Continuing Education: Monger Edition
As a small independent cheese shop we are always interested in finding educational resources for our BCS team. In the spirit of supporting all cheese professionals we have created this hub to share opportunities we find compelling. Please note, we are not an educational institution; our intention is simply to be a helpful resource for those individuals looking to learn, expand their skill set and further themselves in this exciting chosen cheese career!
“Comparing Co-Op Dairying to Farmstead Production” | July 24th from 8:00pm-9:30pm
Please join us for our July Monger Monday! We will compare (and taste) co-op and farmstead cheeses - specifically through the lenses of L'Amuse Signature Gouda and Brabander, Manchego 1605, and Marcel Petite Comte. The presentation will be led by our very own Cait Adler, Bedford Cheese Shop's Cheese Manager. Cait recently participated in the 2023 Essex Cavemongers Trip to Europe and experienced first-hand the production of these cheeses; she is eager to share her knowledge (and photography). Topics to be included are terroir, animal husbandry techniques, and PDO. See you there!
“Cheese & Cheers” | June 19th from 8:00pm-9:30pm
June is a busy month for cheese professionals in New York City! Please join the Bedford Cheese Shop team on June 19th for our Monger Monday event: “Cheese & Cheers”. We will be hosting a Raclette party with Jumi and Maker to Monger Cheese! The cheeses will feature a variety of flavors from Jumi’s unique line - including a special guest appearance (Spoiler: it’s the famous Belper Knoll!). We will first gather in the Homestead and learn about the cheeses we will be tasting. Then, we will kick back and enjoy - seeing old friends and colleagues, as well as making new connections! We hope to see you there!
“The Life Cycle of Cheese: The Supply Chain” | May 8th from 8:00pm-9:30pm
Many wheels of cheese will travel far and wide around the world before they reach our retail counters. On May 8th, we welcome a panel of guest speakers to Monger Monday to discuss the Supply Chain of the cheese industry. We will cover topics such as: importing, domestic production, distribution and the "cold chain," FDA standards, inventory management (both warehouse and retail), and the different types of jobs that exist in this Supply Chain. Our experienced speakers will then open the conversation for questions and further discussion. We hope this Monger Monday will offer cheese professionals a deeper understanding of the interconnected journey the cheeses that we work with on a daily basis take before they even reach our hands. (As well as an understanding of why we may NOT have certain cheeses in our cases at times!) We hope you will join us.
“How to optimize shop performance during Slow Season” | April 10 from 8:00pm-9:30pm
Slow Season affects every cheese counter and it is a great opportunity for cheese professionals to share experiences from their own counters during this period. While it is tempting to “chillax” during these months, it is really a golden opportunity to prepare, plan and optimize! We want to discuss cheese care techniques with slower turnover, staffing ideas, and training opportunities--to name a few topics.
This is an open forum, please bring your experiences and knowledge to the table as we all navigate the “down time.” We look forward to sharing ideas about managing counters, training opportunities, and setting our shops up for success. Let’s do this!
“What Makes a Cheese a Cheese-Part Deux” | March 13 | from 8:00pm-9:30pm
Please join us for our next Monger Monday! Our discussion will continue with a question we initially posed in January: “What makes a cheese a cheese?!”. The evening will be guided by Zoe Brickley of Jasper Hill Farm (Greensboro, Vermont). In our January session, we used Colston Bassett Stilton as our case study to dissect the cheesemaking and aging process - and how introducing blue mold into a cheese affects the final product - Stilton. In this upcoming session, we will further break down this intriguing question of “What makes a cheese a cheese?!” by studying Jasper Hill’s Bayley Hazen Blue, an homage to Stilton. Zoe will guide us through a tasting and discussion about the steps in making this cheese, including the specific decision points that result in Bayley Hazen Blue’s distinguishing character. Lastly, we will touch on the domestic cheesemaking scene. We hope you will join us!
“Continuing Education and Career Development” | February 6th | 8pm-9:30pm
Our next Monger Monday will focus on Continuing Education and Career Development within the cheese industry. The format will be a roundtable discussion so that we can all share our accumulated knowledge and experience regarding opportunities - whether it be the CCP exam; applying for scholarships and research grants; internships; CMI; and so on. We have invited a number of cheese professionals, but we hope you will also join us and - while not imperative - we hope you will be prepared to provide any guidance you may have to share. This particular Monger Monday is intended to be a more relaxed setting, allowing for questions and conversation to ensue. *Wine, Beer, Non Alcoholic Beverages & Light Fare will be provided.*
“What Makes a Cheese a Cheese?” | January 9th from 8:00pm-9:30pm
Please join us for our first Monger Monday of 2023! Our round table discussion will start with the question: “what makes a cheese a cheese?!”. The discussion will be guided by our very own Bedford Cheese Shop Cheesemonger Adrian Silva, ACS CCP, alongside Yvonne Yeoh of Neal’s Yard Dairy and cheesemaker Deirdre McGlashan. Using Colston Bassett Stilton as our case study, we will taste and learn about the steps in making this cheese while Yvonne highlights the specific decision points that result in Stilton’s distinguishing character. We will then learn from Deirdre, first hand, how she makes these decisions in her own cheese making process. Finally, Adrian will opine on his experiences of Stilton as a cheesemonger: breaking down a wheel, care, molding, etc. Collectively, we will consider how the various steps and players that create, preserve and tend to the Stilton that ultimately crosses the counter contribute to making a cheese a cheese - or in this case - a Stilton a Stilton!
“Essex on Irving: A Discussion on Artisanal Cheeses and Everyday Brands” November, 2022
Join cheesemongers from Bedford Cheese Shop alongside Essex St Cheese Educational Director, Rachel Juhl. Together, we will host a blind tasting of Essex staples and their generic dopplegangers. Mongers will dig deep into a discussion about the technical aspects of the cheeses: the maker, the unique breed of animal (be they cow, sheep or goat), the affinage process, packaging differences, and more. The ultimate objective is to crystallize the reasons why we sell artisanal versions in our shops - both to expand our own knowledge, but also so that we can share this information with our customers (without disparaging their reliable everyday brands). Oh - and we will have some fun and laughs, too!
First Monger Monday Event | October 17, 2022
The cheese community is a core value of Bedford Cheese Shop. We understand that for cheesemongers; networking with peers is an important way to build one's connections and expand one's knowledge, experience and opportunities within the field of cheese. Our educational space, "homestead", lends itself perfectly to providing this experience. A space for cheesemongers to interact and special guests such as cheese makers, farmers, and experts working in the cheese industry, to speak and share their knowledge and stories. Therefore, we will be hosting themed “Monger Mondays” one Monday, each month, from 8:00pm-9:30pm for those working in this fascinating industry. We look forward to all the conversations that will be had.The first event will be held on October 17th.
Bra Cheese Festival
Salon du Fromage