Like a gifted communicator, cheese meshes easily into any environment, whether charming crackers at a fancy dinner party or melting tensions in heated burger/bun turf wars. Saunter into new surroundings with today's Groupon: for $68, you get a two-hour cheesemaking workshop and a take-home kit at The Cheesemaker ($137 value). Sessions will be held from 10 a.m. to noon February 5, 20, 26, and 27 in Mequon.
The Cheesemaker helps cheese lovers learn how to make gourmet cheeses in the comfort of their own kitchens or human-sized plastic containers. Prospective master cheesemakers perfect the art of dairy alchemy in a two-hour workshop filled with edification and ending with brie, blue, chevre, feta, or ricotta cheeses. Each new cheese master takes home a cheesemaking kit and cultures for further exploration of rind-covered realms. Check out the upcoming workshop dates and call or email to reserve your spot in the class.
Steve Shapson has always taken a do-it-yourself approach to his food, having cultivated wild mushrooms and started his own home-brewing store. One day, a customer entered this brewing facility in search of a thermometer, and Steve quickly discovered the man had something other than brewing in mind. As the customer explained his newfound passion for amateur cheese making, Steve enthusiastically dove into the concept, inviting the fellow foodie to his store to help him discover the process. Since then, he's become The Cheesemaker, striving to pass on hard-earned knowledge that he maintains can't be found in conventional cheese-making guidebooks.
Steve teaches techniques for making hard and soft cheeses, butter, yogurt, and kefir in onsite workshops that last either just a few hours or a full weekend. During hands-on workshops, he explains both proper and improper techniques, often citing mistakes he's made in the past as examples and telling cautionary tales about arranging rival cheeses next to each other on a serving platter. To supply his workshops and fill out his take-home cheese-making kits, Steve gathers a range of cultures and inoculants necessary for developing different cheeses, as well as basic-to-advanced gear such as curd knives, strainers, and warming vats.