The founder and tutor for Cutting the Curd, Louise Talbot, travels the length and breadth of the country teaching people the dying art of cheese making. She shares her insider kitchen tips with us, from the best sausages in Britain to how to stop a creamy soup from curdling.
First food memory?
Picking basket loads of field mushrooms on my parents farm in New Zealand, then eating them with their delicious buttery juices making the toast soggy. My Father walking along planks of timber as he sowed our enormous kitchen garden and a great aunt’s flat frequently smelling of stewed apple.
First cookery skills?
Mother overseeing us as we made pikelets (drop scones) on a hot griddle and the fun of waiting for the bubbles to appear – the cue to turn them over. We loved making tiny ones.
Cheese … seriously, I LOVE it! I can’t do without onions either and lots of freshly ground pepper.
Recipes or improvise?
I follow a recipe more so when baking; for anything else I consider myself to have a fairly good palate and the confidence to adjust/alter ingredients.
Most underrated dish?
Day old homemade mince. When travelling it’s often what I look forward to most on returning home.
Indispensable kitchen gadget or utensil?
A little red handled Victorinox serrated knife – woe betide the men in my life if they remove it from the kitchen!
Tell us a top cookery tip?
A little pinch of baking soda prevents curdling. I use this all the time when making mother’s delicious homemade cream of tomato soup.
Eat at home or eat out?
Home. Our two sons are 6 feet 4 inches and take some filling. We all enjoy good home cooked food and very rarely even buy a takeaway. If I have spare time it’s likely I’ll be in the kitchen for pleasure.
What’s Britain’s best kept food secret?
Westaways from Newton Abbot honey pork sausages.
What are the key ingredients for a successful cookery class?
Excellent organisation, professionalism, enjoyment and leaving with new-found knowledge and skills.
What do students enjoy most about learning to cook?
Understanding cheese making (milk and farming included) having had very little or no comprehension of how it’s made. How quickly that skill has been lost.
Find out more about Louise’s cheese making classes