New England Regional Cheese Competition Judges

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New England Regional Cheese Competition Judges

Meet our 2023 Judges!

Lisa Caprera

Lisa Caprera can't pinpoint the exact moment that she first dreamed of working with cheese, but it probably came sometime between sneaking cheese scraps as a line cook and going back to school to study food science at Penn State. Under Dr. Kerry Kaylegian, she worked on research projects tracking quality and consistency in cheesemaking and on improving food safety in small-scale cheese processing facilities. She now works as the Creamery Manager for Goat Rodeo Farm & Dairy, where she gets to put her background to the test alongside a very small team to make award-winning, small-batch, artisanal cheeses just outside of Pittsburgh, PA. She is proud to watch the growth of the Pennsylvania cheese industry and is awed by all of the talented farmers, cheesemakers, and educators who make great cheese possible.

Lisa first became interested in judging cheese through the collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest and has volunteered behind the scenes at the World Championship Cheese Contest, American Cheese Society Judging & Competition, and Pennsylvania Farm Show cheese contest. She is a firm believer in the power of sensory evaluation as a tool for troubleshooting and tracking cheese quality.

John Greeley

Judging Chair Emeritus, Competition and Judging Committee

Maitre Fromager – Guilde des Fromagers

John Greeley was born on the Isle of Jersey (home of the Jersey cow breed). He was educated at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and his career choice of professional radio announcer slowly ended when he first tasted real, hand-made cheese. He operated the Cheese Division of John Dewar Meat Company for ten years and in 1990 founded and operatedSheila Marie Imports, Ltd.- an importer of specialty foods from Europe and New Zealand.

He was instrumental in supporting local cheese makers and helping them reach both independent and major chain retailers in New England and eventually the Northeast.

Gourmet Foods International purchased Sheila Marie Imports in 2007, and John served as Vice President of Northeast Sales for GFI. He retired in 2018.

John holds degrees in cheese grading from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and cheesemaking, from Washington State University, at Pullman.

In 1983 he met ACS founders Dr. Frank Kosikowski and Dr. Dick Kleyne and joined the Society in support of the Judging event. In 1985 he and Ann Dixon brought the first complete ACS Conference to the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston and hosted the first Festival of Cheeses.

Between 1988 and 2007 he served for 15 years as Chairman of the Cheese Judging and Competition Committee.He expanded the cheese categories from 8 to 102 and developed the Aesthetic and Technical two judge concept unique to the ACS. He continues to serve on the Competition and Judging Committee redefining the categories for Competition Committee and developing “American Originals “guidelines for ACS cheesemakers.

John also served on the ACS Board of Directors for 12 years.

John co-chaired the ACS annual conferences in 1987 with Dr. Dick Kleyne at Rutgers University, in 1996 with Ruth Flore at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park NY and again with Ruth in 1999 at Shelburne Farms VT.

He was inducted into the Guilde des Fromagers in 2002 and elevated to Maitre Fromager in 2010.

In 2003 he was recruited by the New Zealand Specialist Cheese Makers Ass. Between 2003 and 2007 John remodeld their national cheese competition and served as the Master Judge of the New Zealand’s Cuisine Champion of Cheese Competition. He developed their cheese classes and categories, awards and rules, and trained their judges. He was a media spokesman for the NZSCM and the national competition in press, radio and TV. He traveled New Zealand conducting trainings and cheese and wine curriculums while championing their local cheeses. John was the keynote speaker at the annual awards ceremony and visited almost all of the New Zealand specialist cheese makers.

He resides in Swampscott MA with his wife Nancy and twin sons William and Walter.

Olivia Haver, ACS CCSE

Olivia fell in love with cheese 10 years ago as a cheesemonger at a small shop sharing bites with the local community. Her passion for working with the most delicious cheeses in the world brought her to Vermont where she worked at Jasper Hill Farm for 6.5 years specializing in affinage quality, compositional data analysis, and sensory evaluation. She currently resides in Pennsylvania as Head Affineur and Quality Directory at The Farm at Doe Run maturing nationally and internationally award winning cheese.

Bryan Maddock

Born in Marshfield, MA, Bryan’s culinary eyes were first opened when he moved to London with his family at the age of 9. Upon returning stateside, Bryan attended Newbury College graduating with a degree in Culinary Management in 2011. Armed with an extensive food knowledge and strong roots in fine dining, Bryan embarked on his career in N.Y.C. There he earned his culinary merit working under celebrity Chef Tom Colocchio at Colicchio and Sons, and at Dovetail, a Michelin Star restaurant.

Bryan eventually moved back to the Boston area where he worked alongside Jeff Fournier as sous chef at 51 Lincoln in Newton, MA. Working to set up the restaurant’s cheese program, Bryan worked closely with Wasik’s Cheese Shop, a family run institution in Wellesley MA with over 65 years of experience in the cheese business .

Eventually his love of cheese, and all things dairy, led him to work for the Wasik family where he is now an intrinsic member of the business. Having worked at Wasik’s for the past 8 years he now serves as Cellar Manager, heading the store’s ripening program and is a vital force of the day-to-day operations.

Bryan still enjoys his time in the kitchen and is a voracious Boston sports fan. His culinary knowledge, drive and ambition are sure to procure him a spot on his own cheese counter in the near future.

Steven Murphy

Steve Murphy spent most of his career with the Department of Food Science, Cornell University, retiring in August of 2016 after 36 years of service. Steve began his work with Cornell as a laboratory technician performing research in dairy microbiology, chemistry, and quality. He worked his way up to a Sr. Extension Associate position where he coordinated, developed, and participated in extension-based training and outreach programs that addressed milk and dairy product quality and trouble-shooting; laboratory testing methods and interpretation; product sensory evaluation; dairy processing; and food safety. He has served as a judge for the NY State Fair Dairy Product competition for over 20 years and has been an invited technical judge for the American Cheese Society competition (2016-19, 2022); the Big E Competition (2018-19); and the PA Farm Show (2022-23). Steve has taught numerous HACCP/Food Safety Plan courses; is a Lead Instructor for the FSMA Preventive Controls for Human Foods curriculum; and routinely assists dairy operations with their food safety programs. Throughout his career he has been involved in writing peer reviewed publications and extension based educational handouts for the dairy industry. After retiring from Cornell, Steve served as the Executive Director of the Dairy Practices Council (DPC), a non-profit organization that develops and disseminates educational guidelines for the dairy industry, from Jan 2017 to Dec 2019. Although mostly retired, he is still active with the Cornell Dairy Foods Extension Program as needed for training and outreach; assists small dairy / food operations with food safety plan development; and is active in a number of committees in various dairy/food associations (i.e., DPC, IAFP, NCIMS NYSAFP). Steve has a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and Masters of Professional Studies in Food Science, both from Cornell University.

Cheese/Dairy Product Judging Highlights:

  • NY State Fair Dairy Product competition for over 20 years
  • American Cheese Society competition 2016-19, 2022, Technical Judge
  • The Big E Competition 2018-19, Technical Judge
  • PA Farm Show 2022-23, Technical Judge
  • Conducted Sensory Evaluation Training at numerous courses, Cornell University
Stephanie Skinner

Stephanie is a longtime media professional by vocation and hopeful farmer by avocation. She co-founded culture: the word on cheese in 2008 and she lives in the Berkshires with her ill-mannered dog and patient husband.
Calif Trinh

Calif Trinh hails from Southern California where she graduated from Pepperdine University and has had a decade-long career in residential real estate. In 2021, Calif's foray into the world of cheese began as a part-time cheesemonger at Agnes Restaurant & Cheesery in Pasadena, where she was mentored by Vanessa Tilaka Kalb and Kurt Gurdal. Passionate about learning the stories behind each cheese and cheesemaker, Calif competed in the 2022 Cheesemonger Invitational in San Francisco, where she placed 4th overall and won the Perfect Bite and Perfect Drink categories. Her hobby job quickly transformed into a full-fledged commitment as she made a cross-country move to Boston to further explore the world of cheese at Formaggio Kitchen, one of the country's best cheese shops. Calif's dedication to excellence and unwavering commitment to learning continues to drive her as she hones her cheesemonger skills and delves deeper into the intricate world of cheese and the people who make it all possible.
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