Sunday, June 16, 2013

Day 1019 : Root, Root, Root for the Hometeam Part One -- Amy Thompson

It's that time of year again -- time for interviews with the awesome cheesemongers competing in this year's Cheesemonger Invitational on June 29th. For more information on the Cheesemonger Invitational check out their website --

So let's get going with our first cheesemonger interview below -- Amy Thompson of the awesome Lucy's Whey location in Chelsea Market. Lucy's Whey is one of Fromagical's favorite cheese shops -- focusing on American artisanal cheeses, this little gem offers a wonderfully curated selection of local cheese beauties. Amy Thompson is the creative brains behind this wonderful selection and is definitely a force to be reckoned with on June 29th!

So Amy, how did you get into the cheese world?

After spending a college summer on a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm, I was passionate about local food and sustainable agriculture.  I was searching for a job where I could talk about food and farming all day long. I landed a cheesemonger/manager job at Murray’s Cheese Grand Central, where I met great people (gotta love cheese people!) and learned all about the world of cheese. Nine years later I’m still in love with cheese.

Tell us a little bit about your place of work/ establishment.

Lucy’s Whey started six years ago in East Hampton, and a few years later Lucy was asked to open a second shop at Chelsea Market. She hired me to run the Chelsea Market location and we opened just before the holidays in 2009. We are now working on our third and largest location on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, opening late this summer! My job keeps getting better—we have a great staff and fantastic customers, and of course delicious, hand-crafted food of all sorts, with a focus on American artisan cheese.

Which round of the Cheesemonger Invitational do you think you are going to ace?

The perfect bite—but who knows? At any rate it’s the round I’m most excited about!

What’s your favorite cheese pairing partner?
Cheddar and pickles! A lovely farmhouse cheddar with a nice crunchy, briny cucumber. Really any pickled vegetable works wonders with cheese – onions, carrots, asparagus or kraut. I love their tangy zing with a rich, fatty hunk of earthy cheddar, especially Cabot Clothbound Cheddar.

What is your favorite cheese for Summer 2013?

Ledyard! It’s a little Robiola-style round, wrapped in grape leaves from Meadowood Farms near Syracuse, NY. I’m also a big fan of Mettowee, the chevre from Consider Bardwell Farm—a true taste of early summer! And I can't wait to taste this season's Arabella from Jacobs and Brichford in Indiana and Grayson from Meadow Creek Dairy, two great stinkers that will be back to our counter next week! 

Tell us one random fact that will win over the crowds.

 The fact I keep in my repertoire for customers who request low fat cheese always brings a chuckle for its unexpected simplicity: a smaller piece of cheese has less fat that a larger one! You can get a great cheese at our shop—delicious and full of fat—and eat half as much, or you could simply buy half as much. I’m happy to sell you a smaller piece!

Thank you Amy! Good luck to you on June 29th!
If you haven't visited Amy in her shop in Chelsea Market, it is definitely worth the visit. 

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