Kate Johnson knows her cheese.
Kate feeding one of her kids. Photo Credit: FarmHer
She’s an award-winning cheesemaker, she lives on a dairy farm in Longmont where she raises dairy goats (among other farm animals) with her family and she’s the owner of cheesemaking school, The Art of Cheese. The amount of milk she gets from her goats and cheese she subsequently makes each week, is a lot.
After being asked to mentor Kate as part of the Colorado *CHAMP program I couldn’t believe my luck that I was paired with a cheesemaker in Longmont (my neighbor). Cheese is one of my favorite foods.
Kate has a lot of energy and is really involved in the community which I respect. She runs Briar Gate Farm with her family where she has anywhere from 15-20 goats, horses, a llama, a dog, many cats, and chickens. She co-leads a 4-H club, serves as Superintendent of Utility Goats for the Boulder County Fair, and is a member of the Colorado Dairy Goat Association. She teaches her cheesemaking classes every week and she’s always promoting visiting Colorado and in particular, Longmont. She’s also a great promoter of local dairies and businesses because she just genuinely cares about supporting local and great products.
Some of Kate’s goats on Briar Gate Farm (isn’t her view of the Foothills great?)
I can tell she’s in her element in front of students. Her latest space is at Haystack Creamery in Longmont and she always emphasized to me her business is called “The ART of Cheese, not the science of cheese.” Her aim is to show how cheesemaking can be fun and actually isn’t that daunting or challenging (despite popular belief). They’re hands on classes, that always involve a lot of cheese tasting and making, usually some wine or beer, and a plethora of walk away material and learnings. Any class I’ve attended of hers, I walk out with cheese I helped make which is fun and rewarding.
Recently, Kate launched a series of online cheesemaking classes, Cheesemaking Made Easy in conjunction with Countryside Network. Her in-person classes are booming and she hosts students from around the country (even the world) but obviously you’re limited to being local to attend them. As she calls it, she wanted to “spread the cheese love.”
Her three series of online classes are on-demand and meant to be easy to access or to have with you in the kitchen, while you’re making cheese and want some further guidance. It’s almost like having her in the kitchen with you. The classes are available in DVD format, as well.
Fun fact: Kate shot all the classes in her own home kitchen, which gives you a true sense of the cheese she makes every week and her space.
The three online classes are:
- Cheesemaking 101 | Free | 20 minutes
- Quick & Easy Cheese: Chevre, Cottage Cheese, and Feta | $19.98 | 50 minutes
- Intro to Pressed and Aged Cheeses: Queso Fresco and Guido’s Italian Hard Cheese | $19.98 | 50 minutes
Each online class comes with free downloadable recipes and other useful bits of information such as cheesemaking supply resources, good cheesemaking books and tips. It’s setup like a classroom and you can pause each section to go back and make sure you’ve got it down. You also have access to these classes forever once you purchase them.
Guess what? For Grace(full) Plate readers I’m also able to offer 20% off each of these classes. When you go to register (links above) just enter: TAKE20
If you are local you can check out her great in person classes here. Pro tip: Her mozzarella, ricotta and burrata classes are amongst the most popular. She also hosts monthly cider and cheese pairings at St. Vrain Cidery where she brings her baby goats!
*Disclaimer: I worked with Kate and The Art of Cheese through Colorado Tourism Office’s Heritage & Agritourism mentor program (CHAMP). I was compensated for participating in the mentorship program. All opinions, as always, are my own.