Discover the alchemy of cheese-making

foodmenu-cheesemakinglouiseWHEN New Zealand dairy farmer Louise Talbot moved to Dorset with her family she was surprised to discover that almost nobody made their own cheese – quite the opposite of what she was used to.

Louise decided to share her expertise by setting up a cookery school with a difference – Louise brings her Cutting The Curd classes to you and your friends in your own home or in a convenient venue with cooking facilities.

Louise led a class last year at the home of chef Lisa Osman, for a group of enthusiastic cheese lovers, including hotelier Nicky King, Joanne Myram of Positive PR, marketing and brand expert Liz Burt from Sherborne and Fanny Charles, co-founder of the Fine Times Recorder website.

During an irresistibly enjoyable day of cooking and eating, Louise revealed some of the secrets of what she calls the “alchemy” of cheese-making, how a very few simple ingredients change, by the processes of heat, stirring and “cutting the curd,” into various different and delicious soft cheeses, including halloumi, mozzarella and mascarpone.

Among those who enjoyed Louise’s classes last year was food-writer Christine McFadden, who runs a cookery school at her home in the beautiful West Dorset hamlet of Littlebredy. So when Christine decided to offer a cheese-making class who better to lead it than Louise?









The day will include Louise showing how to make halloumi, mozzarella and mascarpone, and Christine demonstrating some delicious ways to use them.

There are still a couple of places left for the soft-cheese day on Friday 9th May.

Pictured are Louise Talbot making cheese and grilled halloumi.


… and the secrets of preparing fish


WE all know that sustainably caught fish is a source of delicious and healthy food, but many of us prefer to leave the preparation and cooking to experts and don’t cook fish at home as often as we should.

For those of you who would like to know more about preparing and cooking fish, Christine McFadden has a Fish Cookery class on Friday 25th April, beginning with a visit to Davy’s Locker, Bridport’s top-notch fish wholesaler, where ace filleter Keith Blake will demonstrate how to skin, bone and fillet a variety of fish, clean squid and dress crab.

The group will then take their chosen fish back to Littlebredy and have a go at preparing it with similar expertise!

Depending on the day’s catch, you could be cooking some gorgeous dishes including Mediterranean Fish Stew, Sea Bass Parcels with Fennel and Preserved Lemon, and Scallops with Sweet Chilli Sauce.


• Christine McFadden’s books include Cool Green Leaves And Red Hot Peppers (with Michael Michaud), Pepper: The Spice That Changed The World, and The Farm Shop Cookbook.

For more information on her cookery classes or to book, call Christine on 01308 482784 or visit

Pictured is Louise Talbot making soft cheese.