Meet the Curd Nerd

So You Want to Work on a Farm?

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Any curd nerd worth her salt has at some point considered trying her hand at professional cheesemaking. If you want to take the next step, check out smalldairy.com, a relatively new website with resources for people starting and growing their own small dairy. One of the newest pages on the site lists internships, apprenticeships and jobs, free of charge. There are only a few listings there now, but I'm sure it will grow. This page also has a pretty funny paragraph on how crazy the life and work of a cheesemaker can be:

Dairy farming and small-scale processing are some of the hardest jobs you can take on. They require physical and emotional strength, perseverance, patience, flexibility, good observational skills, love of and respect for animals and ability to maintain routines. You may be required to stay up all night, get up in the dark or otherwise interrupt your sleep to check on animals or cheese. You may have to work outdoors in all kinds of weather, you might get really dirty or even splattered with manure. If you work at a creamery you may be required to interact with the public. For some reason, people do it anyway. The benefits and rewards of dairy farming keep many people going in spite of the hardships.

Meet the Curd Nerd - Jim Wallace

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Jim Wallace teaches the advanced cheesemaking workshops offered by New England Cheesemaking Supply. We spoke with him recently about his love of cheese and cheese making.

CN: Tell us a little bit about your background.
JW: It has been a long road traveling in many directions (sometimes simultaneous .. sound familiar?). I began in pre-med but wound up teaching environmental biology which led to 25+ years of photographing and selling fine print photographs from wild places (www.loganandwallace.com) .. during this time I became fascinated by the traditional aspect of beer and brewing the old ways and began visiting brewers in the UK and Belgium and we all know what they eat with their beer.

Meet the Curd Nerd - Dr. Michael Qian

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In this installment of "Meet the Curd Nerd," we talk to Dr. Michael Qian, Assistant Professor in the Food Science Department of Oregon State University. Dr. Qian's research interests are in flavor chemistry and technology, and he has done a lot of work with cheese as well as wine and fruits. He also served as a technical judge at this year's American Cheese Society Competition, held in July of this year in Portland, Oregon.

CN: Tell us a little about your background as a Food Technologist, and what originally sparked your interest in the field?

MQ: My background is in chemistry, and as a chemist most of my work is associated with analytical chemistry and food chemistry. Originally I was focused more on the general chemistry side, but after I came to the States in 1997, I began to study and work more in the area of food chemistry. I got my masters degree at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and later on I began to work on a PhD at the University of Minnesota. I got interested in food chemistry because

Meet the Curd Nerd - Anne Saxelby

saxelby-logo.jpgToday we present the first installment of what we hope will be an ongoing series of interviews with cheese mongers, cheese makers, cheese bloggers and other curd nerds from around the world. In this inaugural episode of "Meet the Curd Nerd," we talk to Anne Saxelby, who opened her eponymous cheese counter, Saxelby Cheesemongers, in May of this year. Located on New York's Lower East Side in the Essex Street Market, Saxelby Cheese focuses on American artisanal cheeses and other dairy products.

CN: What's your background and how did you come to open up your own store?

AS: Well, I went from being an art student at NYU to a cheesemonger at Murray's. When I graduated from college, I got a job working at Cato Corner Farm in Connecticut, but they didn't need me to start until the following fall. So, for the summer I got a job behind the cheese counter to try and learn more about my favorite food! From there, it kind of snowballed... I loved working at Murray's and

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