2017 Telluride Mushroom Festival has ended
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Steve Shapson

As a ‘food connoisseur’ I have been into many aspects of slow food and gourmet cooking for years, including cultivation and hunting gourmet edible mushrooms, growing organic food and wasabi, home brewing and cheese making. And most recently, beekeeping. My wife Mary Jo(MJ) and I love to entertain friends and family with special dinners.  Not fancy dinners, just good, fresh prepared food.

For me, cheese making started several years ago when a customer stopped into my home brewing/winemaking store to purchase a floating thermometer. 
When the customer told me that it was for making Camembert cheese, I exclaimed, "I had no idea you could make that yourself.”  Astonished, I asked if he could show me how.  The next week, my new cheese-making friend and I made fresh Camembert right in my shop.

After proper aging, I was hooked on its creamy texture and complex wonderful flavor.  That we made it ourselves added a certain magic to our enjoyment and made me instantly want to share it with all of my loved ones.  Later batches proved more challenging so I dedicated my spare time to perfecting the making of flawless Camembert with every batch.  At the time, good information on artisan cheesemaking was hard to find.


 In a short time I was making consistent batches of Camembert, Brie and Blue  cheese and friends and family joined in making gourmet cheeses with me. The  small cheese making gatherings gave way to larger workshops.  I've taught    courses and guest lectured at a number of local colleges and community centers,  as well as culinary groups and wine shops, such as: Cardinal Stritch University,  Culinary History Enthusiasts of Wisconsin, Bay View Community Center, Grapes  and Grain, Gourmet Outfitters, Willy Street Co-op. Having made trips to other  states and countries to help with small artisans, I've made some good friends along the way. I now conduct an intensive multi-cheese workshop at our home. In these workshops, we concentrate on the craft, including the science behind the madness. Many of those who have attended one of my workshops have gone on to commercial cheese production, some now making award winning cheese.  Our workshops gained the attention of CNN's 10 Most Inspiring Courses in the World.

Eventually I developed a series of kits and guides to supplement the workshops.  Though mostly self-taught, I have attended cheese making programs at the University of Vermont. I respect this art of cheese making and am committed to helping you attain your goals.