This weekend: Cheesemaking Workshop and Wine & Cheese Pairing

Above: Chevre from Sherman Hill Farmstead. Photo via the Sullivan County Farmers' Market website. 

Learn how to make cheese tomorrow at an all-day cheesemaking workship taught by expert cheese maker Linda Smith and sponsored by AgriForaging and Spillian: A Place to Revel.

Smith, a veteran cheese making teacher, makes chevre and aged cheese with goat and cows' milk on Sherman Hill Farmstead, her family farm in Franklin. She is also the co-founder of the New York State Farmstead and Artisan Cheesemaker's Guild.

During the 7-hour workshop, Smith will use Spillian's historic commercial kitchen to teach students of all abilities how to make a variety of cheeses with cow and goat milk. Supplies and lunch will be provided, and students may also bring their own milk and make cheese from their own animals.

In the evening after the workshop, cheese students and members of the public are invited to taste their creations at a wine and cheese pairing featuring an array of local cheeses from Catskills cheese makers. (If you make your own cheese tomorrow, that's you!) 

The day of cheese is part of a new venture from Spillian and AgriForaging called Localore, which aims to "celebrate all things local from food, herbs, myth, and story." 

The Fundamentals of Cheesemaking Workshop with Expert Cheese Maker Linda Smith of Sherman Hill Farmstead. Saturday, October 19, 9am - 4pm. $195 per person. A locally sourced lunch and all cheese making materials provided.

Wine and Cheese at Dusk: A Wine and Cheese Pairing. 6pm. An array of cheeses from regional cheesemakers including paired with California, New York, and European wines. $30 per person, open both to workshop participants and the public. 50 Todd Mountain Rd., Fleischmanns.

To reserve a slot at either or both events, call 800.811.3351 or email

Read the full press release below:

Cheesemaking Workshop and Wine & Cheese Pairing at Spillian Inn and Retreat Center Saturday, October 19

On October 19, 2013, Catskill companies AgriForaging and Spillian are launching Localore, a programming and product partnership celebrating all things local, with The Fundamentals of Cheesemaking Workshop with Expert Cheese Maker Linda Smith of Sherman Hill Farmstead in Spillian's stunning, spacious, and historic spacious commercial kitchen.

Participants will learn how to make three to four styles of cheese during this full-day session, 9 am to 4pm, and will leave at the end of the day with the cheeses that they've made. The workshop will provide milk for all of the cheeses, but participants are also welcome to bring their own farmstead milk (goat or cow milk or both) to use for their own cheeses. The workshop is hands-on, and accessible for beginners to more advanced cheesemakers.

In the evening, participants and the public are invited to Wine and Cheese at Dusk: a Wine and Cheese Pairing.

About Linda Smith and Sherman Hill Farmstead

Linda Smith has been making cheese on her Catskills farm in Franklin, NY, in Delaware County, for decades. She is a co-founder of the New York State Farmstead and Artisan Cheesemaker's Guild, and has taught cheesemaking to hundreds of students in workshops throughout the state. Sherman Hill Farmstead produces chèvre and aged cheeses, from both goat and cow milk pasture-raised by her children on the family farm.

About AgriForaging, Inc.
AgriForaging provides technical assistance for agricultural infrastructure and value-added processing throughout New York State. After earning a B.A. in Economics with a focus on Environmental Economics from the University of New Hampshire, and completing graduate work in Finance from Boston University, Agriforaging Principal Nicole Day began her business career as an Associate at a prestigious Labor Economics firm in NH where she worked for over nine years. In 1998, Nicole, along with her mother, founded the natural foods manufacturing business, Mediterranean Delights, which specialized in all natural and certified organic perishable hummus, falafel, whole grain & pasta salads, and other Mediterranean-style foods. Mediterranean Delights, based in Southern Vermont, successfully serviced/distributed to retail and foodservice markets on a local, regional and national level. After thirteen years in the food manufacturing business, Nicole moved to the Catskills and began working with the Center for Agricultural Development & Entrepreneurship. In 2012 she founded AgriForaging and has already worked with over fifty clients around the state.

About Spillian

Spillian: A Place to Revel

An inn and retreat center, newly-opened Spillian is bringing one of the last remaining 19th C hotels in the Catskills back to life. Proprietors Leigh Melander and Mark Somerfield have saved one of the great camps built by the Fleischmanns family (of Fleischmanns Yeast fame), a stick-style mansion with extraordinary oil murals painted on clear pine paneled walls, honoring both its tradition as a family retreat and a summer hotel. Spillian is an old English word that means 'to play, to jest, or to revel,' and goal of the retreat center is to share a place where people can play with new ideas, imagine past what they think is possible, lightly, and with delight. Melander has a doctorate in cultural mythology and psychology, with emphasis in imaginal studies, and is putting together a programming schedule of workshops and retreats exploring imagination through a wide range of disciplines.

About Localore
Spillian principals are delighted to be partnering with Nicole Day, Principal at AgriForaging, Inc, both in the kitchen (with locally sourced foods for inventive meals following the themes of the events programmed there, using both farmed and wild foraged ingredients) as well as launching a new programming & product series called Localore, celebrating all things local from food, herbs, myth, and story. Spillian and AgriForaging are committed to working with the surrounding communities as they step into a new era in the Catskills, strengthening local resources and sense of place as the region extends its offerings to travelers from around the world.