Second Act Artisan Cheese teaches you how to make it at home
France is a paradise for cheese lovers. Every small village has its own specialty cheese it seems. When Richard Nathan, owner and instructor of Second Act Artisan Cheese, sat in a small French village bistro eating a salad topped with regional goat cheese, his love for fromage went to new heights. He wanted to create cheese.
A year ago, in pursuit of a warmer clime, Nathan and his wife relocated to Raleigh from Rochester, NY. By that time, Nathan had taken two, one-day courses and a week long short course on the intricacies of cheese making. During the remodel of their new home in Raleigh, instead of a man cave, Nathan requested a cheese cave, a temperature controlled cellar where cheese can ripen.
Second Act Artisan Cheese was started four months ago in the basement of Nathan’s elegant Cape Cod style home. After a career as an investment manager, he wanted to change directions and pursue his new interest. Nathan’s wife suggested that he might enjoy teaching cheese-making classes, sharing his knowledge with others. Along with the cheese cave, the remodel included a small cheese making area with enough space to comfortably house six people. The classroom is furnished with an industrial sink, stainless steel tables, hot plates, pans and cheese presses; the door to the cheese cave is visible in the background.
Although the business is relatively new, he has been well received in Raleigh. “We have mostly had foodies signing up for courses,” says Nathan. “People want an alternative to dinner and a movie.”
Attendees have been enthusiastic about the classes and the cheeses they get to take home. After a three-hour introduction course, participants leave with the knowledge of how to make ready-to-eat cheese in an hour and ricotta and fromage facile to enjoy at home.
According to Nathan, the most important things about making cheese are starting with an easy recipe, being attentive to the process details and patience. Nathan’s understanding of cheese is both scientific and artisanal. The foodies who have taken the workshops are the same type that have sought instruction in beer and wine making, and Nathan’s hope is who others will find the same enthusiasm for cheese making under his instruction.