Students will learn about the various types of cheeses and how to craft them at home. Classes include fresh soft cheeses (Fromage Blanc/chevre), soft mold ripened cheeses (camembert/brie), blue cheese, Feta and ricotta, pressed cooked cheeses, cheddar and the cheddaring process, mozzarella using a rapid acidification process as well as a culture/lipase process.

Upon completion of classes/workshops students will have a comprehensive understanding of the process of cheese making and how to control the process so they can attain the results needed in a particular cheese.  Ingredients and instructions are included to replicate the class at home.


  • History of cheese making

  • Types of cheese: fresh, soft ripened, mold ripened, washed curd, natural rind/washed rind hard cheeses

  • types of milk, homogenization, pasteruization, heat treatment
  • lactic bacterial starter cultures and their role: mesophilic/thermophilic
  • other bacterial cultures, molds and yeasts and their role 
  • traditional cheese making styles
  • types of rennet, Floccuation and coagulation/calcium choloride
  • controlling curd/whey temperature adn ripening time to create final cheese texture and flavor
  • PH/Acidity levels
  • Affinage: caring and aging your cheese
  • waxing, oil rubs, bandaging cheese
  • washing and brining, using spices and flavorings

How many hours are the classes? 

Gabriola classes which include lunch ususally run between 3.5 to 4 hours in length.  Demonstration style classes are generally 2 to 3 hours in length.  The Full day Extensive Discover Cheese class is closer to 5 hours

What do I need to bring?

Just yourself and containers to bring home your home made cheeses! An apron is a good idea and some comfortable inside shoes if you have a favorite pair. If you would like to bring lunch and wine to drink please do so. I provide all the rest!

What ferry do I need to catch from Nanaimo?

If your class starts at 10.30, you will need to be on a 9.25 ferry from Nanaimo.  If you are driving over, please allow yourself extra time to insure you make it on the ferry.  If you are walking on, it is the same ferry.  Generally, most classes are able to take the 3.05 ferry back off the island.  Payment is only on the Nanaimo side which includes your return trip.

Where do I park on the Nanaimo side?

You will need to park in the Parkade located near the Port Theatre on the waterfront.  If you park in the Port Place Mall complex, you run the risk of getting ticketed.  There are a few free parking spots available in the Ferry terminal-don't count on getting one of these, they are golden spots and get taken as soon as they are vacated!



Madd Acres address is 2125 North Road.  From Ferry drive up the hill, at the top of the hill is the Gabriola Post Office and a Y in the road.  Go left here, it will take you past our "village area" (give yourself time to explore the many shops, artist's studios and perhaps have a dinner on the island in one of our fabulous restaurants!).  You will stay on North Road for around 7 Kms, it will take you through the treed "tunnel".  Tait Road will come up on your right, Madd Acres is the only driveway after Tait Road on the right, there is a sign and Farm Stand... amazing duck and chicken eggs BTW... drive straight in, no turns. Gus, our dog, and the ducks will welcome you with a chorus of barks and quacks.

Registration, payment & cancellation policies

Registration is required at least 72 hours in advance, like wise with cancellations.  Payment:  visa or MC require to reserve a space in the class, payment is due on arrival. Credit cards will be charged a service fee, check or cash is also accepted.   A 50% non refundeable cancellation fee will be charged if cancellation is less than 72 hours prior to class.  

Do you Sell Gift Certificates, kits and supplies?

Yes. I do have gift certificates and would be happy to send you one.  You can apply them to kits, classes or supplies. I also sell all of the cultures and ingredients for making cheese along with moulds and other accessories.  Please email for pricing.

Will you do a private function (Bridal shower, appreciation gift, birthday party, book club/newcomer group)? 

If you have a group or need a unique appreciation gift or even want to give your employees a special team building day, I can design a cheese making day to suit your needs!  I love doing private events and functions and have an extensive back ground in event planning and private function/catering. 

What is the class size?  

Classes at Madd Acres are generally more intimate, hands on experiences with numbers held at 6 or under.  Demonstration style classes have as many as 20 in them.  I am able to design classes for greater numbers as well depending on the need.