on the farm, with the animals, their milk and how to assess milk quality
  • Diving deep into both the science and art of cheesemaking by exploring raw and pasteurised milk theory, cheese microbiology and biochemistry, starters, coagulants and curdling mechanisms, moulding techniques, food safety and quality measurements/controls, design and equipment for artisan cheese facilities
  • Understanding the importance of using pH meters and titratable acidity measurements correctly, and other readily-available techniques and tips to assist in making consistently good quality artisan cheese
  • Hands-on artisanal cheese production – of lactic, soft, and hard cheeses – in our purpose built cheese training facility, under Ivan’s supervision
  • An introduction to affinage, focussed on ripening cultures, climate control, rind treatment, and handling throughout the ageing process
  • A tour run by Ivan of our Long Paddock Cheese facility, during which you can ask questions about facility design, equipment etc
  • Wine and cheese tasting one evening
  • Opportunities throughout to ask questions of and seek guidance from Ivan about cheesemaking throughout the course.
Close up of moulds turning
copper vat cheese


  • Cost: There is a 10% discount for existing students of The Cheese School and for cheesemaker/startup cheesemaker/associate members of ASCA (Australian Specialist Cheesemakers’ Association).
  • Participant numbers are limited to just 8-10.
  • Accommodation: there are lots of options for short-term accommodation near The Cheese School.
  • Meals: breakfast and lunch + tea and coffee are included in the cost. There are several nearby pubs and restaurants and other options available for evening meals. Please advise of any dietary restrictions on registration.
  • Cheese to take home: you can take the cheese you make home with you, with guidance from Ivan on how to ripen it.
  • Area: Castlemaine is a vibrant town nestled in Central Victoria, celebrated for its thriving artisanal food scene and creative artists. The Cheese School is conveniently located at The Mill, a hub for food and artisan manufacturing. Our onsite food and beverage neighbours include a cafe, coffee roasters, winery, ice-creamery, baker, small goods-maker, chocolatier, brewery &taproom, fruit and vegetable store, as well as numerous artists furniture makers.
  • Payment details: 50% is payable on application (by EFT to our bank account), with the remaining 50% payable 3 weeks before the course starts.
  • Cancellation Policy: Once a course/class is booked, the booking is FINAL and all amounts paid are NON-REFUNDABLE. If, however, you are unable to attend, provided you give us at least 14 days’ notice by email before the start date of the course/class you booked, you can assign your booking and your payment will be credited either: (a) to a new available date (within 12 months of the original course/class), or (b) to another person who may attend the course/class in your place.
  • We reserve the right to postpone or cancel a course/class at short notice should events beyond our control make this unavoidable. Should this occur, you will be offered the choice of: (a) a place on our next available scheduled course/class of the same type, or (b) a full refund.
  • Redeeming Gift Vouchers: Should you wish to redeem a gift voucher as part of your enrolment, please ensure you provide the unique voucher number when registering on our website.
  • Apply: please click the Book Now button above to fill in the registration form. You will receive an email confirmation letting you know we have successfully received your details. We will also be in contact you within 7 days to provide further information about your nominated course, including an invoice for the 50% deposit.

We have kept the cost of our courses down compared with equivalent courses elsewhere. We want to encourage those interested in professional cheesemaking to learn the skills from the master! We also offering a discount for the ASCA member categories mentioned above, as we believe in fostering a collaborative small-scale dairy community in Australia through their industry association.


Artisan Cheesemaking Fundamentals. 5 days. $1850+gst  per person. 

Professional Artisan Fundamentals