Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Cheesemaker's Apprentice

I am pleased to announce that on October 1st, 2012, The Cheesemaker's Apprentice: An Insider's Guide to the Art and Craft of Homemade Artisan Cheese, Taught by the Masters from Quarry Books will be available for purchase. Cheese authority Sasha Davies and I worked on this book, Sasha writing the majority of the text while I developed all of the home cheesemaking recipes. The book is now available for pre-order from most online booksellers.

This book is part of a series of books from Quarry, all of which include interviews with experts on the given subject matter. The Brewer's Apprentice, The Vintner's Apprentice, and The Pastry Chef's Apprentice are other books in this same series. For me, the interviews with cheese experts that Sasha put together are one of the major highlights of this book. Aspects of artisan cheesemaking are explored that I have not seen in any other books targeted to the hobbyist. For instance in the chapter on cheddar cheese, Jamie Montgomery of Montgomery's Cheddar gives his opinion on what it means to be a traditional cheddar. Likewise in the blue cheese chapter, an interview with Joe Schneider of Stichelton Dairy is featured. Joe Schneider and Randolph Hodgson of Neal’s Yard Dairy are working to resurrect the original recipe for English Stilton that features raw milk.

Last fall I found myself in a mad scramble last fall to research, develop, make and photograph over 16 recipes for book to meet our writing deadline. The recipes start from the easy fresh cheeses such as cream cheese and chèvre, and progress up to the harder bloomy rinds, blues and washed rinds. I am proud to say that I am confident in each of the recipes, and that with very few exceptions the photographs that accompany the recipes are of the actual homemade cheese for the recipe. This was not an easy feat to accomplish in the three months we had to shoot. Leela Cyd Ross, the photographer with whom we worked, did an amazing job making each cheese look it best.

Keep an eye out for book signings in the Portland area. There will be posts on Twitter and Facebook when these are going to happen. You can find links to the Facebook page and Twitter feed in the left sidebar of this page.


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