There's a lot going on, so each segment will be short-ish. I'll try to go in chronological order.
The Fine Cheese Co.
Tuesday at the Fancy Food Show brought me in touch with Anne-Marie Dyas, owner of The Fine Cheese Co.out of Bath, England. She's been cheesemongering for 20 years now, and she sources some FINE cheese. Anne-Marie is one of the ambassadors of UK farmhouse cheese, and if you give a rat's ass about traditional foods, history, and the preservation of artisanal cheesemaking, you'll support her at every opportunity.
I had a lovely time talking with Anne-Marie at the food show; she's opinionated and incredibly knowledgable, but diplomatic at the same time. Yes, the cheese was fantastic, but I want to bring her English Pickles to your attention, specifically the Onion Pickle and the Tomato Pickle. As I ate them, I thought: "Goodness, I really want a grilled cheddar sandwich right now, with this stuff slathered all over it."
Anne-Marie encouraged me to walk over to see Mary Quicke, Managing Director of Quicke's Traditional Ltd., makers of such fine cheeses as... Quicke's Traditional Cheddar. Mary is one of the few cheesemakers still producing traditional, farmhouse cheddar. Most are industrial these days. Her cheddar is quite rustic: it's wrapped in muslin during aging, and the flavor is definitely sharp, but not acidic whatsoever, and there's a rich earthiness to it that one will never find in factory-made cheddars. One of the things that gets me all riled up is the state of Cheddar in the world today. So many Americans think Cheddar comes in vac-packs and that sharp = acidic. NO!!! Anyway, Mary Quicke is a delightful woman. Very sweet and friendly, with a warm, energetic personality. I hesitate to use the word "cute" for fear of offending her (some people don't like to be called "cute") but she's adorable! And her cheese is worth seeking out. Murray's carries it, and if your neighborhood cheesemonger doesn't, go to the store and SCREAM REAL LOUD until you get what you want.
My friend Chris Hall wrote and informed me that a newsfeed of my blog is available. I don't even know what that means, but he's convinced me it's important. So, I fudged some html, of which I know nothing about, and made a section in the right-hand column where you may obstensibly obtain the newsfeeds, either through rss or atom. Since I know nothing about this, I am relying on you, Gentle Readers, to let me know if it's working. Thanks! Now you can stay up-to-date on CHEESE.
The Continuing Adventures Of...
As I am writing this, I just received an email from Felix, our friend at MS Selection Export. As you recall, he's the man who set up an excellent cheese tasting for me last week at the food show. He wrote to thank me for writing, but I think he might be a little embarrassed at the attention he's getting from my blog post. He said next time he wouldn't talk so much, to which I said, "No, talk more!" So hopefully we'll get some more good cheese info and stories from our friend Felix.
Yesterday I met with a friend who has a huge amount of experience managing musical acts and acting as an agent for performers. He gave me a lot of very good advice on promoting myself, and he helped me to make some very important realizations about myself and where I want to go with this cheese thing. So, in the next few days, I'm going to revamp almost everything, from my press release (still in production, not sent yet) to my approach, to my philosophy, to my website (pending), to EVERYTHING. Stay tuned.
The Cheese Hour, With Wendy M. Levy
I have a production company interested in creating/filming a television show about cheese, and guess who will be the star? No, not Ronald McDonald. ME! We're going to start storyboarding it so we can begin shooting a few demo episodes. Then we'll sell it to the Food Network, if they know what's good for them. The show is going to be very informative, but very amusing and entertaining. My personality is too large to be contained anymore. I will be the Cheese Queen of All Media. Sorry, Howard Stern. I can't tell you any more about it because I don't want to give away the store. So again, stay tuned.
Cheese On The Radio
Tomorrow I'm going to WFMU to do my weekly volunteer gig. While I'm there, I'll be stopping by Kenny G's show, Intelligent Design, to do my weekly cheese report. Kenny takes radio, puts it in his mouth, lets it settle onto his palate, spits it onto a plate, and then feeds it back to you. Just like what I do with cheese. Except I don't make you eat cheese I've already put in my mouth. Anyway, tomorrow, at some point from 3-6 pm, you can hear me and Kenny talking about this week's cheese, as well as other stuff we think of at the moment. So tune in to WFMU either on the internet or at 91.1 FM in the NYC area.
Dairy In The Garden
My friend Anne Saxelby, of Saxelby Cheesemongers, is hosting a benefit party on Saturday, and you should get tickets and attend! Anne has nominated the Evans Family, of the Evans Farmhouse Creamery, to the Terra Madre Slow Food Expo in Italy. To help them get there (because we all know farmers aren't the wealthiest folks in the world), she's throwing a big benefit garden party/tasting event, with delicious food prepared by some of the finest of the fine in the LES, and all recipes use Evans Farmhouse Creamery dairy products. Tickets are only 20 bucks, and include a fantastic presentation by an organization called "Added Value," based in Red Hook. I'll be there helping to take money and dish out the dairy. I hope you will be there, too. It's going to be in a community garden! What better place to be in the summer.
That's all for now.
Yours in Cheese,
-Wendy M. Levy, Caseophile