Soft Cheesemaking ADVANCED

Course Duration

5 days


Ivan Larcher



2024 dates

Monday 27 May – Friday 31 May


8:30 am to 5:00 pm




A deep dive into soft renneted cheese in its many forms, covering the science, art and practice, taught by master cheesemaker and teacher, Ivan Larcher.

Soft cheeses – from smaller bloomy rind Camembert-styles, and washed rind Epoisses or Munster styles, to the larger spectacular Brie-styles – are a commercial artisan cheesemaker’s best friend: popular with cheeselovers, great yield, relatively short ageing time but with reasonably good shelf life. Too often, though, these cheeses in Australia are made to bland stabilised industrial recipes, lacking the character and artisan appeal that cheeselovers are seeking and willing to pay for. In this course, you will learn the ins and outs of successful artisan soft cheesemaking.

Perfect for smaller-scale artisan cheesemakers with access to good quality milk, these cheeses cannot be produced successfully by the big cheesemakers, as they do not lend themselves to machine-based making and care. Nor, with increasing air and other freight charges, are the French and other versions realistic for import. So these should be the types of cheeses we make and sell locally, and consumers love them.

Ivan has extensive expertise in soft cheesemaking, initially running cheese operations in France, then consulting throughout the world to design cheeses that we now see on the world stage – eg Tunworth, Winslade and Baron Bigod in the UK, and Harbison and Winnimere in the US – as well as creating his own versions, first on his farm in France and now at Long Paddock Cheese in Castlemaine.

There are no pre-requisites for this course, but it is an advanced cheesemaking course. Previous commercial cheesemaking experience and study is recommended, including having undertaken our Artisan Cheesemaking Fundamentals course.


• artisan/traditional vs stabilised bloomy rind cheeses, all the ins and outs of techniques, ingredients, equipment
• various soft cheese makes, using both cow’s and goat’s milk in our purpose-built cheese training facility, under Ivan’s supervision
• working at commercial scale in our fromagerie with our Long Paddock Cheese soft cheeses in our fromagerie, under Ivan’s supervision
• focus on how to control the key mechanisms underlying soft cheesemaking, including management of acidification and syneresis in the vat and then in the moulds
• choosing cultures for acidification and ripening
• understanding how to cultivate the yeasts, moulds and bacteria for optimal soft cheese unctousness and complex flavour
• rind development and care, and how to achieve the type of rind aspect, texture and flavour you are seeking
• affinage for soft cheeses, including in our fromagerie ageing rooms
• packaging for soft cheeses
• a tour run by Ivan of our Long Paddock Cheese facility, during which you can ask questions about facility design, equipment etc
• vertical tastings of different Long Paddock Cheese soft cheeses at different ages
• wine and cheese tasting one evening
• opportunities throughout the course to ask questions of and seek guidance from Ivan about cheesemaking and the business of cheese.

soft cheesemaking 2
soft cheesemaking


  • 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.


Soft Cheesemaking Advanced. 5 days. $1850+gst per person. 

Soft Cheesemaking Advanced