cheese journeys/teacher - MAX McCalman
Max was able to turn his love for cheese from a hobby into a profession in 1995. He joined Picholine Restaurant as Maître d'Hotel and consequently launched its cheese service. He spearheaded the installment of the first temperature and humidity controlled cheese cave in a North American restaurant. Max's new 'office' became the talk of the town. In 2002, Max began working on his first book, which was the first step towards becoming an award-winning author. Max has authored four books, The Cheese Plate, Cheese, a Connoisseur's Guide to the World's Best, Mastering Cheese, and Max McCalman's Swatchbook of Wine and Cheese Pairings. He won a James Beard award for Cheese and Mastering Cheese went on to win Best Cheese Book in the World, at the Gourmand Cookbook Awards in Paris.
His growing cheese expertise made him an instrumental part in the planning and designing of the second restaurant, the Artisanal Bistro. In response to the success of the Bistro, the idea for the new Artisanal Cheese Center was conceived and opened with larger state-of-the-art cheese caves, a production area, a classroom, and sales offices. Max was involved in all areas of planning and operating the Artisanal Center as its Maître Fromager and Dean of Curriculum.
Max had become an esteemed cheese judge and critic by this time: judging at a number of cheese competitions around the U.S. and Europe, as well as being a featured guest lecturer in various venues. Max was one of the founders of the American Cheese Society's Certified Cheese Professional program launched in 2004, further helping to revolutionize cheese education in the United States. He became Chairman of its committee in 2012. He was inducted France's Guilde Internationale des Fromagers Comfrérie de Saint-Uguzon as Maître Fromager in 2013.
Max left the Artisanal company in May of 2014 to focus on other creative endeavors in the cheese industry: educating and training private and corporate clients; writing articles, blogs, and a new book; hosting events and trips; consulting for restaurants, retailers, and cheesemakers; and developing a new cheese app, as well as an educational web-based program.
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