Brian Keyser, Casellula Cheese & Wine Café

Brian Keyser’s first serious job in the restaurant business was at Danny Meyer’s Union Square Café which, at the time, was the Zagat Survey’s “Most Popular Restaurant in New York.” There he began his wine and food education and learned the fine art of hospitality from some of the best in the business. His crowning moment as a server came in 2000 when The Chicago Tribune, in their “The Year in Travel” section, cited him for providing the best service in the world. Brian became interested in local and sustainable agriculture as a part of the opening staff at Blue Hill Stone Barns, Dan Barber’s showpiece at the Rockefeller farm in Pocantico Hills, NY. He developed his passion for artisanal cheese at Chanterelle, James Beard Award winner for outstanding restaurant in the country, where he learned from Fromager Adrian Murcia. He was the opening Fromager at The Modern, the spectacular restaurant at the Museum of Modern Art, which won the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant. Alongside Chef Gabriel Kreuther he created a cheese presentation that included 18-25 constantly changing selections from the old and new worlds. In 2007, Brian opened Casellula Cheese & Wine Café, a tiny restaurant with a constantly changing selection of 30-40 of the best hand-made cheeses from all over the world. Each cheese is paired with an accompaniment, almost always house-made, chosen to compliment that particular cheese. Before becoming involved in the hospitality industry, Brian worked in film and video production, managing projects for companies such as Iwerks Entertainment and Walt Disney Feature Animation.

 

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