Posted: 11/11/2015

Thimble’s Paul Thomas is next River Cottage cheese tutor

Making ricotta at River Cottage HQ
River Cottage’s one-day course teaches the basics of making cheeses like ricotta. Image: Nick Hook

Dairy consultant and artisan cheese-maker Paul Thomas is joining the roster of consumer course tutors at River Cottage HQ near Axminster, Devon, next year.

Thomas, who has over a decade of experience as a cheese-maker and affineur, will run his first one-day cheese-making course for hobbiests at the cookery, dining and events venue next April.

He takes over from Tom Calver of Westcombe Dairy, the Somerset-based producer of cheddar, Caerphilly and ricotta.

Thomas, a raw milk cheese specialist, already teaches professional-level courses at the School of Artisan Food in Nottinghamshire.

Paul Thomas
Paul Thomas (pictured) will take over from Tom Calver of Westcombe Dairy as tutor on River Cottage’s cheese course

With a degree in Biochemistry, Thomas spent several years with Edinburgh cheesemonger and wholesaler IJ Mellis as a shop manager, warehouse manager and affineur, before moving to Lyburn Farmhouse Cheesemakers in 2008.

In 2013 he also set up Thimble Cheesemakers, near Alton in Hampshire, with wife Hannah Roche, who had also worked in cheesemaking and retailing. The couple make two raw milk soft varieties: the 40g lactic cheese Little Anne and the 150g washed rind Dorothy.

Paul Thomas’s book Making Cheese and Dairy Products at Home will be published by Anness in 2016.

Tom Calver will continue to run the River Cottage courses until March of next year.

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