New England Regional Cheese Competition Tentative List of Judges (Subject to Change)
Aesthetic: Abby Gregory
Abby Gregory began her career after graduation from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I. A culinary externship at Orso in New York City was followed by work as a line cook at a few small farm-to-table restaurants in the tri-state area, including The Cottage Restaurant. It was during this time that Abby furthered her skills as a hospitality professional and began developing her passion for cheese.
Abby moved to Boston in 2001 where she worked as a fine-dining restaurant manager at both Lumiere and Excelsior. Abby joined the team at No. 9 Park in September of 2008, where her interest and expertise in the world of fromage was further cultivated. As the current cheese buyer, she sources and purchases cheese in keeping with the restaurant’s highly acclaimed cheese program. Abby is an integral part in training the staff of No. 9 Park, while assisting with the cheese programs of all the Barbara Lynch restaurants.
Abby has cultivated numerous relationships with New England’s artisanal cheesemakers and farmers, and helps bring their knowledge and experience (not to mention their cheeses) to the BLGruppo restaurants in Boston. Abby is also a supporter and contributor of cheese microbiology at Harvard University’s Dutton Laboratory.
Aesthetic: Molly Hopper
Marketing & Guest Relations Manager, Cheese Buyer.
A native of Humboldt County, Molly Hopper grew up in rural Northern California, surrounded by beautiful coast line and towering redwood trees. Captivated by the products created by her local community and environment, Molly developed an inherent desire for the farm to table process. She began her career in the food and beverage industry while still in high school. As a host and bus person at Pariato’s Restaurant, Molly was taken early on by the food culture, interesting clientele and quick pace of the restaurant industry.
After high school, Molly moved across the country to attend Boston University’s College of Communications in pursuit of a degree in advertising and marketing. While in school, Molly held a variety of positions involving food service with BU’s School of Management, event planning and Free Press, and marketing and sales for Universal Pictures. She began working at Eastern Standard Kitchen and Drinks, a thriving brasserie from esteemed Boston restaurateur Garrett Harker while in her final year of school.
Upon graduation, Molly launched her career in the food industry as Marketing & Guest Relations Manager for Eastern Standard. In addition to her advertising and marketing responsibilities, Molly is now the cheese buyer and educator for the restaurant. Bridging her academic degree with her passion for people and the food industry, Molly is a restaurant manager specializing in communication across departments, marketing, special events, food education and service.
Technical: Young W. Park
Dr. Young W. Park is a Professor at the Georgia Small Ruminant Research & Extension Cent, Fort Valley State University, Fort Valley, Georgia and an Adjunct Professor, Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia. He recieved his B.S. from Kon Kuk University in Korea, and M.S. from the University of Minnesota, St. Paul and Ph. D from Utah State University, Logan, Utah. He also earned a Doctor of Ministry degree at the Nothern Baptist Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois. He has authored and co-authored more than 280 publications, including 5 books and 28 book chapters. Among his publications, the two books titled, "Handbook of Milk of Non-Bovine Mammals" and "Bioactive Components in Milk and Dairy Products" are globally demanded and reknowned references. He has been known as a world expert in goat milk nutrirtion, chemistry and dairy goat products. His first book (2006) "Handbook of Milk of Non-Bovine Mammals" has been translated in two other languages, Spanish and Chinese, and published in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
Dr. Park has been invited as a international symposium speaker to many countries including Finland, Brazil, India, China, New Zealand, Australia, France, Spain, England, Italy, Korea, Mexico, South Africa, Canada, Argentina, and the U.S. In 2008 he had been invited to Mercolactea National Dairy Show and Conference in Cordova, Argentina, to serve as one of the cheese judges for the international event.
Technical: John Miller
John Miller, a tenth generation Massachusetts dairy farmer, now master cheesemaker, was trained as in artisan cheesemaking in Quebec. While in Future Farmers of America, he has won medals for excellence, at State, Regional and National competition levels for dairy products. Miller has recently won 2 Gold Medals in World level competitions for his artisan cheeses as well as top honors at American Cheese Society's Competitions several times. Miller had the distinction of being a judge at the Eastern States Exposition's Big E Gold Medal Cheese Competition in 2009 and 2011 and has done consulting in artisan cheese production as far away as Lima, Peru. Miller has managed the FOUR TIME World Grand Champion Jersey cow at the World Dairy Expo, Madison, Wisconsin.
Miller successfully operated The Farmstead at Mine Brook, home of Goat Rising and Jersey Maid Cheeses in Charlemont, Massachusetts.
John currently is the Dairy Manager and Cheesemaker for The Trustees of Reservation at Appleton Farms in Ipswich. Massachusetts.
Aesthetic: Roz Cummins
Roz Cummins is a foodwriter who covers agriculture, fishing, and aquaculture. She learned about cheese while working at a high-end cheese store. She has written about cheese for grist.org, an environmental news website. She is happy to work with any cheeses made from any kind of milk.
Technical: Mike Marois
Mike Marois is a manager and lead cheesemonger at Provisions, in Northampton, Massachusetts. In this role, Mike is reposnisble for buyins all the cheese and charcuteries for the store, as well as determining the direction of the cheese counter. A Pioneer Valley native, Mike has a love for New England Farmstead cheeses, and the case at Provisions shows it.
Mike first fell in love with cheese while working at a small boutique beer store in Brookline, Massachusetts. The following two years were spent at the shop and two restaurants operated by the same owners, leading him into a career in the food and service industry. In 2010, Mike began working at Formaggio Kitchen, in Cambridge. The year he spent at Formaggio was both challenging and rewarding, giving him the training, exposure to cheeses, and introductions to cheese makers that inspired him. Mike returned to the Pioneer Valley late in 2011, just in time to help Provisions get open.
For more information contact Elena Hovagimian at 413-205-5011 or aginfo@TheBigE.com.