Your Cheesemongers

Prior to my dream job of Cheesemonger, I was working as a Certified Public Accountant at Deloitte & Touche. In search of my professional passion, I quit my job, began to study food, and found myself attracted to cheese. The more that I read, ate, and learned, the more I wanted to keep going. That’s when Kendall and I started hosting Grilled Cheese Club events for friends at our house. While the dinners were designed to revolve around gourmet sandwiches, they quickly evolved into guided cheese tastings and pairings. I began to travel as much as I could, visiting dairies and cheese shops collecting as many samples as possible. I followed that with a trip to France to intern with affineur Herve Mons, and then traveled with Kendall through the Alps stopping whenever we saw a “Fromage” sign. It was an amazing experience. Eventually, with the support and commitment of Kendall, I begin to build our business.

Now I am a full-time cheesemonger with part time accounting responsibilities (old habits die hard).  In 2012, I was elected to the Board of Directors for the American Cheese Society where I continue my work as a member of the Judging and Competition Committee through which we (along with other amazing committee members) plan and manage North America’s largest cheese competition. Although job duties often demand otherwise, I have been behind the case since we opened and hope to be there for the rest of my life.

  • Favorite Cheese: The one in front of me!
  • Favorite Pairing: Ossau-Iraty (Onetik) with Hennepin (Ommegang)
  • Ideal Cheese Plate: A single cheese – either a perfect Rush Creek, Epoisses, or Vacherin Mont d’Or and a spoon
  • Dream Trip: Whatever trip takes me to find the next great cheese for our case
  • Other Favorite Shop Product: Fleur de Sel. Or Tupelo Honey. Or Finocchiona. (I give up. Tough question).
  • Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: Come in and find out!
  • Cheese-y Nickname: The Cheese Man
  • Favorite Milk Type: Mixed Milk
  • If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: Pleasant Ridge Reserve because I’m a little nutty, a little sweet, a little earthy but always very dependable.
  • My Favorite Thing About Being A Cheesemonger: Making you smile and hopefully becoming your friend.
  • Why I wanted To Work At ACS: Because they would hire me.
  • Other Hobbies: Being with Kendall, eating, talking and traveling. Isn’t it great when your job is your hobby?!

How does one exactly become a cheesemonger? I’m still asking that question myself. With a Georgetown University degree in Culture and Politics and a UT masters degree in Latin American Studies, I was working at a local non-profit running a program for immigrant survivors of crimes like human trafficking. John and I knew we wanted to work together someday. (To be honest, I always thought it would be at my nonprofit!) But after running the cheese club out of our house, I quickly realized it wasn’t only John who was becoming obsessed with molds, milks, breeds, producers, and the like. And from there, the rest is history. In a way, it all makes sense. A significant portion of my youth was spent rodeo’ing (yes- even being forced to run for rodeo queen!), showing sheep in 4-H, and occasionally being dragged before sunrise to help my step-father move cattle on his ranch. From watching him, I know exactly how much work goes into maintaining a ranch, caring for your animals, and trying to make a living. (I also know I’m not cut out for it, and therefore quickly nixed any idea of moving to the country to make our own cheese!) By working behind the cheese counter, I can speak to just how much work producers put into their craft. My appreciation and awe for what they do makes every bite of cheese that much more delicious and my excitement for telling you their story that much more important. Years ago, I couldn’t have guessed I’d become a cheesemonger, but I’m very proud today to say that I am one.

  • Favorite Cheese: Unanswerable, like choosing your favorite child
  • Favorite Pairing: Tomme Crayeuse (overly ripe) and summer tomatoes
  • Ideal Cheese Plate: Bijou, Ossau Iraty, Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, Hopelessly Blue
  • Dream Trip: Any trip! Wanting to hit up Ireland and Greece for next two ideal trips...
  • Other Favorite Shop Product: Raclette Machine – with Raclette cheese of course! (And cured meats, cornichons, bread, and tomatoes…)
  • Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: Creminelli’s Salame al Tartufo
  • Cheese-y Nickname: Cheese Ball
  • Favorite Milk Type: Blasphemy. Please see answer above about favorite cheese.
  • If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: Winnimere because I’ve always dreamed of being washed in beer, plus I’m firm on the outside but a softie on the inside.
  • My Favorite Thing About Being A Cheesemonger: Meeting new food-loving friends and watching kiddos grow up on our cheese!
  • Why I wanted To Work At ACS: I couldn’t let John have all the fun for himself.
  • Other Hobbies: My life is pretty cheese-centric these days.

I've always considered myself a highly cultured individual. I've worked in art galleries, published academic papers, sat through (and participated in) my fair share of experiential films and performances, and spent way too much time thinking about political philosophers (from Ancient to Enlightenment and that rascal Faucault!). But all that pales in comparison the the shear quantity of cheese that I'm capable of consuming. That's right folks, when I say cultured I really mean, more then anything else, I'm full of cheese! I've been professionally consuming every wheel I could get my hands on since 2007 when I started cheesemongering at Cowgirl Creamery in Washington, DC honing my palate and eventually fostering their beer and wine program. There I gained an appreciation for artisanal and sustainably-made products; their taste, texture and the magical experience of a perfect pairing. For example, did you know that cheese goes really well with... EVERYTHING? DC is a beautiful city, but Texas was calling me back and, luckily, Austin has one of the best darn shops in the country! I've recently taken on the reins of shop manager and could not be any happier! I try to live by my great grandfather's favorite expression "If it's Gouda then Edam!" (yes, I'm also that kind of cheesy!) and love introducing anyone and everyone to the exquisite joy that is cheese, helping them find precisely what they're in the mood for- and the accouterments to match!

  • Favorite Cheese: As if I could pick just one?! It really depends on my mood, the season and what taste sensation I'm craving at the moment. That being said... Red Hawk, Dancing Fern, Sophia, Pleasant Ridge Reserve and Bohemian Blue always put a smile on my face.
  • Favorite Pairing: Red Hawk on a Maple Castleton Cracker with a Widow's Kiss cocktail to wash it down.
  • Ideal Cheese Plate: Again, totally mood/seasonally dependent. Come in the store and let's make one together!
  • Dream Trip: A toss up between a Neal's Yard Dairy inspired tour of the UK or anything involving baby Nubian goats or just baby any goat
  • Other Favorite Shop Product: Blue Heron Farm Bourbon Cajeta
  • Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: Robert Lambert's Raspberry Champagne Jam on a Dick Taylor Fleur de Sel Chocolate Bar
  • Cheese-y Nickname: DJ Creme Fraiche--my choice samples get the party started! Woop! Woop!
  • Favorite Milk Type: They're all delightful, but I do love my goats!
  • If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: Coolea, because I'm sweet, a bit nutty and good with whisky!
  • My Favorite Thing About Being A Cheesemonger: There are so many reasons I love what I do! My favorite monger luxury is sharing the first taste of a freshly opened wheel!
  • Why I wanted To Work At ACS: Amazing atmosphere-- who wouldn't want to spend their days surrounded by the best cheese and cheese-lovers in town?
  • Other Hobbies: Classic Cocktails--making them, drinking them and geeking out far too much about their history; Record collecting (especially old Bollywood); Vermouth! I make my own & am always looking for flavors to play with; Film (see you at Terror Tuesday!)

My passion for cheese has grown with my passion for beer. My Dad began brewing when I was about seven years of age, so it doesn't make it difficult to understand why I started brewing about a year and a half ago. The homebrew store in Austin also happened to sell cheesemaking kits and the ball started rolling from there. In pursuit of expanding my knowledge of cheese, I took a cheese making workshop with Pure  Luck Dairy in Dripping Springs in January 2011 and have been making basket chevre anytime I get the chance ever since. I continued to drop off samples of my goat cheese until the cheese shop hired me, and I am thoroughly excited to be apart of the team and cannot wait to help you friendly folks with some cheese and beer pairings. Cheers and see you soon!

  • Favorite Cheese: Vermont Butter and Cheese Co. Coupole
  • Favorite Pairing: Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout with Rogue Creamery Caveman Blue
  • Ideal Cheese Plate: All goat’s milk cheeses, including Coupole, Kunik, Chevre d'Or, Chevre Noir, and Montenebro. I’d also want an abundance of duck salami, speck and petite jesu, along with an assortment of berries, blackberries, raspberries and Strawberries, some pistachios
  • Dream Trip: A U.S. brewery road trip with a trunk full of cheese to pair along the way.
  • Other Favorite Shop Product: Laguiole Bread knife
  • Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: Widmers 10 Year Cheddar with our Shallot Confit
  • Cheese-y Nickname: Cheese Mongol
  • Favorite Milk Type: I'd hate to be bias when it comes to cheese because I love it all but I'm obviously a sucker for the Goat. By the looks of my ideal cheese plate, I think I gave myself away with that one.
  • If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: triple creme because everyone loves a good triple creme.
  • My Favorite Thing About Being A Cheesemonger: Figuring out people's palates and giving them a taste of something that they'll love.
  • Why I wanted To Work At ACS: To try lots of different cheeses and have the opportunity to collaborate on beer and cheese pairing events
  • Other Hobbies: Brewing beer, making cheese, gardening, cooking and collecting VHS tapes

Traci

Stumbling upon a Cheese Festival in Seattle in 2009, my first experience with the world of real cheese was honestly a bit overwhelming.  Hoards of people in line sampling every single cheese imaginable; my palate not yet trained for the complexities of the flavors, they sadly all tasted fairly similar to me.  One year later, I would be working behind the cheese counter expanding my palate.  A chance job as cheesemonger at Forward Foods in Oklahoma City ignited and nurtured my passion for all things cheese.  My favorite hobby became breaking into that new wheel and discussing its flavors.  After a brief stint at an office job while finishing my pre-med classes, I realized that my heart is, and will forever be, in cheese.  So I relocated to Austin and contacted Antonelli's Cheese Shop with hopes of possible employment.  After seeing the shop and meeting with John, Kendall, and the rest of the team, I knew that the shop was the right fit for me!  And lucky for me, the feelings were mutual.  Come on in and let's talk cheese!

  • Favorite Cheese: Pleasant Ridge Reserve. Wait, no, Dante. or Midnight Chevre. Who am I kidding, it changes minute to minute.
  • Favorite Pairing: Adelbert's Tripel B and Le Marechal. This nutty and herbal pairing won my heart. It was love at first bite.
  • Ideal Cheese Plate: Rush Creek Reserve and a baguette. That's it. If Rush Creek is not in season, I'd go for, I don't know, whatever is in season and is blowing my mind.
  • Dream Trip: Take up Mary Quicke on her offer to visit her farm in England. Then off to Spain for goats and sheep!
  • Other Favorite Shop Product: Cour-Cheverny Wine
  • Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: Cajeta from Blue Heron Farm
  • Cheese-y Nickname: Dreamboat Cheesedealer
  • Favorite Milk Type: Though it's always been sheep, goat is starting to come out ahead.
  • If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: dancing fern because, well, it's pretty obvious if you're around me long enough.
  • My Favorite Thing About Being A Cheesemonger: Exposing people to the world of cheese, whether artisanal cheese in general with cheese newbies or new cheeses to those who are more experienced.
  • Why I wanted To Work At ACS: So I could surround myself with other cheese lovers. Nothing is better than a cheese lover, other than cheese itself, of course.
  • Other Hobbies: Making up new dance moves, strolling on my bike, unintentionally creating a sing-song environment (sorry, everyone).

Kara

I blame my mother for my love of cheese. Having spent a few years of her life living in London, she was all too eager to bring me to the wonderful cheese shop in my hometown of Cambridge, MA. as a child, acclimating me to richer flavors at a young age. After studying writing in college and pursuing a career in the arts, I began interning at the San Francisco Farmer's Market, from where it was a short step to culinary school. I was a line cook, pasta maker, pizzaoilo, baker, and pastry cook in San Francisco before it became so suddenly clear to me: cheese! I began at The Pasta Shop in Berkeley, CA before working at Cowgirl Creamery in the Ferry Building and then moving to Portland, ME to be manager at The Cheese Iron. While in New England I took full advantage of its rich cheesemaking scene, apprenticing at/visiting Jasper Hill, Von Trapp Farm, Spring Brook Farm, and Twig Farm and more, as well as attending the VT Cheesemaker's Festival annually and even making it to Bra, Italy for the Slow Food Cheese Festival in 2009. I fell for Austin when visiting years ago and initially moved here to be the lead sausage-maker at local charcuterie-producer and "butcher shop", Dai Due. I always stayed in touch with Kendall and John, however, knowing I'd be returning to my foremost culinary passion (ahem, cheese) soon enough and wanting to work specifically for such an enterprising and creative business as Antonelli's - clearly, it all worked out! All the honing of my palate throughout my food-loving career has led me to a greater appreciation of the process behind and applications of these gorgeous products we sell at ACS. I look forward to using it to help our customers plan their dinner and holiday parties- I am so looking forward to seeing y'all in the shop!

  • Favorite Cheese: These days it would have to be Pure Luck Feta- so simple, but such a gorgeous representation of seasonality and of the high quality of a local cheesemaker's milk. I'm loving crumbling it over all the spring greens that are popping up!
  • Favorite Pairing: La Quercia Speck Americano with INNA Jam's Seascape Strawberry preserves and Manchester from Consider Bardwell Farm...plus a bottle of Tripel B from local brewer Adelbert's, while we're at it! The flavor combination = Perfection!
  • Ideal Cheese Plate: Saint Maure, Dancing Fern, and Pecorino Riserva- these sunny Austin days have me craving fruity, grassy, piquant flavors.
  • Dream Trip: Back to Ireland! I went for the first time last year and was lucky (ahem: pushy) enough to visit every cheese shop in every town we stopped in, but a cheesemaking apprenticeship in County Cork would be a dream come true.
  • Other Favorite Shop Product: I am completely smitten with Katz's Rock Hill Olive Oil: peppery, just buttery enough, and with notes of bitter greens, it brightens fresh cheeses and helps merge them with the dishes I make at home. I go through a great deal of this stuff!
  • Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: Dick Taylor's Fleur de Sel chocolate bar: who doesn't love salty-sweet combos?! I have loved pairing the Fleur de Sel bar with salty, firmer blues like La Peral or Bayley Hazen in our cheese classes.
  • Cheese-y Nickname: I'm going to give this one to my coworker Dan, who dubbed me "Cave-Aged Kara-dona" after one of our Antonelli's cheeses, the Cardona. I've had others, but I've got to hand it to him for uniqueness!
  • Favorite Milk Type: This varies seasonally - if not daily - but I'll give it to goat's milk. Bright, lactic, zesty, and earthy, goat's milk flavor spectrum runs the gambit while always staying true to its terroir.
  • If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: hmmm...Ticklemore. Earthy and quiet at first, but packs a bite, is zesty, sweet, and gets along with people!
  • My Favorite Thing About Being A Cheesemonger: Being the messenger: learning the stories behind the cheesemakers and their herds and sharing those tales with my customers. Cheesemakers have such rich, personal histories and it's my honor to represent them and share their passion through my own.
  • Why I wanted To Work At ACS: The contagious passion of all who work here. I've been told that we mongers are a "hyper" group and it's true: it's a career that, if you love it, you get entirely enthused and inspired by.
  • Other Hobbies: Reading, writing, photography, scouting out swimming holes,hiking with my dogs, traveling as much as can be, limitless dinner parties with my friends.

Claire

Honestly, my true appreciation for good food didn’t develop until Michael Pollan’s writing introduced me to the farm-to-table and slow food movements in America. The ideas combined many of my personal interests, from health and animal welfare to culture and society. Eventually I realized I wanted to work in advocacy of good food but wasn’t yet sure in what capacity. I started out in the field, literally, volunteering with various local farms and eventually some out of state as well.  While I love getting my hands in the dirt and hanging out with farm animals, I also gained more fascination and appreciation for artisan food production – especially cheese!  It’s so satisfying to learn the stories of the artisans, their animals, and how a cheese is crafted. I’m a proud native Austinite and I feel grateful that I’ve been given the chance to exercise my passion at one of the best businesses in town! Come see me!

  • Favorite Cheese: Rush Creek Reserve, a spoonful of heaven
  • Favorite Pairing: not fixed, whatever delights my taste buds at the moment
  • Ideal Cheese Plate: St.Maure, Coolea, Stilton
  • Dream Trip: Tour of some of the best cheese operations in Europe, working with animals on the land, in the creamery, and then enjoying the fruits of the labor!
  • Other Favorite Shop Product: Alle-Pia Tartufo Salami
  • Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: Blue Heron Cajeta
  • Cheese-y Nickname: Queso Queen
  • Favorite Milk Type: Impossible to choose!
  • If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: Tomme Crayeuse because I’m soft and pleasant, yet earthy and interesting.
  • My Favorite Thing About Being A Cheesemonger: Sharing the love and appreciation for great food and expanding my palate.
  • Why I wanted To Work At ACS: I had a feeling that this team was an amazing group of fun and talented people. I wanted to be in an environment where I was constantly learning and felt inspired by others.
  • Other Hobbies: Yoga, reading about food, farming, and culture, aspiring to be a decent home-cook, and when possible, traveling and checking out the food culture in other places

Kevin

Similar to John, my background revolves around the un-cheesy world of accounting. After a year in public accounting, I quit my job with the ambiguous intention of finding my professional passion. It did not take a whole lot of introspection to recognize that my passion had always been food. Many of my fondest memories involved enjoying good food with others. With the full intention of putting aside my accounting career, I applied for a cheesemonger position at Antonelli's Cheese.
 
Much to my luck, John offered me the opportunity to use my background for the greater good of cheese. I couldn't turn down the chance to grow with this incredible business—as both a professional and cheese-enthusiast. As a frequent customer, this place has always had a special place in my heart. I am so excited to be a part of the future of this shop and hope to contribute in continuing to provide Austin with the highest quality artisanal products.

  • Favorite Cheese: Dante and Rush Creek Reserve
  • Favorite Pairing: Cabot Clothbound Cheddar and Blue Heron Farm Cajeta
  • Ideal Cheese Plate: Kunik, Bent River Camembert, Red Hawk, L'Amuse Gouda. I think I just used this as an extension of the favorite cheese question.
  • Dream Trip: Spending a week in San Sebastián, Spain immersing myself in the food culture.
  • Other Favorite Shop Product: La Quercia Acorn-Fed Tamworth Prosciutto—mind-blowingly good.
  • Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: Pleasant Ridge Reserve and Savannah Bee Company Tupelo Honey. I think I just used this as an extension of the favorite pairing question. I get to provide unfair answers to unfair questions!
  • Cheese-y Nickname: In the spirit of the Cookie Monster—the Cheese Monster. My cheese taste is equally non-discriminating. I'll eat anything and everything.
  • Favorite Milk Type: Like most of these I find it hard to choose one, but sheep was my first love.
  • If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: Menage because I'm indecisive about this question.
  • My Favorite Thing About Being A Cheesemonger: Getting to represent the people behind the incredible products that we have the privilege of carrying. I also cherish the opportunity to serve Austin's food scene.
  • Why I wanted To Work At ACS: I wanted to work for something that I was passionate about with people who were doing the same. It was also an environment where I felt like I could always be learning.
  • Other Hobbies: Film, Music, Sports, Aimlessly Yet Intently Reading Wikipedia

Angela

It's not much of a secret: I can barely boil water, and a morning in which I don't burn the toast is considered a good one. We've all heard it said that those who can't do, teach. Well, in my case, those who can't do, surround themselves with those who can. So I've spent the better part of my life working with talented preparers of fine meals. From steakhouses in Oklahoma to oyster bars in Laguna Beach, to French bistros in Minneapolis, I've shared a passion for fine food and wine, gracious hospitality, and life-long learning with the smartest, funniest, best-traveled and all-around-most-awesome chefs, servers, and bartenders anyone could hope to meet. I put myself through college (Go, Anteaters!) working in restaurants; however, it was a community I left behind (for a while) as I began a career in marketing and communications, finished grad school, and climbed the corporate ladder. But it always felt like something was missing.

 

I returned to Texas in 2012 to be closer to family (and leave those long Minnesota winters behind), and I began to reconsider what I wanted from my career and in my life: I loved working with people in educational and advisory roles; I loved being part of a close-knit industry and wanted to contribute to an organization that was beloved and well-respected in the community; and, as a lifelong learner, I wanted opportunities for continuing education. Well, clearly, that adds up to...cheese! I never expected to become a cheesemonger, but no one with whom I've shared the news is entirely surprised. They know that I follow my heart and they know that "what do you do?" is the wrong question so have learned to ask me "what's your next adventure?" Stop by the shop and join me on the cheese-y journey! 

  • Favorite Cheese: Jacobs & Brichford's Ameribella
  • Favorite Pairing: I love a warm-weather pairing of fresh cheeses and fruits. One combo that never fails to surprise and delight is CKC Farms Fresh Chevre with sweet Tupelo honey and juicy summer peaches.
  • Ideal Cheese Plate: A super-funky abundance of washed rind cheeses -- the stinkier, the better. If the plate doesn't smell like a barn full of gym socks, I'll be disappointed.
  • Dream Trip: I'd love to spend many many moons eating and drinking my way across the Iberian Peninsula. A trip that kicks off in Marseilles and ends with my toes in the sand somewhere near Lagos sounds like a thousand kinds of heaven.
  • Other Favorite Shop Product: Rougié Duck Fat...need I say more?
  • Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: Alle-Pia Salami al Tartufo
  • Cheese-y Nickname: ¡Queso Bandito!
  • Favorite Milk Type: During my years in Minnesota, I developed a soft spot for Cedar Summit Creamery's milk. Those lucky cows are 100% grass fed and their milk is delivered in returnable glass bottles. What's not to love?
  • If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: Kunik because I've heard it described as "unique, voluptuous, subtle, refined, bright, formidable, and perfect for any gathering that includes champagne."
  • My Favorite Thing About Being A Cheesemonger: I love guiding cheese newbies on a tour of our case and am equally delighted when diehard cheese freaks rush in to try a new product they've just read about in our newsletter. Everytime someone walks out with a huge smile, I know I'm in the right place.
  • Why I wanted To Work At ACS: I evolved from customer to class attendee to volunteer, I realized there's some kind of magic in the air here. I love the people, the cheese, and the awesome vibe and am grateful every day that I get to be a part of this amazing cheese-y community.
  • Other Hobbies: I regularly geek out on documentary films, art, architecture, theater, and literary fiction. I also really enjoy my not-particularly-demanding yoga practice.

Amanda

I was lucky enough to grow up here in Austin in a family that encouraged me to cook from a very young age. I’ve always loved hanging out in the kitchen and learning as much as I could about food. I am fascinated and inspired by Alton Brown’s approach to teaching cooking through experimentation and understanding ingredients and techniques. I’m also an avid reader so Julia Child, Michael Pollan, Anthony Bourdain, and Michael Ruhlman quickly became favorite authors. Though my background is in bassoon performance, teaching and arts administration, I love cooking and discovering new approaches to food. But reading and experimenting in my own kitchen weren’t enough to satiate my culinary curiosity. Thankfully my schedule as a private bassoon teacher leaves me plenty of time for other pursuits and when I became a part of this awesome team of passionate cheese enthusiasts, I felt immediately at home. The creation and consumption of food is such a powerfully transformative experience, and I’m excited to share that with everyone I meet!

  • Favorite Cheese: Yes. Ask me each day of the week and I'll probably give you at least 7 different answers.
  • Favorite Pairing: Right now I am loving the Lincoln Log with a little Strawberry Jam. Herbal, fruity and tangy.
  • Ideal Cheese Plate: Something soft-ripened, something funky, something firm and something blue. Add, a few olives or nuts and slices of fresh bread. Something sweet doesn't hurt either.
  • Dream Trip: Ireland is next up on my list of places to visit. A gorgeous country with incredible music, delicious beer, cheese, and whiskey. Yeah, I want to go to there.
  • Other Favorite Shop Product: Inna Jam’s Strawberry Seascape. I love it on everything. (cheese included!)
  • Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: Can't go wrong with a thin slice of prosciutto. Silky, buttery, pork magic. It just melts in your mouth.
  • Cheese-y Nickname: Quips & Queso
  • Favorite Milk Type: Hard to choose just one, but I do love a good sheep cheese.
  • If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: Manchego, because I’m sweet, a little nutty, and I play well with others.
  • My Favorite Thing About Being A Cheesemonger: Learning and tasting. I love trying new things, rediscovering old favorites, and sharing all of that with our customers.
  • Why I wanted To Work At ACS: There is nothing better than being surrounded by people who are just as excited about food as you are. I knew I wanted to be a part of a team that was enthusiastic, inspired, fun, and insatiably curious and Antonelli’s Cheese felt like the perfect fit.
  • Other Hobbies: Playing and teaching the bassoon, experimenting with new recipes, watching films, bottle feeding kittens with APA!, and reading whatever I can get my hands on.

Maddie

I'm a recent transplant from Charlottesville, VA, and a recent transplant to the cheese world! In C-ville, I worked on a CSA farm growing amazing veggies and helping members and their families get to know the place where their food comes from. I also worked at a local cidery bottling hard cider and helping visitors taste and enjoy the different varieties. I gained so much admiration for the farmers and artisans and the hard work and love they put into their products. It was easy enough to translate my excitement for local veggies and drink to cheese.

 

I've always been a cheese fiend and I've always loved entertaining, so working in the events department at Antonelli's is a perfect match! I'm the kind of girl who had a cheese-themed birthday party where I got only cheese as gifts (<-- you should try this, it's the best kind of birthday). Hosting cheese classes as part of the Events department, I get to taste and learn about new cheeses and share that new knowledge and excitement with others. Helping people get a deeper understanding of cheese and their own taste preferences in class is such a rewarding job! Hope to see you in class or behind the counter soon.

  • Favorite Cheese: L'amuse Gouda. I love the sweet stuff!
  • Favorite Pairing: I love Pure Luck Feta and Figs and Black Tea Preserves from Quince & Apple- the combination of salty/sweet and bright and fresh/dark and earthy makes these a great pairing!
  • Ideal Cheese Plate: I'd get a burrata (mozzarella injected with cream and curds YUM) , drizzle it with olive oil, eat it with some awesome pan au lavain or walnut bread from Easy Tiger, and tomatoes from my garden cooked with a little balsamic.
  • Dream Trip: An east coast vacation in fall to eat apples and drink cider and see the leaves change and visit home!
  • Other Favorite Shop Product: Chocolate! If you're a chocolate lover, come check out the Salted Caramel Bar from Chocolate Maker's Studio or a Marou Bar. Both are beautiful and delicious!
  • Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: Bourbon Cajeta from Blue Heron. Goat's milk caramel + Maker's Mark = awesomeness.
  • Cheese-y Nickname: "The life of the Havarti!" or, "Havarti like it's 1999!"... really I'm just trying to make that Havarti pun work.
  • Favorite Milk Type: Goat for freshies, Sheep for hard cheeses, Cow for bloomy triple creams!
  • If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: Ossau-Iraty because I'm a crowd-pleaser, and when it's hot, I sweat!
  • My Favorite Thing About Being A Cheesemonger: I get to taste everything! I love food and sharing my enthusiasm about it.
  • Why I wanted To Work At ACS: I love being a host and having that be my job is amazing. The people who work at ACS are some of the most enthusiastic, positive, and invested folks you'll ever meet and those qualities are contagious!
  • Other Hobbies: I like gardening, watching videos of kittens trying to play with large dogs, swimming and playing outside, drinking, eating, hanging with friends and family, re-watching The Big Lebowski, and dancing around to Tom Waits in my living room.