New England Regional Cheese Competition Tentative List of Judges (Subject to Change)
Technical: John Miller
John Miller a tenth generation Massachusetts dairy farmer, now master cheese maker, was trained as an artisan cheese maker in Quebec. While in Future Farmers of America, at State, Regional and National competition levels for dairy products he has won medals for excellence. Miller has won 2 Gold Medals back to back in the United Kingdom. Several top honors have been awarded by American Cheese Society for Millers cheeses. Miller has had the distinction of being a judge at The Big E Gold Medal Cheese Competition several times. He works as a consultant in artisan cheese production locally and as far away as Lima, Peru. As a Jersey breeder Miller managed the four-time Grand Champion cow at World Dairy Expo in Wisconsin. John currently resides on his Winterplace Jersey Farm in Leeds, Maine.
Technical: Sarah Spira
Sarah Spira is Talbott & Arding Cheese and Provision's Retail Manager, with will over a decade of cheese and specialty retail experience. Sarah came to Hudson, NY from Boston, MA where she was a manager and domestic cheese buyer at Formaggio Kitchen South End. Sarah completed an internship at one of the country’s leading cheese maturing facilities, The Cellars at Jasper Hill, located in Vermont, and was especially selected by Formaggio Kitchen to travel to Europe to source and select artisanal and farmstead cheeses. In addition, she has developed training programs for cheesemongers, taught many classes aimed at the enthusiastic cheese consumer and written extensively about cheese for numerous online blogs and publications. Sarah has a BA in Sociology & Anthropology and an MS in Library & Information Science and has volunteered many hours on the working committee for the American Cheese Society’s Body of Knowledge program.
Technical: Tripp Nichols
Tripp Nichols grew up in Harvard, MA and crossed the country to attend the University of Montana where he studied business. Returning to New England after college, Tripp's passion for food (particularly cheese) and his curiosity to learn more about food production brought him to Formaggio Kitchen. In the six years he has worked at Formaggio Kitchen, Tripp has worn many hats while representing the store at local farmer's markets in Cambridge and teaching classes, both in-house and at Boston University. When not at work Tripp frequently spends his free time visiting with domestic cheesemakers, sometimes helping to make a few wheels of cheese and always enjoying learning more about the extraordinary artisan cheeses being made in the United States today. On these farm visits, made about every three weeks, Tripp often picks up cheese for the shop. One of his favorite things about working at Formaggio Kitchen is the relationship the store has with domestic and international producers. Tripp makes regular visits to Europe visiting farms and tasting with cheesemakers and affineurs. Currently, Tripp is a cheesemonger and classroom instructor at Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge. He is in charge of the domestic cheese program and serves as Domestic Cheese Buyer. In addition to his fondness for domestic cheese, Tripp enjoys skiing, running, and pickling things.
Aesthetic: Brian Wasik
Born and raised in the back room of his family's cheese shop, second generation cheesemonger Brian Wasik has spent very few days of his life without a wedge of cheese in his hands. As proprietor of Wasik’s Cheese Shop in Wellesley, MA., one of the oldest and busiest full-service cheese counters in the country, Brian and his family have dutifully set the standard for serving the highest caliber of cheeses in the industry. By traveling both abroad and spending time with the many tremendous cheese producers state-side, Brian has dedicated his life to the knowledge of procuring, handling and serving the the best cheeses the world has to offer.
Aesthetic: Kate Feuer
After traveling around the country as a ballet dancer, Kate Feuer returned home to Berkshire County. A couple failed attempts at office jobs later, she landed on the door step of Matthew Rubiner’s Cheeseshop in Great Barrington asking for a job. It was a perfect fit. For the past two and a half years she has been managing Rubiner’s Cheesemongers and Grocers working closely with American Cheesemakers. This spring she welcomed into the world her first child, baby girl, Aoife.
For more information contact Elena Hovagimian at 413-205-5011 or aginfo@TheBigE.com.