Cheese Journeys co-host, Cheese Photographer & Documentarian
Cheese Journeys are built around amazing cheese and inspired travel, creating a shared culinary adventure and experience unlike any other. Itineraries highlight local cheese and fine food and beverage superstars we visit with.
The social component of shared meals and drives between producers encourages vast opportunities to foster new friendships with others on the tour. As an added bonus, Cheese Journeys travels with a local cheese expert versed in the local cheeses and the people who make them. Often, our co-hosts bring additional talents to share with travelers along the way.
This month, Cheese Journeys turns our e-news lens to Christine Hyatt, a food photographer and writer with a special fondness for cheese history. As a past president of the American Cheese Society, she has had a first-hand view of the American cheese renaissance and documented that renaissance on video.
Christine will join us on our first stateside Cheese Journey to Oregon, March 10 – 19, 2017. She brings her knowledge and passion for artisan cheese and her beautiful home state of Oregon along with her love of helping others improve their food and travel photography.
We had a chance to sit down with her to talk a little about her experiences in cheese and the upcoming Oregon tour.
CJ: Can you share a bit of your history in cheese with us?
CH: “I started my own cheese journey in 1998, behind the cheese counter at Central Market in Austin, TX. At the time, I was writing screenplays and needed a pay the bills job to support my creative habit.
Soon enough, I was hooked on this incredibly interesting, diverse and special food that had such complex flavors and textures, unlike anything I’d ever tasted before. It appealed to me that there was a seasonality to it, and a connection to place.
When I moved to Portland in 2003, I felt like I had landed in the middle of a cheese wonderland. I discovered cheesemakers making products on par with what I had previously only experienced in imported cheeses. It was thrilling, These cheesemakers were so interesting and diverse and inspiring, my eyes were opened and my creative brain went to work on ways to share the story with more and more people.”
See Video Profiles of Oregon Cheesemakers
On Hosting with Cheese Journeys
“Putting a face with a cheese, visiting the farms and becoming friends with so many wonderful people transformed and deepened my understanding of cheese. I can’t wait to share these special places and cheeses with other cheese lovers.
“People here really know and relish delicious, local and seasonal food. Cheese is just one part of the equation. All those products that complement cheese – the wine, beer, cider, spirits, charcuterie, are all represented. I feel so lucky to call this beautiful state home."
On Cheese Photography
“One of my great pleasures is being able to capture gorgeous images of cheese and cheesemakers. My camera has become a tool that helps me share cheese with the wider world through my commercial and editorial work.
As I became more and more adept through the years, I realized that there are some simple steps that capture cheeses in a more beautiful, professional way. In my world, small producers have limited time and budget for professional photography, yet marketing is so critical to success. I created an online course, Cheese Photography 101, that helps bridge that gap.
Teaching others this useful and creative skill and watching students develop their style and find confidence behind the lens has been very rewarding.”
As part of the Oregon Cheese Journey, Christine will be photo documenting our trip and offering onsite hands-on tutorials for anyone wishing to take their food and travel photography skills up a notch.