2012 ACS Judge Bios

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Sara Adduci
Sara Adduci is the head cheesemonger at Feast! in Charlottesville, Virginia.  She got her start in the world of cheese by way of a 26 year career in the restaurant world and a fortuitous gig as a wedding photographer for a woman who happened to own a small wine and gourmet foods shop called River City Cellars, in Richmond, Virginia.  After discovering a love for a three year aged Gouda that they sold at the shop, Sara offered herself up as a holiday staffer to help to support her addiction, and she was hooked, heavy as lead.  She never looked back.  It wasn’t long before she was knee deep in cheese, learning, buying, selling, enjoying, exploring and immersing herself in all things curd.   Her desire to experience the entire process of cheesemaking, from the farm to the plate, led her to an internship at Caromont Farm, where she not only developed a serious appreciation for what it takes to make an American artisanal cheese, but she also discovered a true affection for goats.

Before moving to Charlottesville this summer, she ran the cheese department at River City Cellars for eight years, leading monthly cheese classes and establishing the cheese program for its sister restaurant, Secco Wine Bar.  She vividly recalls a time when there was just a handful of American cheeses available on the market and is thrilled and honored to be a part of the ACS competition this year.  Sara still photographs weddings, goats, and cheese in her spare time.

Bob Bradley is a retired Professor Emeritus from the University of Wisconsin.  During his 37 years on the faculty, he held appointments in teaching, research, and extension.  His focus in research was in the general area of mostly dairy technology with an emphasis on product development, ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis, frozen desserts, analytical methods of food analysis, and sensory analysis.  Bob participated in and set up several short courses to train industry employees.

Mike Comotto is a graduate of the University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, BS Food Science and Nutrition 1977.  Mike began his career in 1977 with Schreiber Foods, Inc. as a Cheese Production Specialist focused on supply cheese manufacturers quality, process development, and compliance.  He gained his Wisconsin Cheese Makers and Cheese Graders License in 1979.  Mike left Schreiber Foods in 1984 to become Technical Sales Manager for Nordica International marketing dairy cultures to the cheese industry.  He received US Patents for certain culture applications for cheese manufacture.   He has held several positions in Marketing, Technical Service, and Sales through several company acquisitions from 1989-2006.  Mike became an industry consultant from 2006 until August of 2010 taking a position in Product Development with DairiConcepts in Springfield, MO. Mike has served on Boards for several Dairy Societies in Wisconsin.  His grading experiences include two times US Cheese Contest Judge, three times World Cheese Contest Judge, 4 times as Technical Judge for the American Cheese Society Contest, 7 years as Judge for the Illinois and Missouri State Fair, Dairy Products competition and 14 years as an Official Judge for Cheddar Cheese for the Collegiate Dairy Contest.  Mike was instrumental is setting up the Idaho Milk Processors Cheese Contest in 1996 and served as Lead Judge until 2006.

Kurt Cuccaro is the owner of Mazzaro’s Italian Market in St. Petersburg, FL. Mazzaro’s is a full-service gourmet market with an extensive cheese department. Kurt started his culinary career at the age of 17 and opened his first seafood restaurant in Florida 2 years later. He then opened a chain of bagel shops in the southeast and after being bought out by a national company, he started working with his family in the gourmet market and coffee roasting business. His commitment to artisanal cheeses and quality food products has made his market a destination for food lovers all over the state of Florida.

Edouard Damez
Edouard Damez was born in Brittany, France, in a small village where he grew up eating almost exclusively food from his own garden or from his grandparents’ farm. He started baking at age 15 and studied the trade for 3 years finishing Best Apprentice des Côtes d’ Armor (French Province). After his military service in Germany he worked in Marseilles, South of France for a French Milling company; that company transferred him to Las Vegas, Nevada in December of 1985 to run their Bakery Production plant. In 1988 he moved to Houston where he met his wife and opened the Bakery department for a French retail Grocery store called “Auchan Hypermarket” (9th largest food retailer in the world). In 1991, he took over the responsibility of the cheese department and increased the selection to over 400 sku’s with a cut to order counter.

In 1993, he was recruited by H-E-B Central Market to run the Bakery department for their first store in Austin. From 2000 until late 2010 he was responsible for the Deli & Cheese category management and evaluated hundred’s of cheeses for the 9 store chain who has received acclaims worldwide for being some of the best stores in the U.S. He is privileged and honored to have been an ACS aesthetic Judge in 2009 & 2010.

MaryAnne Drake
MaryAnne Drake is a William Neal Reynolds Professor in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences, Southeast Dairy Foods Research Center, North Carolina State University where she conducts research on the flavor and flavor chemistry of dairy products.  Her research is focused on integrating sensory science with flavor chemistry to understand flavors and flavor sources in dairy products.  MaryAnne has published more than 180 peer-reviewed manuscripts, given over 170 professional presentations and 100 invited industry presentations.  She has judged the World Cheese Championships and the American Cheese Society competitions.  MaryAnne is the Past President of the American Dairy Science Association, the Director of the National Dairy Research Institute Sensory Applications Lab and the Director of the North Carolina State University Sensory Services Center.

Gordon Edgar
Gordon Edgar loves cheese and worker-owned cooperatives, and has been combining both of these infatuations as a cheesemonger at Rainbow Grocery Cooperative in San Francisco since 1994. Edgar has been a judge at national cheese competitions, a board member for the California Artisan Cheese Guild, and, since 2002, blogged at www.gordonzola.net. His cheese memoir, Cheesemonger: A Life on the Wedge was published in 2010 by Chelsea Green.

Nana Y. Farkye, Ph.D.
Dr. Nana Farkye graduated from the University of Ghana in 1980 with a Bachelor’s degree (with honors) in Biochemistry and Nutrition.  Then, he received is M.S. and Ph.D. in Food Sciences and Nutrition from Utah State University in 1985 and 1986, respectively. Dr. Farkye is currently a Professor of Dairy Science at California Polytechnic State University where he has been since 1990.  Prior to joining Cal Poly, he worked at the University College Cork, in Ireland.  Dr. Farkye’s research interests are in dairy chemistry and cheese technology.  He has several published articles and books chapters on various aspects of cheese and dairy foods and holds U.S. and international patents on no-melt cheese technologies.  He teaches courses in dairy chemistry and cheese and fermented milk foods.  Dr. Farkye has been a judge previous judge several cheese contests, including American Cheese Society cheese contest, U.S. Championship Cheese Contest and World Championship Cheese Contest. Dr. Farkye has also offered his expertise as a consultant to dairy products manufacturers in the U.S. and abroad.

Tim Gaddis
Tim “The Cheese Man” Gaddis is Atlanta’s Cheesemonger.  Since graduating from the French Culinary Institute in New York City in 2003, Tim Gaddis has been at the helm of the Star Provisions’ cheese shop.  At Star Provisions, he works directly with chef-owner Anne Quatrano to create cheese plates for Bacchanalia, Quinones at Bacchanalia, Floataway Café and Abattoir, as well as buying the cheeses for the upscale provider’s cheese shop. Though he worked with some of the nation’s most celebrated chefs while in New York, it was his stint as a Cheesemonger at Murray’s Cheese in Manhattan where he discovered his calling. Tim says “I look for things that are made by traditional farming methods, where the animals are eating fresh grass or straw, where the cheese maker has control of the milk in one form or another from the time that it comes out of the animal.” Tim also pays attention to seasonality and locality when making his cheese selections.  Tim regularly writes and speaks about cheese and often appears in national publications and at media events where he discusses the value of fresh, local dairies and pairing artisan cheeses with wines and other fresh foods.

Dr. Lisbeth Goddik
Lisbeth Goddik, Ph.D., grew up on a farm in Denmark but immigrated to the US when her parents bought a farm in the Oregon. Professional work experience includes production work at 3 different Danish dairy plants and 3 years at Yoplait’s International Research Center in Paris, France. In addition she has worked in New Zealand, Canada, and Norway. She received her graduate degrees in food science from Cornell University and Oregon State University. She has worked at OSU since 1999 as OSU’s dairy processing extension specialist and associate professor in food science. Her job responsibilities include teaching, research, and outreach in the field of dairy processing. She is the current holder of the ODI-Bodyfelt Professorship in dairy science and directs the Arbuthnot Dairy Center.

Kate Harbin
Kate Harbin is currently the Specialty Coordinator for Whole Foods Market Mid-Atlantic Region, representing over 40 Stores in the world of Specialty Foods.  Originally from Texas, her love of cheese, ironically, developed out of a mild liquid milk allergy, in her youth.  Almost 20 years later, she found a change in career with Whole Foods Market, brought her back to her original passion.  Kate worked with an amazing mentor in a small Dallas store, she fondly calls the “Cheese Whisperer” –who planted a passion, and appreciation in her for the tradition and respect of the product.

Over the past 5 to 7 years Kate has been lucky enough to study cheese and travel to farms in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Maryland, and across the pond to England & Switzerland.  Along the way, she has encountered some amazing mentors & Cheese-Makers.

During the American Cheese Society, Austin Texas 2009 conference, Kate was lucky enough to host and organize the Festival of Cheeses.  Getting to merchandise, taste & interact with such a large cheese network was a Monger’s Dream! Kate currently lives in the greater Washington D.C. metro area and loves the East Coast food scene, including all of the small D.C. farmers’ markets.

Walter Hartman
Walter Hartman has been the dairy plant manager at the Virginia Tech Food Science Department since 1988. He has been the assistant coach of the Virginia Tech Dairy Judging team for 14 years and coach for 5 years. Walter has taught collegiate labs on making dairy products since 1988.  A native of Virginia, Walter has completed the Wisconsin Cheese Technology course in 1993. Walter works with the Virginia Department of Agriculture to test cheese for safety and quality along with other dairy products from the farm to the customer. He started Judging Cheese with the American Cheese Society in 2005 and has been a judge at the 2006 World Championship Cheese Contest, 2007 United States Championship Cheese Contest and the 2009 United States Championship Cheese Contest as well as a coach judge at the Collegiate Dairy Evaluation Contests. Walter has never met a cheese he didn’t like if it was made well.

Luis A. Jimenez-Maroto
Luis is a Food Engineer from the Monterrey Institute of Technology in Mexico, where his work as an intern in the Dairy Processing Lab seeded his fascination for cheese. He followed this fascination to the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where he obtained a Master’s degree in Food Science working on the composition, functionality, and sensory profiles of Hispanic cheeses. Luis then worked as a Sensory Scientist for PepsiCo International Mexico, while at the same time teaching at the Monterrey Institute of Technology as an Adjunct Professor. But the allure of cheese is hard to ignore, and when the opportunity to come back to work in America’s Dairyland presented itself, he seized it. Nowadays, Luis is the Sensory Coordinator for both the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research, and the Food Science Department of the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where he works in both academic and industry-based research related to sensory science, and is involved in several short courses, including the Wisconsin Cheese Tech Short Course, Cheese Grading, The World of Cheese, and Milk Pasteurization. Luis has previously judged at the World Championship Cheese Contest in 2008 and 2012.

Kerry E. Kaylegian, Ph.D.
Dr. Kerry Kaylegian a Dairy Foods Research & Extension Associate at the Pennsylvania State University, Department of Food Science. Kerry provides technical support to the dairy industry to improve the safety and quality of dairy processes and products. To support the entrepreneurs, and small to medium-size processors in the raw milk legal state of Pennsylvania, Kerry developed the Dairy Basics for Farmstead and Artisan Processors Workshop and the Science and Art of Cheese Making Short Course. Kerry directs the Pasteurizer Operator’s Workshop and the Dairy HACCP Workshop, and develops custom educational programs for the dairy industry. Kerry’s current research focuses on improving the functional and nutritional properties of milk fat as an ingredient. Kerry has worked in academia for over 20 years and has experience with butter, milk, yogurt, ice cream and cheese.

Kerry is a judge for regional, national and international dairy and cheese competitions. Kerry teaches sensory evaluation of dairy products and is looking forward to starting a team for the annual Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest.

Kerry has a B.S. and M.S. in Food Science from the University of Wisconsin, and a Ph.D. in Food Science from Cornell University. Her graduate research focused on dairy processing and chemistry on butter and milk. Her post-doctoral project at Cornell was to develop a website to provide factual information on raw and pasteurized milk for consumers (www.milkfacts.info).

Emiliano Lee
Coming from a long line of grocers, Emiliano Lee’s passion for cheese dates back to his childhood in Oakland, where he could be found stealing bites of Brie from the wheel in his father’s desk drawer and spending his allowance at the Creighton’s old 6th Avenue Cheese Shop in San Francisco.

Though he first worked the counter in the late 1990’s in Oakland, it wasn’t until 2007 at the age of 32 when Emiliano relocated to Salt Lake City, Utah that he established himself as a cheese monger first at Harmon’s Brickyard, and later as Cheese and Charcuterie Manager at Liberty Heights Fresh, where he was able to expand and share his knowledge of domestic and foreign cheeses, charcuterie and other accompaniments. Emiliano made certain to constantly hone his craft – from consulting with cheese makers in Utah and Idaho, to assisting in cheese making at local creameries, as well as a brief immersion working the arches and counter at Neal’s Yard Dairy in London.

While at Liberty Heights Fresh, Emiliano focused on small, sustainable, mostly farmstead producers allowing him to forge close relationships with cheese makers throughout the United States and beyond.

Since 2009, Emiliano has served as a judge for the ACS.  Additionally, he participated in the inaugural 2010 Cheese Monger Invitational, served as a panelist at the 2011 Sonoma Valley Cheese Conference, and filled in as a panel moderator at the 2011 ACS Conference in Montreal.

David Lockwood
David Lockwood began selling cheese at Zingerman’s Deli in 1986. Since 1991 he has worked with Neal’s Yard Dairy: managing the shops, opening up the US market, selecting, buying, maturing and allocating cheese. Currently he is the managing director of Neal’s Yard Dairy and a partner in the business.

Sarah Masoni
Sarah Masoni is the Product and Process Development Manager for Oregon State University Food Innovation Center located in Portland Oregon. Sarah Masoni has worked more than 20 years in the food industry in Quality Assurance, Manufacturing, and Product Development. While attending Oregon State University she trained under Floyd Bodyfelt and competed in the 1985 International Dairy Product s Judging Competition in Atlanta, placing 1st in Butter and Ice Cream and 2nd in Cottage Cheese.  Sarah was the number 3 judge over-all competing with 28 different Universities. Sarah worked in a cheese shop in the 1980’s that had over 200 cheeses, she also made semi-soft surface ripened cheeses while working at a small cheese factory in Tillamook Oregon. Sarah has also worked as a USDA inspector for the Cheese program. Sarah has been an executive board member for the Oregon Dairy Industries, and continues to participate in the ODI.  Sarah Masoni traveled with her father and family through Europe in 1974 visiting farmstead cheese facilities and learning a great deal from her dad, Edmund A. Zottola, Professor Emeritus, U of MN, who started the Minnesota Farmstead Cheese Program in 1975. Sarah Masoni graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree.

Max McCalman
Max McCalman is America’s first restaurant-based Maître Fromager, and Garde et Jure as designated by France’s Guilde des Fromagers.  McCalman, a veteran of the food and hospitality industries, spent most of his professional life as a Maître d’ Hotel and Sommelier.  He joined New York City-based restaurant Picholine in 1994 where, as Maître d’Hotel, he became a dedicated scholar of cheese and created that restaurant’s fabled cheese program with Chef-Proprietor Terrance Brennan.

McCalman later established the critically acclaimed cheese programs at Artisanal Brasserie & Fromagerie restaurant, followed by the Artisanal Cheese Center, both in New York City.  Picholine, Artisanal Brasserie and the Artisanal Premium Cheese Center created on-site “caves” to nurture cheeses to their peak stages of ripeness.

McCalman is a contributor to the leading cheese publications in the U.S.: Cheese Connoisseur and Culture magazines. He has made appearances on the Television Food Network, the CBS Evening News, the Cable News Network, and the Daily Show, and has been featured on numerous radio programs.  He has been featured in many publications ranging from the New York Times to the Wine Spectator and Food & Wine magazines. He is a frequent judge in cheese competitions both in the U.S. and Europe. McCalman is a founding member of the American Cheese Society’s Certified Cheese Professional committee.

Gina L. Mode
Gina Mode was raised on a fifth generation family dairy farm and has been making cheese as a licensed Wisconsin cheesemaker for over a decade.  She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Food Science and a Master of Business Administration Degree.  Gina has been working with cheese since an internship with the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research in 1990.  She worked for the Swiss Colony in Monroe, Wisconsin and the Babcock Hall Dairy Plant at the University of Wisconsin – Madison before returning to the CDR in 2005.  As a member of the Cheese Industry and Applications Group, Gina works closely with cheese brokers, ingredient suppliers, and manufacturers – from farmstead to commercial.  She is involved with everything from cheese trials and troubleshooting to short courses and outreach efforts.  Gina particularly enjoys working with cheesemakers to develop new specialty cheeses.  She has served as a technical judge for the American Cheese Society, North American Jersey Cheese Awards, and World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest.

Tripp Nichols grew up in Harvard, MA and crossed the country to attend the University of Montana where he graduated with a degree in Business. Returning to New England after college, Tripp’s passion for food (particularly cheese) and his curiosity to learn more about food production brought him to Formaggio Kitchen.

In the five years he has worked at Formaggio Kitchen, Tripp has worn many hats – representing the store at local farmers’ market in Cambridge and teaching classes, both in-house and at Boston University. When not at work, Tripp frequently spends his free time visiting with domestic cheesemakers – sometimes helping to make a few wheels of cheese and always enjoying learning more about the extraordinary artisan cheeses being made in the United States today.

Recently, Tripp returned from France where he was traveling in the Pyrenees, visiting farms and tasting with cheesemakers and affineurs. Currently, Tripp is a cheesemonger and classroom instructor at Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge. In addition to his fondness for domestic cheese, Tripp enjoys cooking, eating, pickling things and reading about food!

Mary Quicke
Mary Quicke farms and makes cheese in Devon, England, producing Quickes Traditional Cheeses. Her family has been on the farm for 14 generations, producing cheese over that time.  Her 500 cows are a grass fed, cross bred, dairy herd which produce the milk used to make the farm’s traditional, cloth wrapped cheddars. Using traditional wet pint starters, with a distinctive complex balanced flavour, it is sold all over the world.

She has judged in the Great Taste Awards, the World Cheese Awards, at the Royal Bath and West and at ACS. She was awarded the MBE in 2006 for services to farming and cheesemaking.

Matthew Rubiner
Matthew Rubiner is the owner of Rubiner’s Cheesemongers & Grocers and rubi’s café in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.  He became a cheesemonger in 1994 after a career in military policy analysis at MIT and in the service of defense contractors and government agencies. His writings on cheese have appeared in Culture Magazine and The American.  He has served on the American Cheese Society Board of Directors, appeared on numerous ACS panels and as a Judge at several ACS national competitions.   In 2010 he won the inaugural National Cheesemongers Invitational.

Lindsey Schechter
Lindsey Schechter is a cheese entrepreneur and  the owner of Houston Dairymaids, a retail and distribution company specializing in handmade Texas cheeses.  Originally from Miami, Florida, Lindsey graduated from Rice University in Houston, and has been a chef and food writer in New York City and co-owner of an acclaimed restaurant in Maine.  After realizing that cheese was her true passion, Lindsey spent five weeks as a “monger” at Neal’s Yard Dairy in London.  The experience was the inspiration for the Houston Dairymaids, an endeavor to introduce the world to the growing ranks of fine cheesemakers in Texas and throughout the United States.

Marianne Smukowski
Marianne Smukowski is a graduate of UW-Madison with a degree in Foods Science.  Marianne worked for the USDA-Dairy Division for nine years.    Marianne then joined Land O’ Lakes as a QC specialist for five years.  Marianne’s current position is Dairy Safety/Quality Applications Coordinator for the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research.  In this position she assists dairy manufacturers in the following areas:  safety/quality audits, third party audits, recall issues, GMP reviews, and developing HACCP plans.   She has judged dairy products for numerous contests throughout her career. She coordinates the WI Master Cheesemaker program and provides technical support in regulatory matters.

Carlos Souffront
Carlos Souffront has spent the whole of his professional career working with cheese.  From his first job working for the Michigan specialty grocer the Merchant of Vino, to his formative tenure as buyer within the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses, to his current role purchasing for two of the Bay area’s most esteemed and long-established specialty food chains, Andronico’s Community Market and A.G. Ferrari Foods, Carlos’ enthusiasm and connoisseurship for cheese has made him one of the retail industry’s most knowledgeable and experienced mongers.  His visits with many of his favorite producers on buying trips and his close working relationship with maturers such as the Neal’s Yard Dairy, Fromageries Mons and Petite and the Cellars at Jasper Hill have refined his discerning palate, his rigor toward batch selection and even his techniques for finishing cheeses at retail.  This is Carlos Souffront’s first time judging at the ACS competition, in an official capacity anyways!

Richard M. Sutton
Richard Sutton’s interest in cheese began as a child when he first visited Europe with his parents.  However, on the way to becoming New Orleans’ premier cheesemonger, he was waylaid into banking, a career which inspired no passion whatsoever.  On a whim, and with a fresh visa in hand, Richard and his wife Danielle moved to London in 2002 to see what adventures would find them. What found them was Paxton & Whitfield, the 200-year-old cheese shop in the St. James neighborhood, and supplier of cheese to the royal household.  And so began Richard’s transition from bored banker to passionate cheesemonger. Living in London and working at Paxton’s allowed Richard access to the great cheese makers and affineurs of Europe and a wealth of knowledge and training about cheese. In 2006, Richard and Danielle decided to move back to the US and open their own cheese business. Having met in New Orleans while in college and having enormous fondness for the city, they decided that this was where they would open the St. James Cheese Company. Despite the challenges of opening a business in post-Katrina New Orleans, St. James Cheese has been welcomed with open arms by the city and has grown a loyal and steady following in the five years since opening.

Courtenay Tyler
Courtenay Tyler is currently the Specialty Director for Earth Fare, the Healthy Supermarket overseeing their specialty cheese, wine, beer and coffee. She has been with Earth Fare, a growing supermarket chain since 2003, bringing artisan cheeses to marketplaces in 27 stores in seven States.

She began her “cheese journey” working at The Gourmet Shop in Columbia, South Carolina in high school job, cutting and wrapping cheese, and pairing cheese for their weekly wine tastings.   After several years of job soul searching; working in different restaurants, and attending culinary school at the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago, Courtenay returned to her first love, working with cheese. She has worked with cheese makers and suppliers full time for over 13 years; which has led to eating way more than the FDA Daily Recommended Allowance of Cheese.

Dr. Charles H. White
Dr. White holds a Ph.D. in Food Microbiology from the University of Missouri, a MS in Dairy Microbiology, and a BS in Dairy Technology from Mississippi State University. Dr. White is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Food Science and Technology at Mississippi State University.

Dr. White has also served as an official judge at the World Cheese Contest, the U.S. Cheese Contest, and the National Milk Producers Federation Annual Meeting. In addition to theses honors, he has received several awards including: Milk Industry Foundation Teaching Award, Pfizer Award in Cheese and Cultured Products Research, and the Nordica International Research Award for Research in Cultured Dairy Products. Dr. White has authored and/or co-authored over 50 articles that have been published in referred journals and many articles in trade journals.

Dr. White’s areas of expertise lie in sensory evaluations/training, DMC training, quality assurance/laboratory training, HACCP development, and product improvement programs.

Dr. White has served on boards of the American Cultured Dairy Products Institute, and the American Dairy Science Association. He served as President of the American Dairy Science Association (1998). He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Council for the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses / World Food Logistics Association. He retired as a Colonel in the U.S. Army.

Dr. Steve Zeng
Dr. Steve Zeng is a Dairy Product Specialist and Chairman of Department of Agriculture & Natural Resources at Langston University, Oklahoma. His expertise is in dairy product processing, particularly in goat milk and cheese. With his industrial and academic experiences, he has conducted many cheesemaking workshops/schools in the U.S. as well as in Argentina, Armenia, China and the Republic of Georgia, and judged the ACS Cheese Contest, the United States Cheese Championship and the World Cheese Championship since 2007.