“For me, the training allowed me to master the various families of cheese, understand how they are made, and how to taste and talk about them. From a practical point of view, I learned how to set a cheese case to show the products to their best advantage, how to cut and wrap a wide variety of products, the basics of various affinage techniques, how to assemble and prepare an order for shipment.

Dynamic, convivial, and highly professional, Essential Foundations for Cheese Professionals is indispensible for mastering the universe of dairy products. For me, it was also an opportunity to encounter other colleagues from the cheese sector, to exchange and enrich my connections.

Laurent Mons & Sue Sturman are passionate about their métier, always with humor, conviviality, high spirits, and a very pleasant ambiance”

-Pierre Rasse
Consultant en PME agroalimentaires 


Cheese Monger Essentials is the only cheese training program currently available that integrates visits and hands-on experience with detailed classroom instruction.

Intimate class sizes encourage wide-ranging discussions among colleagues, enhancing the educational experience and supporting professional networking. Courses include classroom instruction and discussion, experiential learning via hands-on work and visits, and daily sensory analysis training. 

This cheese training has been in a process of continual evolution since 2005, and has been taught to more than 300 French cheese professionals at MonS. Director Laurent Mons has taught variations on this curriculum for the French National Centre de Formation des Produits Laitièrs, for the Centre Interprofessionnel de Documentation et d'Information Laitières, as well as for such national food retailers as Casino and Tradition Lanquetot Societé.

Cheese Monger Essentials has been translated and adapted into English for an international clientele of cheese professionals.

Who is it for ?

Cheesemongers interested in:

  • Advancing their career in cheese

  • Increasing sales and customer loyalty

  • Improving cheese care & reducing waste and loss of product

  • Sourcing cheese directly or indirectly

  • Managing their retail establishment with higher efficiency, quality and standards


Cheese distribution professionals(import/export/distribution/wholesale) interested in:

  • Expanding and improving their product lines

    • Understanding sourcing

    • Analyzing the market and understanding how to best balance a cheese selection

  • Improving product handling to reduce waste and loss, and ensuring optimum quality upon delivery

  • Advancing from order-takers to expert, proactive, consultative sales people

  • Enhancing their relationship with cheesemakers by demonstrating an ability to properly care for cheese

  • Enhancing their relationship with cheese retailers/restaurateurs by demonstrating expertise and providing superior cheese education


Cheesemakers interested in:

  • Effectively positioning their cheese in the marketplace

  • Selling their products either directly or through a distribution system


Cheese professionals preparing to:

  • Take the ACS Certified Cheese Professional™ exam

  • Compete in the Larkin Cheesemonger Invitational, the Mondial du Fromage or other cheesemonger competitions

  • Serve as a judge for cheese competitions

The program

Length of course

  • One week residency/5 days of training (40+ hours)

  • 50% theory and discussion, 50% hands-on and practice and visits


  • Understanding cheese: from pasture to milk to cheese

  • Sensory evaluation for retailers

  • P.D.O.: the European labeling systems

  • Setting a cheese case for a retail shop

  • Cutting and wrapping cheese

  • Hygiene & regulations, traceability, HACCP

  • Retail sales skills & best practices


  • Classroom theory & discussion

  • Hands-on practice: cheesemaking, receiving product and triage, retail case setting, cutting/wrapping

  • Daily cheese tastings

  • Students train directly with practicing professionals

  • Homework assignments and tests

  • Classroom sessions are taught in French with English translation


  • Cheese Monger Essentials costs 2,800€. This includes classroom work, hands-on ateliers, visits, lodging during the course and all lunches. It also includes ground transportation between the Academie and Lyon.

  • If taken as a suite with Affinage, the combined tuition for both courses is 5,400€.

  • Payment should be made by PayPal or by bank transfer.

  • Your 50% deposit will be due immediately once we have approved your application. Your balance will be due in full 2 weeks prior to the start of your program.

  • Class size limited to 6; minimum 3 enrollments required for course to be held.


June 1-5,2020

October 5-9, 2020