Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Culture Magazine, Spring 2013

 I picked up a copy of Culture Magazine last weekend at the Oregon Cheese Festival at Rogue Creamery in Central Point/Medford, Oregon.  Didn't have a chance to read it until yesterday - over a week later.  As I am casually flipping through the pages, my eyes drifted across the New On the Market column.  Item number 2 is FREYA'S WHEEL!!!  My jaw practically hit the floor.  I look again and there it is.  My cheese!  In a magazine!  Cool!  I totally forgot that this might be happening. 

I remember an email in January after the article ran in the San Francisco Chronicle.  A writer from Culture wanted a photo of Freya's Wheel. They were going to mention it.  I thought it was for a blog.  I had no idea it was going into the magazine.  This is what happens when you work 12 hour days, day after day.  You start to forget things like this. 

I was completely gobsmacked to find my photo and mention of my cheese in the glossy pages of a magazine.  I was sitting along at the dining room table and there was no one around with whom I could gush and share the news.  The cat was asleep on the couch.  The dog had his back to me, staring out the window, hoping a squirrel might appear on the lawn. Jim wasn't around.   So I put the magazine down and forgot about it for several hours. 

That night, Jim picked up the magazine and was looking at an article on Spain.  I told him to look at page 10.  He does.  "Hey!  Franklin Peluso is making a washed rind Teleme," he announces.  He knows I have a huge weakness for Teleme.  "Yes, dear.  I saw that, too.  What ELSE is on the page?"  "Oh!"  Jim starts.  "Hey! Freya's Wheel is here.  I thought I recognized that cheese picture."   He was excited, too.  Such good news.  One more thing to put on the wall of our Farm Store!  

Monday, March 25, 2013

Update: Good Food Award! Anthony Bourdain! A truffle video!

January was quite eventful.  Not only were we featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, but we also received a Good Food Award for the Best Fresh Cheese in the United States.  Woo hoo!!!!!!!

I got to fly down to San Francisco to attend a fancy awards ceremony with Alice Waters.  I still can't believe that we have been recognized TWICE as having the best chevre in the country!  The ceremony was lots of fun.  There was a great reception with all of the winning products available for sampling.  Our chevre was given to Annie from Greens Restaurant at Fort Mason in San Francisco.  They put it on a crostini with balsamic vinegar, onions and micro greens.  Delicious!!!  The cocktails were fun, the salamis were great. Chocolate tastings were fantastic.  What's not to love about good food?

The Good Food Awards dovetailed nicely into the Fancy Food Show.  Jim, Elerina, and I went and explored as much as we could in one day.  Held at Moscone Convention Center, it is a massive showcase of gourmet food and beverages from around the globe.  I focused on cheese, naturally.  Chocolates were plentiful, too.  The atmosphere was much more restrained than past years.  Fewer give-aways, fewer samples.  Sign of the times.

The entire weekend was a like big party.  I got to see lots of my cheese colleagues and share many stories as well as my cheese.  I really enjoy the American cheese community and any chance I can spend time with them is time well spent.

I just put together a slideshow, giving you another look at what we're doing around Briar Rose Creamery.    Lots of photos of our fresh chevre and aged cheeses and our awards.  Freya's Wheel is our semi-soft, bloomy rind goat cheese.  It has a white surface.sort of like a brie.  Madrona, my newest creation is a taleggio style goat cheese with a washed rind.   It is reddish in color, similar to the bark of the Madrone tree.

Slideshow by Sarah Marcus, Music bed by Los Straightjackets, "Pacifica" from the album Viva Los Straightjackets.

Another fun video features Briar Rose Creamery's multiple award-winning Chocolate Chevre Truffles!  Michael Kalish, a San Francisco based cheese colleague, spent some time working at the creamery in October. Michael and his twin brother Charlie Kalish have plans to build a cheese aging center in the Bay Area.  They've spent several years traveling around Europe studying the art of affinage (cheese aging) as well as cheesemaking. Their goal is to work with cheesemakers, aging cheeses to perfection and then distributing the ripe cheese to cheese counters.  With help from Michael, I've been perfecting Madrona as well as the creamery's food safety plan.  He and his brother are big fans of our truffles and made this clip about them.  

February featured a mad rush on our truffles.  We were featured on Anthony Bourdain's show "The Layover" on the Travel Channel!  He visited a cheese shop in Seattle called The Calf and Kid.  The last clip spotlighted Briar Rose Creamery's chocolate goat cheese truffles.  Have you ever seen Mr. Bourdain swoon?  He swooned.  He LOVED my truffles.  Wow.  The guy does not like sweets.  As he said, "They shouldn't be good, but they are!" and "That's my kind of dessert."   Can't ask for a better recommendation than that.  You'll have to wait for the ad to play and our truffles are featured at the end of the segment. 

We've been busy making and selling lots of cheese this year.   Our little farm store is getting visitors from all over the world.  The wineries are sending cheese fans our way.  I really like the cheeses that I am producing.  This mad dream of mine seems to be gaining momentum!   I love what I do.  Glad to see others like it too.