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 was an archaeologist; mostly. To be more specific, I was still at the point where I was paying to be an archeologist, not yet to the point where anyone was paying me to be one. So I took a job as a beer and wine buyer in the meantime. Little did I know that the job I took because it sounded fun would completely change my entire life trajectory. Like a siren's song it drew me back to my first true love...food. My father was a chef - a chuckwagon cook to be precise (unusual... I know, but trust me, you can't make that up). When I was little we would go out to eat and I would order anything on the menu I couldn't pronounce. When the food would come, rather than telling me what I ordered he would have me try it first, ask me what I tasted, and I had to figure it out. He refused to tell me, but he always knew what I was ordering. The world at large was far more exotic to me than it was to him. I thought it was just a fun game that we would play, but really from an oddly young age we were training my palate. I thought I would become a chef too, but after a brief 11 year stint in the front of the house restaurant/bar/catering world, I realized that the madness of a kitchen, though invigorating, would probably not be my forever home. I also realized that there was a chance that the hours might have eventually lead to the death of me. I must admit though, after I left that world for good, I secretly kind of missed the characters you would meet and the beautiful chaos that was a day in a restaurant. I took everything I had learned and got a job running a boutique cheese shop in Dallas called Molto Formaggio, after which I landed at Whole Foods for four years running the Specialty department (cheese, beer, wine, coffee) at two stores in Dallas, one in Austin and one in San Antonio. It was a great experience. I met a lot of wonderful people, ate a lot of great cheese, and was given the opportunity to take and pass the first ever Certified Cheese Professional Exam. San Antonio was an adorable city, but I found myself missing Austin quite a bit. When I found out about the Wholesale Manager position here at Antonelli's I jumped at the opportunity! It has become the culmination of all of my favorite things - great people, amazing cheese, and restaurants!
- Favorite Cheese: Harbison
- Favorite Pairing: Montenebro and Albarino
- Ideal Cheese Plate: Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, Red Hawk, Chabrin, Roquefort stuffed dates, toasted walnuts, Gaeta olives sprinkled with harissa, wild flower honey
- Dream Trip: Working the cheese caves with Herve Mons
- Other Favorite Shop Product: Duck Speck and Macabeu
- Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: Mt Tam
- Cheese-y Nickname: The Cheese Wiz
- Favorite Milk Type: Cow
- If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: an aged gouda because as I get older, I’ve managed to somehow simultaneously become both stronger and sweeter.
- My Favorite Thing About Being A Cheesemonger: Getting to be a part of that moment when someone tries something for the first time and they find it so delicious that their faces light up and a goofy, love-sick grin slides across their face. It’s magical.
- Why I wanted To Work At ACS: A reputation for being not only the best source for artisanal products, but some of the kindest, most service oriented people in town.
- Other Hobbies: I run from time to time, read a lot, cook, explore restaurants, listen to my records/catch live shows… (is eating a hobby?)
After 7 years as a fundraiser for a large nonprofit, I decided it was time to pursue my first love...food. Through a series of fortunate events, I found myself in Bra, Italy at the University of Gastronomic Sciences pursing a masters in Food, Culture and Communication. Every day we analyzed relationships with food, the farmer just trying to make a living, the activist fighting for a more sustainable food system, the immigrant yearning for a taste of home, or the artisan who is hungry to keep a food tradition alive. As I learned more about our complex food system there was one bite that I couldn't get enough of...cheese! Cheese is a wonderful balance of science and art. From the first moment I set foot in the lush alps of Val d'Aosta at the Fontina Cooperative I realized a life of cheese was for me. Upon graduation, I returned home to Tucson, Arizona and worked as a cheesemonger and food writer. As I pursued my dream in food, my chef husband pursued his...opening up a restaurant. Fast forward some cheese wheels and a lease signing later, we moved to Austin, TX! Lucky for me, there was a spot in the Events Program at Antonelli's Cheese and now I get to delve deeper into the nuanced world of cheese and share my geekiness with others. Life sure is Gouda!
- Favorite Cheese: I haven’t met a cheese I do not love! Right now, my fridge is stocked with Maplebrook Burrata and Challerhocker. Both are great to cook with…well…if they last that long!
- Favorite Pairing: During my first week at Antonelli’s Cheese I sat in on the “Perfect Pairs: Chocolate & Cheese” class. The events team paired Bellwether Farms Pepato cheese with Dick Taylor’s Dominican bar. The fruity accented the peppercorns so well; I'm hooked!
- Ideal Cheese Plate: The ideal cheese plate is a mixture of hard and soft cheeses, some wonderful cured meats and preserves and mustards. It is enjoyed on one a sunny day and is washed down with a lovely beer.
- Other Favorite Shop Product: I am sucker for the beer selection but then again I do really love the Robert Lambert preserves…
- Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: Watching class attendees taste Mt. Tam always evokes the happy dance. You can look around the room and see eyes rolling back, smiles slowly spreading and usually some form of happy mumbling. What can I say, you got to love triple cremes!
- Cheese-y Nickname: My dad always called me Sparky as a kid.
- Favorite Milk Type: While I love soft goat cheeses, my heart belongs to the cows in alpine selections. I love how the same cheese can be so different based on seasonality.
- If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: Challerhocker! Not only does it evoke my happy dance it means “Cellar Sitter” and refers to a child that sits in the cellar waiting until the cheese is ready. I want to be a cellar sitter!
- My Favorite Thing About Being A Cheesemonger: It combines two of my favorite things: Cheese and People! ACS has some of the best customers. They are passionate, excited and as nice as can be. It is easy to geek about cheese on a daily basis.
- Why I wanted To Work At ACS: ACS is simply about sharing great product with other great people…why wouldn’t you want to work here??
- Other Hobbies: Give me a day where I can spend hours cooking and writing and I will be one happy girl!
Food Service SpecialistI have recently returned to Austin after a 13 year hiatus. It's good to be back! I began my foodie career here in Austin with Whole Foods Market in the year 2000. While eager to experience all avenues of the food and grocery business, I spent some time in the Bakery, Specialty, and Produce departments. I was a buyer for 10 of those 14 years with Whole Foods and thoroughly enjoyed geeking out over budgeting and margin goals in perishable departments. After 14 years, I was looking for a new challenge after so long in the comfort of Whole Foods and moved on to a small and picturesque farm in Basehor, Kansas where we hydroponically grew living basil and other herbs. It was an incredibly eye-opening experience and I gained a true appreciation for the incredible dedication and hard work that goes behind every artisanally produced product that we have the good fortune of taking for granted in the world of food today. My partner received a promotion which lead to us moving to Austin and all I knew was that I wanted to be able to continue working for small artisanal and farmstead producers. I was looking at local farms and businesses in the area and stumbled upon Antonelli's. Every product you touch here has a story worth telling. I have truly missed the world of cheese since my old Specialty days with Whole Foods for just that reason. I am so happy to have found Antonelli's and be afforded the opportunity to tell the stories of small artisanal producers and eat some amazing cheese in the process!
- Favorite Cheese: I love all cheese! But right now I'm really digging Dunbarton Blue and Sternschnuppe.
- Favorite Pairing: Nettle Meadow Kunik and a bright Sauvingon Blanc
- Ideal Cheese Plate: Speck, Gruyere and Cornichons
- Dream Trip: I'd love to go to Denmark and Sweden
- Other Favorite Shop Product: Tasmanian Honey
- Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: June's Joy
- Cheese-y Nickname: EMMAnthaler
- Favorite Milk Type: Any and all
- If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: Challerhocker, surprising people endlessly with complex nuttiness
- My Favorite Thing About Being A Cheesemonger: Being able to represent the incredible work that goes goes behind every taste of cheese, telling their stories, sharing their passions.
- Why I wanted To Work At ACS: ecause everyone who works here is amazing! And getting to try a plethora of amazing products everyday is an awesome perk.
- Other Hobbies: Hanging out with my family, spending as much time as possible with my awesome three year old son. I also love hiking around Austin, reading mysteries, collecting records and cooking.
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.
- Ideal Cheese Plate: Burrata drizzled with olive oil on some awesome Easy Tiger pan au lavain 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!
- 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.
Several years ago I sought out the opportunity to spend a summer living and working with dairy farmers in the Austrian Alps. There, I was surrounded each day by happy cows, beautiful mountains and wonderful food, and I enjoyed learning about making cheese, butter, buttermilk and other dairy products. During this time I realized how much hard work goes into artisanal products. I learned to appreciate not only the products, but also to admire the dedication necessary to produce them. Upon my arrival in Austin I discovered Antonelli's and was immediately taken by their passion for cheese and food in general. I am excited to be part of this great team and hope to see you all at one of our events at the cheese house or around town.
- Favorite Cheese: Walser Stolz
- Favorite Pairing: Melted Raclette cheese with cornichons and schnapps
- Ideal Cheese Plate: right now my ideal cheese plate would include some fresh, tangy Chevre, and a piece of Pleasant Ridge Reserve, with dark rye bread
- Dream Trip: I have been dreaming of going to Japan for a long time. But since I am new to Texas, I wouldn't mind a Texas road trip to see the Marfa lights and the landscape of West Texas.
- Other Favorite Shop Product: La Querica Prosciutto
- Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: INNA Apricot Jam
- Cheese-y Nickname: I just found out about a cheese that had my name in it – Evalon!
- Favorite Milk Type: fresh, cold, unpasteurized cow milk
- If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: an alpine Cheese made in the Alps, just the thought of being in the mountains with that stunning view and fresh air makes me happy!
- My Favorite Thing About Being A Cheesemonger: Being surrounded by people that are passionate about quality food & being able to learn and share knowledge every day
- Why I wanted To Work At ACS: I love the welcoming atmosphere and true passion that you can feel at ACS, and also - who wouldn't want to work with cheese everyday?
- Other Hobbies: reading, cooking & thinking/talking about food, enjoying sunny days outdoors (Austrian winters I don't miss you!)
I’m from Austin, born and raised. I spent some time in Seattle working as a baker. And lived in Los Angeles too… spent three years there. I worked in private homes cooking for Alzheimer’s patients, in a pastry kitchen making desserts and creating an artisan cheese menu, and had an amazing time working as a cheesemonger at the artisan market/restaurant, Farmshop. My life has since become very food positive, service driven, and about small-batch appreciation.
- Ideal Cheese Plate: Caveman Blue, Valdeon, Oma, Kunik, Robiola Rochetta… accompaniments would just be baguette slices and wine.
- Dream Trip: My dream trip would be to go to Argentina. Visit Buenos Aires and make my way down to Tierra del Fuego to see the Southern lights. But taking a trip into space would be pretty rad too.
- Other Favorite Shop Product: La Quercia Berkshire Prosciutto.
- Cheese-y Nickname: Curd Nerd
- If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: eaten. If I were a cheese, I would be eaten.
- My Favorite Thing About Being A Cheesemonger: The thing I love about being a cheesemonger is talking with people about cheese and sharing those certain cheeses that are absolutely to die for. We might not have anything in common and I might not know anything about you, but we both love cheese.
- Why I wanted To Work At ACS: We all have the laid-back attitude about cheese. It isn’t a stuffy, high brow thing. It’s cheese, it’s food, it’s delicious! It’s just something that we love and we love sharing.
- Other Hobbies: I write about cheese, I explore new restaurants and new food, I have a good workout regimen, I cook for friends and family, and a huge list of books to read. Are these hobbies? I feel like these are just things I do.
I visited a wonderful cheese shop the late 1980's when I lived near Summit, New Jersey, just west of New York City. I had never been in a shop where the cheese was laid out on long wooden shelves behind the counter. Most of the cheese was at air-conditioned room temperature, and it was fresh, a wonderful experience! I have been in love with natural cheeses of all sorts since then. My wife, Sue, and I have traveled in Europe, and a little in South America over the years, and we have always sought out and enjoyed local cheeses and specialty foods. For me, these are learning experiences as local specialty foods reflect the culture of which they are a product. I am passionate about cheese, I love good food and wine, and I love to cook. As owners of the Federal House Inn Bed & Breakfast in western Massachusetts for several years, Sue and I served a delicious breakfast for up to twenty-four guests every morning. Running a B&B is hard work, but creating delicious breakfasts for our guests was a huge reward for me, and providing an elegant dining experience provided the same reward for Sue. Antonelli’s Cheese Shop provides delicious cheeses and related products, and an elegant tasting and purchasing experience (both at the shop and at the cheese classes). Consequently, I feel right at home here.
- Favorite Cheese: Epoisses
- Favorite Pairing: Bucheron and moderately Chilled Chablis
- Ideal Cheese Plate: One each of Antonelli’s seven major styles of cheese, Marcona Almonds, and fresh pear slices
- Dream Trip: A cheese tour of France, Spain or Italy
- Other Favorite Shop Product: Thinly sliced Speck
- Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: Moderately ripe Camembert
- Cheese-y Nickname: Mozzarella Di Bufala Bill Cody
- Favorite Milk Type: Goat's milk
- If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: An aged cheddar, salty and sweet with a long finish
- Why I wanted To Work At ACS: To be around cheese and to be part of the wonderful food scene here in Austin.
- Other Hobbies: Cooking, wine, travel, bird watching and enjoying music.
Production Cheesemonger in Training
I'm a local Austinite, born and raised. I finished up my bachelors degree at Southwestern University where I majored in Music as a Voice major and now I'm working with cheese! Who would've thought! I have been fortunate enough to enjoy Antonelli's cheese since they opened 5 years ago and have always wanted to further my cheese knowledge and experience. In the future I'd like to attend graduate school for voice and start a professional classical singing career thereafter. I'm hoping, with a little luck, that my future career as a musician will take me across Europe where I can further enjoy all forms of fromage!
- Favorite Cheese: Monte Enebro
- Favorite Pairing: Blue Cheese and Tasmanian Honey
- Ideal Cheese Plate: At least one creamy soft chevre, a stinky stinky blue cheese, and some yummy coppa
- Dream Trip: A tour of England where I get to visit all the big soccer stadiums and enjoy spectacular English beer and cheeses (of course!!)
- Other Favorite Shop Product: Castelvetrano olives (I can't ever get enough)
- Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: June's Joy!
- Cheese-y Nickname: Nickajack (which would also be my stage name if/when I become a underground jazz singer sensation)
- Favorite Milk Type: Goat
- If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: Dunbarton Blue. Because I'd like to think I can get along with everyone.
- My Favorite Thing About Being A Cheesemonger: Getting to try cheese from all over!
- Why I wanted To Work At ACS: I've always wanted to work for a local business that deals with amazing specialty food items and Antonelli's was the perfect fit for that!
- Other Hobbies: Watching any and all soccer, playing lots of ultimate Frisbee, and enjoying really awesome craft beer!
Production Cheesemonger in Training
I moved to Austin about 6 years ago with no real intentions of getting back into the food business.
I have no regrets.
- Favorite Pairing: Brie/butter on a baguette. With a nice bottle of wine.
- Dream Trip: Piedmont
- Other Favorite Shop Product: Anything from La Quercia
- Favorite Milk Type: Goat
- Other Hobbies: Bird watching
Cheesemonger in Training
Cheesemonger in Training
Cheesemonger in Training
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Cheesemonger in Training
Your Love of Cheese Here! If you want to be a part of our team, check out the employment page of our website for current positions. Look forward to tasting and talking cheese with you!