Cheese News November 2012

@@  Nancy Leson of the Seattle Times wrote a glowing piece recently about Meghan McKenna, cheesemaker at Washington's Mountain Lodge Farm. I recently visited the farm, tucked into the foothills of Mt. Rainier east of Tacoma, and I have to agree, this cheesemaker is one to watch! @@  Christine Hyatt has produced a series of outstanding videos about a number of Oregon's cheesemakers. Her latest covers Liz Alvis of Portland Creamery (see here).

@@ Now open in Portland - Clay Pigeon Winery and its associated wine bar, Cyril's at Clay Pigeon. This project is the brainchild of Sasha Davies and Michael Claypool; Sasha is well known in cheese circles as an expert cheesemonger and author of The Guide to West Coast Cheese and the new The Cheesemaker's Apprentice: An Insider's Guide to the Art and Craft of Homemade Artisan Cheese, among many other things. Michael and Sasha's Cheese by Hand project chronicled their 2006 trip across the country visiting dozens of artisan cheese makers.

@@  Bandon, Oregon used to be famous for its cheese factory. The factory struggled financially though, and in 2002 the Tillamook County Creamery Association purchased the factory, later closing it. Now plans are underway to revive the legacy of cheesemaking on the southern Oregon coast - Face Rock Creamery hopes to be open by Summer 2013.

@@  It's what they call "Cyber Monday," and don't forget that you can also order cheese online as well as iPads and Xboxes... A number of the Pacific Northwest's cheesemakers offer online ordering, including Rogue Creamery, Mt. Townsend CreameryBeecher's Handmade Cheese, Tumalo Farms, and Willapa Hills Farmstead Cheese. You can also order cheese online from Oregon State University (the new Beaver Classic) and Washington State University (Cougar Gold plus several other styles). Other cheesemakers, including Little Brown Farm on Whidbey Island in Washington and Briar Rose Creamery in Oregon's wine country, host on-farm stores if you're in their area. Don't forget local cheese for the holidays!

@@  Speaking of Beecher's Handmade Cheese, word is that they're producing a new cow's milk cheese at the New York plant called Dutch Hollow Dulcet. I guess we can't really consider this a new Northwest cheese, since it's made from New York milk in a New York facility...can we?

Washington State University Cheesemaking Classes For 2011

Washington State University CreameryWashington State University Creamery will be sponsoring several upcoming cheesemaking workshops. The first is a three day Basic Cheesemaking Short Course February 16-18th in Lynden, Washington. The three day course will cover issues ranging from milk and milk quality, cheesemaking and troubleshooting and regulatory issues involved in setting up a cheese plant of your own. Instructor Marc Bates, former head of the WSU Creamery in Pullman, will be leading the course; he is well known for his decades long involvement with the artisan cheese community in the region. The early registration rate for this workshop is $529. For more info see the full description here.

The second course, an Advanced Cheesemaking Shortcourse, will be held March 15-17th, 2011 at WSU Creamery in Pullman, Washington. This course is designed for experienced cheesemakers, supervisory, management, quality control and marketing personnel from commercial/industrial plants. Instruction is provided from leaders in the cheese industry community. This is an advanced class so it is recommended that you have some experience in cheesemaking or have attended a basic cheesemaking class as prerequisite. Cost for this workshop is $789 (early registration rate). For more info see the full description here.

On April 20-21st, 2011, WSU Creamery presents its Pasteurization Workshop. This course will cover vat and basic HTST systems. Additional discussions on magnetic flow timed systems and systems with auxiliary equipment are included. Hands-on activities are conducted in the WSU Creamery Facilities. Course is suggested for plant operators, maintenance personnel, quality personnel, management and suppliers to the industry. Register now to receive the early registration rate of $289. For more info see the full description here.

If you're interested in learning more about the ins and outs of how cheese is made - and especially if you have an idea that you'd like to start making and selling cheese - WSU is the place to go. I especially recommend the Basic Cheesemaking Short Course for beginners...more than just an average how-to, this course demonstrates the intricate complexities of the cheesemaking process. Many, many current professional artisan cheesemakers in the Pacific Northwest have taken a WSU courses at one point in their cheese careers.

----> For more information and/or to register for one or more workshops click here.