Camembert king Steve Shapson. Photo by Adam Ryan Morris.
Fifteen years ago, Steve Shapson sold surfboards and parasails at his now-defunct Screaming Tuna Surf Shop. When the beer-brewing craze hit, Shapson stocked equipment for home brewers. A customer shopping for a thermometer turned him on to cheesemaking, which has given the Mequon hobbyist another profession – weekend cheesemaking-workshop instructor. The Cheesemaker – the name of the business Shapson runs with his wife, Mary Jo – shows John Q. Public how to be curd-proficient. Shapson offers four weekend workshops per year out of his home. Saturdays are spent learning the process of making butter, kefir and yogurt, and cheeses like Camembert, chevre, mozzarella and ricotta. This culminates with a wine and cheese social in the early evening. Sundays are reserved for picking up the cheeses. Limit of 12 people, thecheesemaker.com.
Also on the dairy front: Wisconsin Cheese Mart hosts cheese and beer tastings that are scheduled about a month in advance. 215 W. Highland Ave., 888-482-7700, ubertaproom.com.
Oysters, seafood towers, Great Lakes walleye. Zach Espinosa, Harbor House’s executive chef, keeps a tight fish and seafood focus. In his May 4 class, “Crudos to You,” Espinosa covers carpaccio, ceviche, crudo and tartare. Other classes on more topics are held on select Saturdays, 3:30-4:30 p.m. Cost: $25. 550 N. Harbor Dr., 414-395-4900, harborhousemke.com.
Braise Culinary School
May 9: “Explore Spring Foraging” covers morels, ramps and asparagus. June 6: “Intro to Sausage Making” includes chorizo, boudin blanc and Italian sausage. June 20: “All Things Garlic,” ranging from garlic scapes to green garlic. Time: 6-9 p.m. Cost: $45-$55, depending on class. 1101 S. Second St., 414-212-8843, braiselocalfood.com.
Glorioso’s Italian Market
May 25 (2 p.m.): “Canning for Newbies” with Lee Greene of Chicago-based The Scrumptious Pantry. June 1 (11 a.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m.): “Chef’s Kitchen” with former Dream Dance chef Jason Gorman. June 6 (7 p.m.): “Pairing Wisconsin Cheese & Italian Wine” with Jeanne Carpenter. Cost: $25-$35. 1011 E. Brady St., 414-272-0540,gloriosos.com.
Solely, strictly, 100 percent vegetarian cuisine is the Brookfield Manna’s mantra. Raw and vegan dishes also populate the menu. Classes are held Sundays, 2-4 p.m. Cost: $40. Upcoming: Bread Baking (May 19), Olive Oils and Vinegars (July 14), and End-of-Summer Vegetables, taught by Meritage Restaurant chef Jan Kelly (Aug. 11). 3815 N. Brookfield Rd., 262-790-2340, cafemanna.com.