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The Art & Science of Cheese

  • Wedgewood Dining Room, University of Toronto Faculty Club 41 Willcocks Street Toronto, ON, M5S 3G3 Canada (map)

Age is something that doesn’t matter, unless you are a cheese.

- Luis Buñuel

Cheese is one of life’s great pleasures. Eating it activates the same system in our brains that springs to life when we ingest opiates! But what goes in to a truckle of cheddar or a wheel of Brie, besides milk and time? Chemistry certainly plays a role, changing liquid milk into solid curds. Microbiology also comes in to play, since cheese is packed with bacteria and, sometimes, yeast. The final product can be many and varied, depending on where it is from. Cheesemaking relies on many things and balancing them all is the cheesemaker’s art. Join RCIScience for a special evening exploring the art and science of cheese - a food our brains are hard-wired to enjoy!

Please note this event is ticketed. Tickets cost $15 for non RCIScience members and can be purchased through Eventbrite. Ticket includes light refreshments, cheese samples and two complimentary glasses of wine or beer, with additional alcohol available for purchase.

Interested members should contact to reserve their spot for free.

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Featuring a short presentation and cheese samples from Shep Ysselstein, owner and operator of Gunn's Hill Artisan Cheese. Shep's journey began on Friesvale Farm, started by his grandfather, who came to the area in the 1950s from Holland. Shep loved not only the dairy farming work, but all the delicious products that come from dairy. After completing a university degree in business, Shep had numerous opportunities to study and make cheese in the United States, British Columbia and Switzerland. It was while making cheese in the Swiss Alps that Shep truly fell in love with the art and mastered his technique. The cheeses produced by Gunn’s Hill are modelled on traditional Swiss techniques, made from milk provided by Shep’s father and brother, who now run the family dairy farm.

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Dr. Mary Ann Ferrer will guide us through the science of cheesemaking. Dr. Ferrer is a food consultant at Somerco, Science on Menu and Kanata Foods Co-op Inc. Born and raised in Venezuela, Mary Ann came to Canada to complete her Doctoral studies at University of Guelph, Department of Food Science. There she started her cheese career while investigating milk proteins, contributing to the Cheesemaking Technology Course, supporting the cheesemaking industry through technical support and participating in the organization of the Canadian Cheese Awards since its creation. Mary Ann is a Judge for several cheese competitions. Her active participation in the Food Industry has made her widely recognized as a consultant for the Food Industry beyond Ontario.