The guest speaker at the Women in Business luncheon was Tanya Barretto from the Swan Valley, who held a dinner party about five years ago during her former life in business and marketing.
Instead of wine, her friend turned up with a whole, homemade camembert cheese. This surprised Mrs Barretto, who had never thought about homemade cheese before.
‘I was worried about having to put this camembert on my cheese board,’ she said.
Once she tasted the cheese, however, she changed her tune and grilled her friend in detail about the process for the rest of the evening.
She was shocked to learn there were no classes on cheese-making in Perth and her friend had had to fly interstate to learn.
Soon after, the friend and Mrs Barretto set up The Cheese Maker. Four years later, the friend has drifted back to her ‘day job’ but Mrs Barretto is hooked on cheese for life.
From her premises, The Cheese Barrell specialist cheese caf� in the Swan Valley in the Grounds of Olive Farm wines, she and her team of four instructors teach people to make and store their own cheese at home.
Most of the cheeses are soft cheese, which yield more for the amount of milk used, and preparation times range from about 15 minutes for a ricotta to several hours for a camembert, plus waiting time, though Mrs Barretto limits the varieties of classes available to those with reasonable wait times.
‘Most people can’t stand waiting more than eight weeks for a cheese,’ she said.