New England Regional Cheese Competition Tentative List of Judges (Subject to Change)
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.
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.
Cheeses he is interested in working with:
Any and all small production farmstead cheeses without added flavors if possible.
For more information contact Elena Hovagimian at 413-205-5011 or aginfo@TheBigE.com.