Unique New Cheese a ME/NY Collaboration

Chef and sustainable food advocate Dan Barber has some very interesting ideas when it comes to sustainable food practices, especially as they relate to our culinary industry and restaurant diners. One of his big projects revolves around a farm-based restaurant in Pocantico Hills, NY, although his career began with his family’s farm and attempts to help return it to productivity and profitability.

In Barber’s quest to make sure his restaurants don’t waste a single bit of the food that is grown for them, he has worked to find productive uses for the bones of the animals that are slaughtered and butchered to provide the meat for some of their dishes. Initially they have been turned into charcoal that is used to fire ovens and grills for cooking, and now he is taking that idea one step further by using the very fine ash that is produced from the bone charcoal and having it added to a traditionally aged goat boule that will then be served in the restaurant.

This new cheese is called “Bone Char Pearl” and the mixed milk (goat and cow) boule itself is being produced by Maine’s Seal Cove Farm, then aged by Crown Finish Caves in New York City. In addition to being served at the Blue Hills restaurants it can also be purchased from Saxelby Cheesemongers in New York City.


Peter Dixon Reverse Engineering Workshop

Peter Dixon led 17 of us on Apr 5th through a workshop on how to “reverse engineer” a cheese that we like to eat and want to learn how to make. We specifically covered four different cheeses–

–but then discussed many other typs and how to replicate specific flavors and/or textures in our own cheeses.

(starting top left, moving clockwise): Bleu d’Auvergne, Epoisses, Coupole, Crement

In addition to covering investigation and research, we tasted examples of all the cheeses and broke them down categorically. 

During the last portion of the workshop the participants had a chance to share their own cheeses with challenges to get feedback from Dixon and others in the group. Peter also shared samples of a few of his interesting current cheeses. 

It was a great day.  Thanks to Mary Belding and Jessie Dowling for organizing the workshop! 


ACS Response to Listeria Outbreak in NY State

The American Cheese Society has written a letter to the editor in response to an article published on March 10th that detailed an outbreak of Listeria illnesses linked to cheeses made at Vuelto Cheese in Walton, New York. Unfortunately the outbreak has already been linked to two deaths.

The ACS has also just released an issue of their regular member newsletter The Traditional Cheese Advocate that details the resources they have developed for member cheesemakers around the issues in food safety and raw milk cheese production.