Seven students enrolled in the Kendall College School of Culinary Arts participated in the inaugural Cheese Learning Opportunity hosted by Emmi Roth USA based in Monroe, Wisconsin, June 25-29.
To be eligible, students had to submit a résumé with current GPA along with an essay on why he or she should be selected for this one-of-a-kind “externship” that focused on cheesemaking, affinage (curing) and culinary cheese functionality.
Mornings were devoted to assisting cheesemakers and cellar masters in the creamery and curing facility to gain in-depth knowledge of the cheesemaking/curing process. Afternoons were spent in the Culinary Education Centre working aside Emmi Roth USA corporate chefs Regi Hise (director of culinary development) and Evan Topel on cheese-functionality projects.
Following five days of hands-on cheesemaking, classroom sessions and kitchen/lab activities, Kendall students learned the origin and history of cheese, as well as production methods unique to major cheese categories and the steps common to the production, aging and curing of cheese. They also received training in evaluating the textures and flavor of cheese, determining the cold and hot performance characteristics of major cheese categories, selecting foods and beverages that pair well with various cheeses, and understanding the role cheese plays in menu profitability.
Additionally, students were given an opportunity to craft a “Kendall specific” cheese that can be served in one of Kendall’s three dining facilities.