New England Regional Cheese Competition Tentative List of Judges (Subject to Change)
Technical: Dr. Young W. Park
Dr. Young W. Park is a professor at the Georgia Small Ruminant Research & Extension Center, Fort Valley State University, Fort Valley, Georgia, and an adjunct professor, Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia. He received 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 Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois. He has authored and co-authored more than 280 publications, including 6 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 renowned references. In May, 2013, the most comprehensive and updated book in the dairy field was released, which is titled, "Milk and Dairy Products in Human Nutrition." He has been known as a world expert in goat milk nutrition, 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 an 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 was invited to Mercolactea National Dairy Show and Conference in Cordova, Argentina, to serve as one of the cheese judges for the international event.
Technical: David Robinson
David Robinson is the cheese buyer for Formaggio Kitchen South End. He learned to love food as a child growing up in Taos, New Mexico. He spent the first decade of his working life cooking in some of Boston's finest restaurants, including Marcuccio's and Radius, during which time he also traveled throughout Italy and Spain. David eventually came to the realization that he didn't want to spend his life in the professional kitchen. His desire to continue working with food brought him to Formaggio Kitchen.
A trip to the Jura Mountains to pick our wheels of Comte instilled a sense of respect for the cheese itself, and also for the immense amount of toil and love that cheesemakers put into each wheel. Since 2010, David has worked to expand and refine the selection of exclusive imported cheeses for Formaggio Kitchen, and travels extensively to find and taste cheese. Each fall he goes to the Jura to choose wheels of Comte at Marcel Petit's Fort Sainte Antoine. In addition to his responsibilities at the shop, David is an educator, and teaches cheese classes at Formagio Kitchen, as well as staff trainings for Boston area restaurants.
Technical: Kate Arding
Kate Arding is an independent dairy consultant specializing in small-scale cheese production. She is also a co-founder of Culture, the acclaimed first national consumer cheese magazine launched in December 2008.
A native of Britain, Kate has worked in the farmhouse cheese industry for 20 years, firstly, as wholesale manager for Neal's Yard Dairy in London, where she developed extensive knowledge – and love – of the farmhouse cheese industry. In 1997 Kate moved to California to help establish Cowgirl Creamery and Tomales Bay Foods, a business modeled after Neals Yard Dairy but focusing on American artisanal and farmstead cheeses
Since 2003 Kate has worked extensively both in the United States and overseas as an independent consultant, specializing in affinage, sales and marketing, and helping small-scale cheesemakers adapt to changing market demands. As well as being on the Board of Directors for the American Cheese Society and Chair of the Society’s Regulatory and Academic Committee, she regularly judges for the American Cheese Society competition as well as for the British Cheese Awards, the World Cheese Competitions in Birmingham, UK, and in Madison, Wisconsin.
Kate is intrinsically involved with the day to day running of Culture Magazine. In addition, her photographic work on the subject of cheese and cheesemakers has been published internationally.
Kate lives in rural New York.
Aesthetic: Mike Marois
Mike Marois is a manager and lead cheesemonger at Provisions, in Northampton, Massachusetts. In this role, Mike is responsible for buying all the cheese and charcuterie 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 cheesemakers that inspired him. Mike returned to the Pioneer Valley late in 2011, just in time to help Provisions get open.
Aesthetic: Molly Hopper
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.
Aesthetic: Sarah Spira
Sarah fell in love with cheese in London in January, 2003, when she walked past the cheese shop in the neighborhood she was staying in during a college study abroad program. Upon her return, she was thrilled to discover a cheese shop opening in her hometown. She got a job there for the summer, and fell head over heels for the romance, history, and mythology that surround cheese and cheese making.
When she graduated from college she returned to Chicago to find another cheese shop opening. Sarah walked right in and asked if they were hiring (they were). Sarah sold cheese at Marion Street Cheese Market until 2008, and then decided to pursue a graduate degree in Library Science in Boston. Her education has brought her full circle. Her undergraduate degree in anthropology drew her to the narratives of cheesemakers, and her training as librarian instilled in her the value of sharing information with our customers and helping them find and select cheeses. When she began working for Formaggio Kitchen in 2009, she felt like she had come home. Presently, she is the Domestic Cheese Buyer at Formaggio Kitchen South End. The first cheese that she remembers trying, and her all-time favorite are the sheep cheeses made in the French Pyrenees. She gets to do a bit of travel for the shop- regionally to meet with cheesemakers and select cheeses for the store. Recently, she traveled with Valerie and Ihsan to the Pyrenees to meet with the cheese producers there. This was a particularly meaningful trip because of her love for the cheeses made in the area. When she is working, it’s pretty much guaranteed that Patsy Cline will be on the playlist at some point during the day.
For more information contact Elena Hovagimian at 413-205-5011 or aginfo@TheBigE.com.