2011 marks the 30th anniversary of ACS, and in an anniversary year we are honored to induct deserving classes into our Academy of Cheese. This is something that has been near and dear to my heart since researching the history of ACS for the Society’s 25th anniversary.
What a thrill to honor the “Pioneers of Goat Cheese”: Jennifer Bice, Laura Chenel, Allison Hooper, Mary Keehn, Letty and Bob Kilmoyer, Judy Schad, and Anne Topham. They are true revolutionaries who created an American market for goat cheese in a world hooked on sliced singles.
The intent of the award is to honor and celebrate classes of individuals who shared a common thread, highlighting both individual contributions and the collective impact on the history of our industry.
There were, however, a few people who were not present on the stage but who absolutely are among that pantheon: Bob Reese of Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery, Miles Kahn of Coach Farm, John Eggena of Fromagerie Tournevent, just to name a few.
I would like to offer my sincerest apologies for this unintended yet very public slight. Classes of inductees can grow over time, so we welcome nominations for future additions to this prestigious group.
The original intent of the small group working to relaunch the award this year was to honor the “Founding Women of Goat Cheese.” We carefully considered and vetted our list of recommended honorees to present to the Board.
In June, when the final slate was presented, a request was made to consider a more inclusive term, leading to a change to the more broad term, “Pioneers.”
That shift in language, while very well intentioned, brought with it unintended consequences which should have been more carefully considered. Alas, in the hectic time pressures leading up to conference, this did not happen.
It is my hope that the somewhat clumsy first year execution of the Academy of Cheese not tarnish the award and the spirit in which it was given.
The Board will continue to further refine and enhance the ACS honors process for both the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Academy of Cheese, and we will update you on the progress in future editions of CheeseBytes.