College of the Canyons adjunct faculty member Herve Guillard and COC culinary arts student Andrew Courtenay had the chance to live a turophile’s dream come true when the pair spent three days learning about all things cheese during the 2016 Wisconsin Cheese Immersion Externship held Aug 2-6.
Guillard and Courtenay were among six instructors and culinary students selected nationwide to participate in the comprehensive cheese immersion program.
“It was an amazing experience to talk with the master cheesemakers and not only get information about their craft, but to also hear their passion for their art and the family culture behind it since most of them are third generation cheesemakers,” said Guillard. “We were able to see production from small farmsteads and artisan cheesemakers with two to three employees to large manufactures with over 100 employees.”
To be considered for the externship, culinary instructors and students had to collaborate and submit an original recipe that uses Roth® Natural Melt™ cheese. Guillard tapped Courtenay, one of his top students, to work together on a recipe. Three weeks of recipe trials and tweaks led to a winning combination in the form of a cheese and Nutella-filled donut served with chipotle applesauce.
“It was a great surprise,” said Guillard of their selection to participate. “My main objective was to show Andrew how to develop and write a recipe because recipe design and development is a bit of a different exercise, but what a reward to actually win!”
Courtenay was surprised when Guillard asked him to participate in the contest, but was excited by the prospect to go to learn about cheese in Wisconsin with his mentor.
“He makes things fun and makes you think and be creative with the ingredients,” said Courtenay of his mentor.
Hosted in partnership with the Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education and the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, the externship involved a creamery tour, a cheese making session, as well as a hands-on cheese class led by Emmi Roth USA corporate chefs and award-winning cheese makers.
“My sincere congratulations to both Chef Herve and one of our star students, Andrew Courtenay,” said Cindy Schwanke, chair of the college’s culinary arts and wine studies program. “Chef Herve is a talented chef instructor and mentor to our students. He is a true example of doing what matters for our students.”
In addition, the externship included local cheese tastings, a visit to the famous Dane County Farmers’ Market and a dairy farm tour.
“I’ve never been around so much cheese,” said Courtenay. “We easily tried over a 100 different kinds of cheese and Wisconsin is beautiful.”