GREEN BAY (WKOW) -- It takes a lot to be a Master Cheesemaker in Wisconsin. BelGioioso Cheese in Green Bay recently got two cheesemakers added to its staff.
Darrell Manning has been a cheesemaker for 32 years, and now he's a certified Master Cheesemaker for provolone. He says, "When you go through the course, you go through a lot of things you do everyday making cheese and when you get more in depth, it's fun to learn all the things you really didn't know about it in the background of cheesemaking."
To become a Master Cheesemaker isn't an easy task. Cheesemakers accepted into the program must have 10 years of experience and complete a rigorous three-year study course and practical apprenticeship. They can be certified in up to two cheese varieties each time they go through the program.
Jeffrey Allen has been at BelGioioso for more than 20 years and getting certified in blue and Gorgonzola cheeses. He says, "It's a sense of accomplishment, so it keeps you going. It's a pride thing. Having the master's title to it, it helps keep you moving forward and it helps keep driving you to achieve more."
BelGioioso now has four cheesemakers who have successfully completed their Master Cheesemaker certification. All are certified in Italian-style cheeses including Provolone, Parmesan, Gorgonzola, and Fontina.