Consultancy making Gouda cheese

Kaas consultancy door Esther van der Zeijden

Esther is active in the Netherlands and abroad in providing cheese training and further education for Gouda cheese makers. The consultancy is aimed at:

  • Farmers who want to become familiar with the cheese making process,
  • Farmers who want to set up a cheese dairy,
  • Companies that run into cheese problems/defects,
  • NGO’s that want to support local men and women through the knowledge and skills of KaasEs

Esther: passionate food technologist

Esther is a food technologist and making Gouda cheese is her profession. She has worked in the food industry and has come to her passion through various peregrinations: making Gouda cheese and teaching others how to make Gouda themselves in a professional way.

Esther can tell you everything about the cheese making process with passion and does this with great pleasure during workshops, consultancy, training and lessons. She does this as a trainer, advisor and teacher. She likes to work with all kinds of different groups, ranging from farmers, cheese makers, individuals and school classes that will be trained in cheese making. She works both in the Netherlands and abroad.

Esther loves working with people and teaching them all about the process of making Gouda Cheese. She does this by explaining both the theoretical and the practical part.

She has a warm heart for NGOs and likes to work together to make the world a better place.

Kaasmaakster Esther van der Zeijden

References projects

Schep Kaasmakers

Schep Kaasmakers’ cheese factory is built on the Schep Holstein farm in Bergambacht (Netherlands)
Period: January – May 2023

Assignment: Supervising and training the future cheese makers to learn and improve their skills so that the cheese makers can work independently in the cheese factory. Because part of the hired staff did not yet have any knowledge of cheese making, the theoretical and practical training: “Making Gouda cheese” was given first. Because of the interaction between theory and practice, it became increasingly easy to apply the theory and to help steer the process (practice).

Esther’s practical experience and expertise supported the cheese makers to take cheese production to a higher level.

In addition, she was sparring partner and trouble-shooter to address questions and concerns regarding the cheese setup and process.

Result: A satisfied client and well-equipped cheese makers. As a result of the training, the cheesemakers can now make cheese confidently and competently because of the acquired necessary knowledge they have gained. Part of the training also involved Esther being present during production for several days in order to think along with the cheesemakers and provide feedback on working methods.

The client on Esther’s work delivered:

“The decision to start processing our milk into cheese was taken carefully, but we had no experience whatsoever. Fortunately, this is why Esther got involved in the project with us at an early stage. On the one hand, to introduce the team from the barn and my wife and myself to the basics of cheese making through a workshop. But much more importantly to take the team that started working in the cheese factory by the hand on a wide variety of issues. We were then still able to change/adjust things. We would certainly not have been where we are today without your help, thank you!” – Johan Schep Owner and initiator of Schep Kaasmakers

The picture shows the cheesemakers with there first cheees before pressing at the moment the first casein label was put on the cheese before the cheese is pressed. This is always a beautiful moment.

Curious about the experiences of Schep Kaasmakers? For references, please contact:

  • Brigitta Verhoog, business manager and head cheesemaker at Schep Kaasmakers. e-mail: /                                                    phone: +31(0)6-31 94 77 17
  • Johan Schep, owner and initiator Schep Kaasmakers, e-mail:

B&B L’Ortier

B&B La Ferme de L’Ortier is a beautiful B&B in Normandy run by Cees & Geraldine Blauw.
Period: April 2023

Assignment: Cheese-training to produce Gouda cheese for the guests with there breakfast in the B&B.

In April 2023, we organized a cheese workshop and training at the request of Cees and his French friends Alain and Bruno. Cees, a gastronome, wanted to learn how to make his own Gouda cheese to serve his guests at the B&B a homemade (by Dutch people in France) Gouda cheese for breakfast. Therefore, we drove with our hybrid cheese cart, filled with all the necessary cheese-making materials, to Normandy to conduct the cheese workshop there.

We started working in the outbuilding of the beautiful B&B La Ferme de L’Ortier. We used the old bread oven heated by fire in the former French farmhouse to make cheese in the old bakery, using raw milk from the neighbor’s cows. Together with the eager French participants, we experienced magical moments. During the cheese-making process, people would often spontaneously drop by, which was always enjoyable. As a conclusion, we enjoyed a delicious dinner prepared by Cees and Geraldine, accompanied by the finest wines. Of course, there was also a focus on the theoretical aspects of cheese-making, and the participants received both the recipe and theoretical knowledge to take home.

The result was that the participants were satisfied and well-equipped to continue making cheese independently. Cees and his friends learned the intricacies of artisanal Gouda cheese-making, including an explanation of the theoretical foundations. This way, the cheese apprentices can rely on their knowledge in the future and adjust the process as needed.

We have already tasted the first cheese and we are all happy and satisfied with the result. We would like to thank Cees and Geraldine from B&B La Ferme de L’Ortier for the invitation and their hospitality.

Cees and Geraldine from B&B L’Ortier about Esther’s work:

“We had the pleasure of hosting this Cheese Course at our place in Normandy with Esther the Cheese Maker! What an amazing and highly professional approach and execution by Esther. For anyone considering this, DO IT. Even our French friends were impressed and quickly learned that cheese is not only French!! Thank you, Esther.” – Cees and Geraldine, La Ferme de L’Ortier

If you’re interested in the experiences of B&B L’Ortier and would like references, you can contact Cees & Geraldine Blauw via email at or by phone at +33 233 362 681 or +33 679 273 462. They will be able to provide you with the information you’re looking for.


CDDG is a NGO in Libanon
Period: January 2022

Assignment: Supporting and training women in setting up their own cheese production company.

Result: Esther led the “Lebanese CheeseBees” project. This project focused on training Lebanese women in the context of the WOMB (Women Owners of Micro Businesses) initiative. The WOMB supports women in starting their own business. During the training, Lebanese women were trained and made skilled in producing Gouda Cheese, so that they can independently set up a financially profitable business and pass on this knowledge.

Read more about this project

Making Gouda cheese in Lebanon

“Esther provided a cheese making training from Lebanese Women under the Lebanese Cheese BeesProject implemented by the Center for Development, Democracy and Governance – CDDG in Lebanon, and financed by North Farmers Lebanon (Mokhtarona).The aim of this project was to train cheese makers in order to enable them learn new skills and generate additional income especially in view of the actual economic crisis in Lebanon.Esther was very compassionate with all the women attending the workshop, and with her smile, she was able to remove the language barrier between them.Esther is very knowledgeable about the cheese. The theoretical part of the workshop was “spot on”and contained all information necessary to make Gouda cheese. Her mastery of the cheese making process shows the obvious experience she has in the domain.On behalf of CDDG, our donor North Farmers Lebanon (Mokhtarona) and the trainees we would like to thank Esther for this wonderful experience. Looking forward to future collaboration in different fields.” – Makram Khoury Executive Director CDDG

Curious about the experiences of CDDG? For references, please contact:

Rani farm

RaniFarm is part of Sezer Group (Turkije).
Period: September 2021

Assignment: Increasing the technological knowledge of the cheese makers and training them to make the cheese makers even more skilled in producing the Gouda cheese they already produce. In addition, there were a number of cheese defects and practical process issues that needed to be addressed. These issues were solved with the help of Esther.

Result: Happy cheese makers who have become even better at their work. The cheese problems/defects have been tackled with an increase in turnover.

“I personally appreciate people who love their job in the world. During the time you worked with us, Esther provided a very good training to our staff. She is a very good instructor, patient, tolerant, friendly. We would like to work with her again every year to increase the knowledge of our employees about production. I congratulate her for her dedication to her job and I thank her for the benefits it provides to the our employees.” – Mr Yılmaz SEZER Chairman of the Board of SezerGroup

Making Gouda cheese in Turkey

Curious about the experiences of RaniFarm? For references, I refer you to


Would you like to know more about the possibilities of working together? Feel free to contact Esther to discuss the possibilities.