The most special day of my cheese career occurred in 2013 when I received an email congratulating me on passing the ACS CCP exam®. It followed the most terrifying day of my cheese career when I sat in Madison, Wisconsin to take the exam. No longer a young chick (but still feeling like one), it was the first major exam in more than forty years… pretty damn scary… I am competitive by nature and losing is not something I do with a lot of grace. Had I not passed, I would have been devastated… thankfully I passed…
As much as I hate to admit it, I once tossed a Monopoly game into a burning fire when my younger brother (RIP – always in my thoughts) beat the crap out of me at the game… not one of my finer moments (I was a crazy teenager) and man did it piss off Miss Anne and The Tall Guy aka my mom and dad (RIP – and again, always in my thoughts)… but I digress.
The period to apply for the 2017 ACS CCP® is now open and you can apply at the ACS Website by clicking here. The 2017 Exam will take place in Denver, Colorado on July 26th, immediately before the 2017 ACS Conference, Cheese With Altitude.
To quote the ACS Website:
“Highest Standard for Cheese Professionals The ACS Certified Cheese Professional® Exam (ACS CCP® Exam) – the only exam of its kind – encourages improved standards of comprehensive cheese knowledge and service, offering professionals in the cheese industry the opportunity to earn the distinguished title of ACS Certified Cheese Professional®, or ACS CCP®.
The letters ACS CCP designate that an individual has acquired thorough knowledge and the level of expertise that is demanded within the cheese industry.”
In 2015, I created a Facebook Cheese Study Group to assist candidates in preparing for the 150 multiple-choice exam and each year articles and links are posted in the group to assist you in this most honorable of “Cheese Quests”.
You can join us on Facebook by clicking here.
2017 Facebook Cheese Study Group Schedule: I have created the following schedule which is book-ended by the closing of CCP® application period on March 31st and the CCP® exam in Denver on July 26th.
(This FB group is neither sanctioned by nor connected with the American Cheese Society. The Administrators/Guest Professionals and myself are CCPs® and/or cheese/wine/beer experts who want to assist with the study process to assure everyone sitting for the exam succeeds. I am not an ACS Authorized Educator because the yearly fee is beyond my means since I share my knowledge freely and have no avenue to recoup the yearly fees required. )
Each domain study period will be 10 days in length and will be led by CCPs® and other Cheese Professionals who have graciously agreed to donate time and energy to assist all the 2017 candidates and those who wish to increase their cheese IQ.
April 13-22: Domain 2 – Cheesemaking Processes – Discussion Leader: ACS CCP® Jessica Reichert, Murray’s Cheese Master at Kings Sooper in Colorado. She will be assisted by Cheesemakers, Alexander Kast, Cheesemaker at Goat Lady Dairy of North Carolina and ACS CCP® Brian Gilbert of Beecher’s Handmade Cheese. who will be available for Q&A and information.
discussion topic. ACS CCP® Marcella Wright will assist.
May 15-22: Review of Domains 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 – CCP® Marcella Wright will lead the review.
May 23-June 1: Domain 6 – Cheese Types and Categories – CCPs® Sheri A. Allen and Miranda McQuillan of Miranda’s Culture Club will lead this discussion. Due to the size of this domain there will be additional participants including myself. Others will be announced as set.
- Wine and Cheese Pairings: Janet Fletcher, Three-time James Beard Award-Winning Writer and Owner of Planet Cheese. If you don’t subscribe to her newsletter, shame on you. It’s one of the best!! Filled with information and reviews of amazing cheeses.
- Beer and Cheese Pairings: CCP® Adam Burstein of Murray’s Cheese. Currently studying for his Cicerone Certification.
June 22- July 2: Domain 9 – Regulations and Regulators – Discussion Leader to be announced. Michael Kalish of Cheese Twins fame will be available for Q&A during this discussion period.
July 3-21: Review and Q&A – I will be leading the review period but all of our domain leaders will be participating and available to answer questions. This review period will also include a Math section that covers the math portion of the exam – what you should know.
Alexander Kast, Cheesemaker at Goat Lady Dairy, NC, will be joining us during Domain 2: Cheesemaking Processes.
Janet Fletcher during Domain 8 to answer questions re Wine and Cheese Pairings via email.
July 24 or 25: Denver live review sessions – details to be announced closer to date.
Beginning April 1, we will post a “Cheese of the Day” daily with information about cheeses that you need to know and might be part of the exam. Any member of the FB group is welcome to post a Cheese of the Day, especially CCPs®… which means we may have more than one “Cheese of the Day” some days.
Between now and April 3rd when we begin our studies, you can get started by checking out the following articles and lists of links:
- Study Tips and Study Documents.
- Cheese Science Toolkit Database.
- Recommended Books.
- Interviews with Cheesemakers.
- Eight Basic Cheese Families/Styles.
- 210 Cheese terms to know.
- 281 Cheeses You Should Know.
- Culture Magazine Cheese Tweets.
- 165 More Cheeses to Know.
- List of European Protected Cheeses.
- My Cheese Flashcards (these are from 2013 and have not been updated. They contain lots of typos and some inaccurate info. More than 700 cards total.)
- Sample questions.
Our Facebook Study Group will begin the first week of April with Domain One and continue with one domain each week and conclude with recaps for two to four weeks. Recaping will include lots of Q&A.
For a complete list of the 740 ACS CCPs®, click here.