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!   

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BCS Monger Events | Coming Up

 BCS Monger Monday credo "Community is a core Bedford Cheese Shop value.  “Monger Mondays” are monthly events intended to create and strengthen the connection among peers, makers, farmers, and others in the cheese community through conversation, instruction and simply sharing space." with shop illustration.

 

British Territorials: English Terroir | Tasting and Learning with Yvonne Yeoh of Neal’s Yard Dairy | January 29th from 8:oo-9:30 pm

For our first Monger Monday of 2024, we are fortunate to have Yvonne Yeoh of Neal’s Yard Dairy join us again and walk us through a tasting of some of the UK’s most exciting territorial cheeses. We will discuss “What makes a territorial, a territorial?” And why do these cheeses not fall under the jurisdiction of a European PDO yet still capture the landscape of the United Kingdom and uphold centuries-old traditions?

If you are interested in learning more about the world of British Territorials, please join us for this special event to better understand how these cheeses are named, the production traditions that define them, and how these unique traditions, recipes, and rules differentiate them from say Roquefort or Manchego.

 

"Resources for Cheesemongers: Cheese State University with Molly Browne | November 6th from 8:oo-9:30 pm

For this Monger Monday, we are fortunate to have the inspiring Molly Browne of Cheese State University discussing the school's amazing cheese resources, programs, and opportunities for anyone in the professional cheese community. Whether you are preparing to take the ACS CCP exam, brushing up on your cheese knowledge, or wanting to connect with other cheesemongers or programs in your area, this network has it all! We hope you will join us for a dynamic, informative, and educational evening! PS: This evening follows on the heels of a weekend full of Wisconsin cheese sampling, hosted by the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin right here at Bedford Cheese Shop, bringing awareness of some of the state's wonderful cheesemakers. Let's be cheeseheads for a night!

 

Exploring the Moléson Signature Selection: Tasting and Learning with Andrew Deakin of Fromi | October 23rd from 8:00-9:30 pm

 For this month's Monger Monday, we are delighted to have Andrew Deakin, a seasoned Fromi representative, take us through an exciting tasting of the Moléson Signature Selection! Fromi, a premiere purveyor of unique European and domestic cheeses, will be providing us with a wide range of Swiss cheeses from Signature Gruyère and Raclette, to Fleur des Alpes and Vacherin Fribourgeois; we hope you will join us for this educational and delicious experience! Can we get a yodelayheehoo.....

 

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BCS Monger Events | Historical

 

“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.

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Digital Resources

Anne Saxelby Legacy Fund
Essex St. Cheese
American Cheese Society

Bra Cheese Festival

Salon du Fromage

CCP: ACS Certified Cheese Professional Exam
CMI: Cheese Monger Invitational
Cheese State University
Cornell University: College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
The Cheeseletes | Back in the Vat | Internships
The Daphne Zepos Research & Teaching Awards
Academy of Cheese
Dairy Connection Inc.
Continued Reading & Videos