AN Australian-first artisan cheese-making school hopes to revitalise small scale cheese-making across the nation from its new home in central Victoria.
Opening soon in Castlemaine, The Cheese School will run classes for both amateur and aficionado cheese-lovers.
Part of the school's aim will be to combat the monopoly of mass produced cheddar in the Australian cheese market.
Director Alison Lansley said staff hoped to create a hub for artisan dairy production to develop know-how and consumer love for the boutique cheese.
Ms Lansley said the school wanted to help build up more independent dairy producers, such as farmer cheese-makers.
The Cheese School will be run with a tandem business Long Paddock Cheese, a new brand operating from creative hub The Mill in Castlemaine.
It will be run by a small group of people, including expert French cheesemakers.
Ms Lansley said the school would offer skills-based training, for professionals, industry aspirants and complete beginners.
It will even offer tutored tastings for cheese lovers.
French cheesemakers Ivan and Julie Larcher will run the training, mixing theory with practical lessons.
"They have all the skills, they've got the skills, but also they're amazing teachers," Ms Lansley said.
"Ivan in particular... he teaches around the world to small artisan cheesemakers and consults to them.
"He's amazing, he can actually make extraordinary cheeses himself, but he knows exactly what to do for other people."
Ms Lansley said the school wanted a stronger artisan cheese industry in Australia, with the current market dominated by mass produced, block cheddar.
"We really want to be a catalyst, a catalyst for getting the artisan end, the boutique end of the Australian dairy industry much stronger than it is now," she said.
"We don't want to be the only ones, we want others to learn from us and succeed in their own right."
Mr and Mrs Larcher will also produce cheese for sister business Long Paddock Cheese, which Ms Lansley said would be Australian cheeses made with French schools. The business will begin to sell these in about a fortnight.
The Cheese School will release its first class schedule in the next few weeks.
Classes are due to start in early 2020.
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