Over 30 Cheeses
1 Week Hands-on
Over 30 Cheeses
1 Week Hands-on
Over 30 Cheeses
1 Week Hands-on
Over 30 Cheeses
1 Week Hands-on
Over 30 Cheeses
1 Week Hands-on

Artisan Italian Cheesemaking Technique & Production

Classic and Modern Cheeses, Science & Morphology, Machines & Equipment, Creating Personal Cheeses, Merchandising


Certificate Program Instructed by the ICI Masters

One Week Full Immersion for Cheesemongers, Chefs, Home Gourmets, Entrepreneurs & Hobbyists

About this program

Artisan Italian Cheese Making is the most comprehensive one week cheesemaking program in Italy and the only one that is hands-on. This full immersion course begins with the science necessary to produce any type of cheese and quickly moves into the production phase. In addition to making classic regional Italian cheeses, a special section of the course shows participants how to develop personal cheeses to fit any taste and preference. As in all ICI programs, all ingredients are always all natural…

Participants are taken through each step of cheesemaking beginning with the planning and development of each recipe, the phases necessary for production, storage and aging options and optimal serving and accompaniments for each cheese.

Considerations are made for establishing an artisan cheese shop or a full production facility for eventual multiple points of sale. The hygienic situations for cheesemakers globally are taken into consideration as we outline production parameters with a strict adherence to sanitary conditions that go far beyond standard government and HAACP regulations.

As always, this program is all inclusive from the time of arrival at the airport until departure. Accommodations, ground transfers, exquisite meals and cultural travel are all included.


  • Orientation for the week’s schedule and events.
  • Welcome dinner.
  • Overnight at the hotel.
  • Breakfast at the hotel

The history of cheese:

For over three thousand years the ingredients for cheesemaking have remained the same: milk, salt and rennet. By varying these techniques using these basic ingredients, cheese makers continue to produce thousands of cheeses worldwide that taste distinctively different from one another.

The first cheesemakers, casari in Italian, date back to the Sumerian civilization of three thousand years BC and progressed significantly during the Roman Empire. All of the cheese produced at this time was made solely from natural ingredients. In Italy, this continues even today. Knowing and understanding the history of cheesemaking throughout the centuries enables modern cheesemakers to recognize the cheese of yesterday, and by watching its evolution, to create the cheese of tomorrow…

  • An examination of the principle raw ingredients used for artisan Italian cheesemaking and selecting the best products available according to specific parameters.
    • Milk: Cow, sheep, goat and buffalo
      • Pasteurized vs. Un-Pasteurized: realities and myths
    • Salt and spices
    • Rennet: animal and vegetable; liquid, paste or powder.
    • Flavors
    • Seasonality, microclimate, diet, religious considerations and availability of products.

Ricotta salata three ways: red wine, honey and fennel

  • Flavor Perception & Gustatory Analysis:

Degustation and gustatory analysis are the processes by which culinarians taste and analyze each single ingredient and classifies them according to intensity and region. This enables him or her to create cheeses authentically and, if necessary, to make suitable substitutions based on a clear guideline.

  • Cheeses DOP
    • An extended tasting of over 30 cheeses from every region of Italy.
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon free
  • Dinner
  • Overnight at the hotel
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • The making of perfect cheese is the result of an intricate enzymic metamorphosis. Understanding how ingredients and techniques influence these processes, gives cheesemakers the ability to eventually troubleshoot and/or tweak any part of the production process to make truly personalized cheese…
  • The phases of cheesemaking:
    • Acidification
      • Mesophilic or thermophilic cultures
    • Rennet
      • Choosing appropriate type and dosage
    • Cutting Curd
      • Determining the desired texture of each cheese
    • Pressing Curd
      • Shaping and forming
    • Ripening
      • Salting, flavoring and setting aging parameters
    • Rinds
      • Road mapping the aging process through the creation of determined rinds: molding, washed and submersion.

The white ‘noble’ mold growing on this saffron sheep’s cheese (pecorino allo zafferano) is a result of several methodic steps and assures longevity for aging.

  • Chemistry review of the physics involved in production of component assemblies, the final product and secondary products relating to the functional characteristics of each element. Understanding how each ingredient reacts within these principles enable participants to create master cheese recipes used as a base for all subsequent recipes.
  • Lunch
  • Temperature
    • Perhaps the most significant “ingredient” in cheesemaking, temperature plays a role throughout the cheesemaking process influencing both texture and flavor.
  • Creating a cheesemaking laboratory
    • Layout and required production space depending on estimated yield
    • Aging chambers
      Gas, electric, induction and steam
    • Overview of all the tools necessary for advanced cheesemaking.

The equipment needed for professional cheesemaking is surprisingly simple and relatively inexpensive. This custom made multi-former is a simple stainless steel fabrication and can also be made in plastic.

Safety and Hygiene

Cheese production is comprised of several steps, all of which include highly perishable products. Proven work habits are introduced that go far beyond standard international HAACP regulations ensuring not only a sanitary production line but, most importantly, a better product. This standard method can be applied to both single operations as well as multiunit establishments.

Overview of dangerous microorganisms and how to prevent their development through proper handling and sanitation throughout the production process.

  • End of lesson.
  • Dinner
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Making and storing mesophilic and thermophilic cultures
    • In-house yogurt, buttermilk, vegan and alternatives.
  • Cheese production:
    • Mozzarella
    • Provola
    • Provolone
    • Burrino
    • Burrata
    • Stracciatella

Mozzarella is in the family of cheese known in Italy as ‘pasta filata’. It begins with making the curds, letting them mature and finally stretching and folding them until they reach a brilliant satin consistency.

  • Lunch
  • Cheese production continues:
    • Ricotta
    • Cream Cheese
    • Stacchino
    • Camoscio
    • Taleggio
    • Gorgonzola
  • End of lesson
  • Dinner
  • Overnight at the hotel
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Cheese production:
  • Caciotta
  • Grana
  • Caciocavallo
  • Lunch

Once participants have learned the necessary techniques for making perfect cheese, any cheese can be customized for every taste. These spicy peperoncino and arugula caciotta are flavored while the curds are still warm. They are formed for less than an hour and are ready to eat in days or can be aged for years!

  • Cheese production continues:
    • Custom flavored cheeses:
      • Truffles
      • Porcini mushrooms
      • Arugula, sundried tomato and olives
      • Fennel
      • Peperoncino and oregano
  • End of lesson.
  • Dinner at a classic pizzeria
  • Overnight at the hotel
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Cheese production:
    • Pecorino calabrese
    • Pecorino romano
    • Canestrato
    • Ricotta salata
  • Lunch

Pecorino (sheep’s cheese) can be aged from ten days to four years depending on type and size. This is probably the most delicious ‘filing system’ ever..

  • Cheese production continues:
    • Fiore sardo
    • Formaggio di fossa
    • Tuscan pecorino
    • Piacentinu ennese
    • Formaggella del luinese
    • Caprino in cenere

Regular and smoked caciocavallo


The smoking of cheese has several important effects on the final product. The antimicrobial and antioxidant properties of smoke act as enhanced natural preservatives enabling cheesemakers to extend aging choices. Smoke also adds unique colors to cheese. Finally, depending on the smoke source (type of wood, tea, coffee, sugar, etc.) flavor options are unlimited!

  • Designing personal cheese
  • End of lesson.
  • Dinner
  • Overnight at the hotel
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Departure for mercatino

A typical Italian open air market offers culinarians an insight into the country’s most traditional aspects as well as an opportunity to browse cheeses, wines and cured meats that are still produced by artisans. Participants compare and taste the differences between these products to those of the industrial sector.

Mercatino, Italy’s open air markets are where we find gastronomic treasures, and occasionally, fine art..

  • Lunch
  • Production planning

With the aid of the ICI Recipes & Techniques’ manual issued to every participant, a multi-flavor and texture production system is constructed. Flexible parameters enable cheese makers to design ad hoc or custom production systems based on individual needs. Consideration is given to regional availability of raw materials, market demand, staff challenges, cost factors and laboratory and retail space.

  • Personalizing Flavor

Every country has particular tastes that become even more individualized in different towns and cities within that country. As is the case within cuisine and patisserie, cheese masters must understand how to create a harmony of different flavors while always incorporating the absolute best ingredients available in any given place.

This segment combines theory with hands-on application while participants work with the Master producing new, personal flavors, and mastering the technique of new recipe development.

Hands-on personal cheeses alongside ICI masters

  • Personal Production
    • Using the techniques learned during the past week, participants prepares his or her own cheese.
  • Dinner
    • Alongside a master chef, participants prepare a cheese buffet. A wide selection of cheeses are matched with perfect accompaniments including honeys, jams, marmalades, chutneys, marinated vegetables and spicy sauces.
  • Awarding of certificates and farewell.
  • Overnight at the hotel

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Transfer to the airport or train station.
  • Arriverderci!!


PRICE: €2995 per person


  • Private transfer from Lamezia Terme International Airport to the hotel.
  • Theoretical and practical lessons & all related costs at the Italian Culinary Institute, Italy. (50+ hrs. Full Immersion over 1 week)
  • ICI Recipe & Techniques Manual
  • Accommodations at a 3 star hotel (7 Nts)
  • Complete board: All meals and wines included every day of the program.
  • Special excursions
    • Transfer and dinner at a classic pizzeria
    • Transfers to and from Mercatino
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Tax and gratuities
  • All meals include wines, bottled water, tax and gratuities.

*Price does not include airfare or other travel during free time.
**Price based on double occupancy
Single supplement is €225 pp


  • March 30 – April 6, 2024 FULL
  • September 28 – October 5, 2024
  • March 29 – April 5, 2025
  • October 25 – November 1, 2025

Enroll and change dates free of charge
The Italian Culinary Institute offers participants the flexibility to change course dates and even switch courses at anytime and for any reason at no cost.