Associate - Business
I am a cheese educator, offering professional development programs to cheese professionals worldwide. Our courses are based on the experience developed over 2 generations of the Mons Fromager-Affineur business, plus 25 + years in the US cheese industry. We offer courses for cheesemongers, cheesemakers, and affineurs in the US, UK, and France. We've had many Australian cheesemakers come through our doors, and are keenly interested in supporting the continued development of the Australian artisanal cheese industry.
How did you get started in the industry?
Laurent Mons' (pictured with me, above) parents started Mons Fromager-Affineur in France in the early 1960's with a humble cheese truck, going to daily markets. The company has grown to be one of the foremost affineurs and international distributors of fine French cheese, and manages 10+ retail shops in Europe. American partner Sue Sturman (above, right) started teaching cheese at the Ecole Ritz-Escoffier cooking school at the Paris Ritz. She has taught and judged in both the US and France. She led the American Cheese Society's (ACS) project to create the Certified Cheese Professional Exam, and has recently been elected to the ACS Board of Directors.
What is your favourite Australian cheese?
I loved tasting alumnus Paul Wilson's cheeses [Nimbin Valley Dairy] and hope to taste those gems coming out of Boathshed Cheese (Tamara Newing is an alum as well) and Cupitt's Cheese (Rosie Cupitt is another alum). The best I've tasted are from ASCA President Carla Meurs' Holy Goat Cheese, which Alison Lansley was kind enough to bring to the ACS conference last year. Wish we could get more Australian cheeses over here in the 'other new world'!
What opportunities do you see for the future of the Australian specialty/artisan cheese industry?
I see a tremendous potential in Australia, similar to that in the US some 10-20 years ago. A vast country, with a market to be developed, taught, and nurtured. Magnificent land resources, a deep tradition of dairying combined with a frontier spirit of innovation, imagination and enthusiasm.
What does being part of ASCA mean to you?
I'm delighted to support ASCA and its efforts to inform, advocate for, and foster Australian cheesemakers, cheesemongers and consumers. Our missions are closely aligned.