The New Cheese Tutor at the River Cottage Cookery School

The New Cheese Tutor at the River Cottage Cookery School 


Join the team at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s award-winning Cookery School for an introduction to the world of artisan cheese with new course tutor Paul Thomas. Set against the stunning rural backdrop of River Cottage HQ, the day is a hands on celebration of fantastic food and culinary tradition.
Paul is a dairy technologist and all-round fromage fanatic. After graduating with a degree in biochemistry in 1999, Paul spent several years working as the affineur at respected cheesemonger, IJ Mellis in Edinburgh. He spent six years as head cheesemaker at Lyburn Farm before setting up Thimble Cheesemakers- producing raw milk soft cheeses. He now provides technical support to cheesemakers around the world.


On this one day course in the River Cottage Cookery School you’ll be guided step by step through the techniques to craft a variety of lovely cheeses, including a hard cheese, a Camembert-style cheese and a soft ricotta. Paul will explain the science behind the cheese making process and leave you with the skills to mature your creations at home. In a few weeks’ time you’ll have your own homemade cheeses to share with family and friends.


Throughout the day you will learn about starters, rennet, temperatures and cheese making techniques. Working in pairs you will make a hard Caerphilly type cheese and a soft Camembert type cheese.  Using the leftover whey from the hard cheese, you’ll also try your hand at making your own ricotta – an easy method to replicate at home.


The afternoon will be spent completing your cheeses, shaping and turning them in their moulds. You’ll learn how to care for them as they mature, and enjoy a cheese tasting too.


“I spent the day with a broad smile on my face. Fulfilling a long held ambition to start learning to make cheese” Pat Townshend, February 2016