So without further ado, here is Fromagical's interview with Kristofer:
1. How did you get into the world of cheese?
I've been involved in agriculture since I was young, growing up on a small farm and participating in 4H through most of my youth. I went to college for food science, and concentrated on microbial fermentation and dairy science. The chemistry of milk and cheese fascinates me, so I took my first job out of college on a farm, raising Jersey cows, goats, and sheep. I learned the basics of cheesemaking and affinage there, as well as the important role of hard physical labor in cheesemaking--it opened my eyes to just how detailed the world of cheese gets. I eventually left to move to New York (another lifelong dream) and took a job as a cheesemonger to learn about the variety of cheeses available in the world and how they're distributed from farm to consumer.
2. Tell us a little bit about your establishment.
I currently work for Bedford Cheese Shop on Irving Place in Manhattan. It's an incredible opportunity to work with the wide variety of cheeses we have as well as the aging facilities our new location has. Most valuable of all is my employer, Charlotte Kamin, whose knowledge of cheese is seemingly boundless and whose ethics regarding quality and salesmanship are enlightening and respectable. It's hard work and there's a lot of detail to keep in mind, but working for Bedford is deeply rewarding.
3. Which round of the Cheesemonger Invitational do you think you are going to ace?
I'm definitely going to ace the cutting and wrapping sections--I've been practicing for three years! My cheese sign is pretty awesome as well, not bad for my first foray into graphic design!
4. What's your favorite cheese pairing partner?
Beer, absolutely. It's an amazing beverage as diverse and nuanced as wine that pairs amazingly with cheese. Searching for just the right pairing is my favorite part of connoisseurshuip. There's so much flavor in both cheese and beer--bringing them together can unleash a world of taste delights you never thought possible! Give it a try; get a nice, hearty blue cheese and try it with a chocolate stout. Your mind will be blown.
5. What's your favorite cheese for Summer 2013?
I'm addicted to a few different gems right now. Terschelling Sheep Gouda from the Netherlands is one of my favorites; it has a complex, caramelly flavor with plenty of notes of tropical fruit and roasted nuts. It's like pineapple upside-down cake: the cheese. Poul Price from Consider Bardwell farm up in Vermont recently sent us a batch of his cow's milk Dorset that he washed in homemade dandelion wine. It gives an already amazing cheese so many light floral and honey notes--I can't stop eating it!
6. Tell us one random fact that will win over the crowds.
Did you know that archaeologists have found depictions of what seems to be ancient Egyptians making cheese have been found in tombs dating back to 2000 BCE? It seems like everyone's favorite food has been around a lot longer than we thought...
Lets hear it for Kristofer and Bedford Cheese Shop!