Since 2009, Fresh Curds has been exploring fresh cheese and tofu making. Elsa M. Jacobson and dear friend David Arfa focus on traditional home-style techniques to produce fresh and diverse simple cheeses. In conjunction, they explore non-dairy variations using the same techniques. They are thrilled to share the ease at which simple chemistry can transform milk, beans, and nuts, and they have presented how to make a range of delicious international curds at numerous culinary events. These include many years running at the Good Food Festival’s Good Food Commons, plus Chicago’s Green Festival, and the Gan Project. Their well-researched curricula always include plentiful and delectable sampling along with well-tested recipes for easily making everything at home.

Elsa and David began cheese-making nearly a decade ago by following instructions from Dr. David Fankhauser’s cheese making webpage.  After success with fresh dairy cheeses, they initiated a study of tofu-making, which uses similar techniques. They are home cooks and are interested in exploring the minimal use of tools and equipment, and in making the fullest use of their supplies, so you will find them experimenting with the by-products of their curd-making activities, such as the whey from cheese-making and the okara from tofu-making.

During the weekdays from 9-5, David works as a cartographer for Cook County. He lives with his husband in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago.  Elsa is involved at farmers markets both as manager and tofu vendor, she tests recipes for an award-winning blog, and she serves as a board member and volunteer for numerous non-profits.


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