PHIL REID/Fairfax NZ
Saturday morning and a small group of aspiring cheese makers gather at Asiana Cooking School.
We are going to be “cheese makers for a day” under the tutelage of cheese master Mindi Clews. As we make our preliminary introductions, it becomes apparent that we are not there for mere entertainment. Several of our number have been to other cheese classes before, while others are committed cooks and food lovers concerned about the generational loss of domestic skills.
Clews’ own journey towards cheese masterdom was more happenstance. Dreading the prospect of another week in her job as an IT manager, one Sunday afternoon she googled “adventures”. The New Zealand Cheese School in Putaruru came up. Hardly knowing the difference between curds and whey, Clews set off to do a five-day artisan cheese-making course at Over The Moon Dairy. From the outset she was hooked by the transformation of milk to cheese. So hooked that she accepted the school’s offer of work. Now she teaches the classes.