A Little Catch-Up
Remember at the end of March, when I wrote a post apologizing for my lack of regular blog writing and promised to get back on the path of productivity? Well, here we are again, after some pretty serious silence. Sure, there’s been a post here and there (even I couldn’t let myself drop off entirely!), but I just haven’t had the time to put things up as regularly as I’d like. Oh well, hope springs eternal! Once again, I must do a bit of rapid fire debriefing. Let’s get to it!
- As previously announced, this summer I will be an intern at The Cheese School of San Francisco. When I signed up for this amazing opportunity, I knew that my duties would include setting and cleaning up before and after courses. But…what would the courses be? I’ve now taken two courses at the school (and will be taking another one next week, but that’s my next item) — Desert Island Cheeses & a Master Class on Identifying Cheese Flavors — both of which were so great, that I couldn’t wait to find out which classes I’d be working on during the summer. Well, earlier this week, I got The Cheese School’s summer course schedule, and believe me when I tell you that I could not be more excited! I’ll let you peruse the offerings for yourself (and, if you’re a Bay Area dweller, I encourage you to sign up), but l must say I’m most excited for the Cheese and Wine Pairing at Brack Mountain Wine in Sonoma, well-known for producing wine that pairs exceptionally well with food. We’ll tour the winery and then do a pairing with cheeses AND the estate olive oil. Yum! I’m also really looking forward to the Master Class, featuring the cheeses of renowned French affineurs (master cheese agers) Rodolphe Le Meunier & Pascal Beillevaire & the Vegeterian Cheese class. Since really getting into cheese, I’ve learned a lot about how it’s made and have had to come to terms with animal rennet. Despite being a long-time vegetarian (well, pescatarian, really), I’m comfortable with my decision to go for it with cheese — I eat it all. Still, many American cheesemakers are now using vegetarian (microbial) rennet, and I can’t wait to learn more about that process and how it impacts the cheese. Exciting stuff!
- Speaking of classes at The Cheese School: I have one coming up! This coming Tuesday (6/12), I’ll be attending Old World vs. New World, taught by Juliana Uruburu. Juliana Uruburu (what a fun name to say!) is the cheese maven at the Bay Area’s renowned Pasta Shop in Oakland. Recognized as an individual dedicated to promoting quality cheese and consumption, Juliana was recently inducted into the Guilde des Fromagers, dedicating her lifes work to promoting the consumption of cheese! I’ve heard she’s an amazingly informative, energetic, and enthralling speaker, and I can’t wait to see for myself. (Confession: I would also LOVE to one day work with her at The Pasta Shop, so I’m hoping I can work that into an after-class conversation). In Old World vs. New World we’ll compare and contrast traditional European cheeses with their more modern American counterparts and, drumroll please, we will be pairing them with 5 luscious Maderia wines! I wrangled two of my friends into coming with me, and I can’t wait to show off to them where and how I’ll be spending my summer.
- Another way I’ll be spending my summer? Reading! In addition to devouring cheese, I’ve also been devouring books on cheese (and on food, in general). An amazing resource? Omnivore Books right here in San Francisco. A friend of a friend recommended this place to me, but even though he used the word ‘awesome’ multiple times while describing it, I couldn’t have imagined how incredibly impressive it really is. Omnivore is a somewhat hidden Noe Valley gem — a tiny space packed floor to ceiling with books on all things food. Cookbooks of all shape, size, and style; memoirs by chefs, food critics, and food-loving writers; rare vintage magazines; histories of regional delicacies — you name it, they have it. Sadly I was on a time crunch, or I could have spent all day (and all of my money) there. I walked away with three new reads (The United States of Arugula, The Atlas of American Artisan Cheese, and The Guide to West Coast Cheese — reviews to come eventually), and I know I’ll be going back soon for my next fix. If you live in SF or you know you’ll be visiting, definitely make time for a trip to this shop. When I was there, three Parisian tourists came in and excitedly declared that they had come all the way from The Sunset District (on the far, far West side of the city) JUST to visit Omnivore. Their decree? It’s worth it.
- And last, but certainly not least (although least related to the normal contents of this blog): I invite you to treat yourself to a few moments with the Shiba Inu puppy cam. I discovered these cuties about 4 days ago and, since then, I’d say I’ve logged about 10 hours. Not 10 straight hours (and, I promise, I do other things on the computer and then switch over to Puppyville for a few seconds), but still….I’m pretty attached. It’s worth a look.
Okay, that’s all for now. Stay tuned for upcoming posts on what I’m doing, where I’ve been, and what I’ve eaten. Until then…stay cheesy.