Ever since In-Depth last year, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about possible subjects to explore during the project. I knew from the start of my planning process that I wanted to learn a skill that was unique, fun to learn, and that would be valuable in real-world situations. I eventually narrowed it down to three skills that I would be most interested in learning: carpentry, jazz saxophone, and cheese making.
I decided against jazz saxophone because although I would love to learn an instrument, I felt like I could not get good enough in five months to justify learning the skill. Carpentry and cheese making were harder to choose from, but I eventually decided on cheese making because I believed that knowing how to make delicious, fresh, and organic food from scratch was a better skill to have than knowing your way around a hammer and nail.
I’ve set a number of goals for my project, and I’m confident that I can succeed in all of them. One of my main goals for cheese making is to be able to become proficient in making different varieties of cheese with different kinds of milk, since the world of cheese is a lot more than a Kraft single. In Canada, I can get cow and goat’s milk with ease, although sheep’s is a lot harder to find. I also want to try making a vegan cheese, since that’s something unique and rarely seen, and I feel confident that I can make it delicious.
With a few goals in mind, I set out to find a mentor, arguably the most difficult part of the In-Depth project. Fortunately for me and my project, cheese making in Vancouver is much larger than it was just ten years ago, and there are a lot more stores and restaurants making their own dairy products than there were not too long ago. As of writing this post, I’ve already reached out to a number of stores in the Greater Vancouver area asking about mentoring opportunities. I’m waiting on responses, but I am confident that I’ll get a reply. I’m most hopeful that I’ll get a response from Benton Brother’s Cheese, since they are experts in soft cheeses like mozzarella and ricotta, exactly the kinds of cheeses that I want to create. In addition to my future mentor, I’ve begun experimenting with online recipes by chefs, trying to get a feel for the skill to have some base knowledge before beginning work with a mentor, so that I’m not completely new. My results so far have been of decent quality, although I need to work on more precise measurements for my ingredients, since the products I have made so far have had a few too many inconsistencies for my liking.
Overall, I am extremely excited for this In-Depth project. I’m ready to begin on my cheese making journey, and I hope to end the project with the know-how to make wonderfully unique and great tasting foods, and a better appreciation for those who have careers in the culinary arts.