Ihsan and Valerie own and run the Formaggio Kitchen family of stores. As is true of any folks passionate about their jobs, work intertwines throughout all aspects of their lives. Their travels – frequent and far-flung – are largely dictated by the food producers they want to meet or to revisit, by rumors of new and exciting foodstuffs and/or food conferences such as “Cheese,” the biennial Slow Food festival held in Bra, Italy. Their larder and wine cellar are stocked with favorite items they have imported or new items they are testing out. Even when on holiday, they are in direct communication with all three stores, coordinating deliveries from Europe and generally checking to make sure everything is on track. (more…)
Archive for the ‘About Us’ Category
Posted in About Us, Cheese, Christmas, Gift Giving, Gifts & Wares, Grains, Rice, Flours & Beans, Hanukkah, Herbs, Spices, Salts & Peppers, Holiday, Jams & Preserves, Meats & Charcuterie, Olive Oil & Specialty Oils, Pasta, Staff Profiles, Wine, tagged Arraya, Bleu des Basques, Comté, food, food gifts, gift ideas, Ihsan Gurdal, rillettes, robiola, Sainte-Maure Belgique, Saveur du Maquis, Vacherin Mont d'Or, Valerie Gurdal on December 12, 2012 | 4 Comments »
Posted in About Us, Christmas, Gift Giving, Gifts & Wares, Hanukkah, Recipes, Salads & Sides, Staff Profiles, tagged Comté Grand Cru, Dario Pozzolo, EH Chocolatier, food, Gruyère Vieux, Jean-Marie Cornille, La Vecchia Dispensa, macarons, Marcel Petite, Melata di Bosco del Roero, Mothais Feuille, olive oil, Raphaël, recipe, Robiola di Capra in Fico, San Giacomo on December 9, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Many of you may be familiar with Tyler as part of the two-man team behind our BBQ grill this past summer. Some of you may also know him as an instructor in our classroom where he teaches classes such as “Cheese 101″ or “Brave the Caves.” Not many though, will be familiar with his behind-the-scenes role as Cave Manager. On a weekly basis, Tyler maintains the cheeses in our caves – flipping them, rubbing them down to get rid of excess mold or cheese mites and patching cracks as needed (among many other tasks). This is no mean feat when you are handling 80-100lb. wheels of Comté, Gouda, Gruyère, cheddar and Parmigiano Reggiano! (more…)
Posted in About Us, Christmas, Gift Giving, Gifts & Wares, Hanukkah, Holiday, Staff Profiles, tagged Arraya, Cheese, chicken liver mousse, Christmas, Fieschi, food, Goat Tomme, jam, Jean-Marie Cornille, Mostarda di Cremona, olive oil, Pâté Forestier, Pio Tosini prosciutto, Rush Creek Reserve, Stilton, Twig Farm on December 4, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Many of you may know Tripp as the jolly presence behind our BBQ grill this past summer. Others may be familiar with his stellar work on the cheese counter and in developing our domestic cheese program.
Tripp grew up in apple country – namely, Harvard, MA. He crossed the country to attend the University of Montana and, 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 Cambridge. (more…)
Posted in About Us, Christmas, Gift Giving, Gifts & Wares, Hanukkah, Staff Profiles, tagged Christmas, Cole's fish, Dammann Frères, food, food gifts, gift ideas, Hanukkah, La Guinelle, Mas de Bories, Mast Brothers, Mulino Marino, Ortiz, pepper, Rancho Gordo, Rogue Chocolatier, Taza on November 29, 2012 | 5 Comments »
Julia is affectionately known in the shop as “Little Red” because of her lovely red hair. She has worked at Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge for 5 years and wears many hats – from cheesemonger, to classroom instructor, to buyer of chocolate, jam, honey, spices and tea.
Julia’s interest in food began early, as a young girl growing up on a small farm in eastern Oregon. It was on the farm that she learned about food in its most basic forms – between picking blackberries and making jam with her mom and sister, fishing for trout in the backyard, caring for their 30 bantam hens, or tending her own small vegetable garden next to her mother’s much larger one. In the evenings, her parents would cook everything from braised elk, to grilled whole salmon, to freshly baked bread. (more…)
First off, a big thank you to all of our readers! Over the past three years, we’ve been working hard to make this blog fun and informative for both customers and staff members. Recent posts have included a two-part study of balsamic vinegars, some of our food book favorites and Tyler’s recipe for “Mil Fromages” mac and cheese. We’ve now posted over 180 articles on a range of topics from pine mouth, to our recent travels in the Basque region of France, to posts about cheese, beer and wine. (more…)
When we’re not in the shop, we’re often cooking, eating or reading about food. Recently, we opened a Pinterest account and started pinning staff favorites – cookbooks, food memoirs and culinary references among them. Here are a few of our favorite reads – for the full list (an ongoing project), check out our Pinterest account!
Chez Panisse Café Cookbook – by Alice L. Waters – all of Chef Waters’ books are amazing. Don’t expect fancy pictures, just lots of fascinating information and delicious recipes that never fail. In this volume, don’t miss making the “Morel Mushroom Toasts.” (more…)
I first joined Formaggio Kitchen as an assistant to Julie, our charcutière. As she taught me to make the shop’s range of sausages, pâté, and other cured meats, she talked a lot about sourcing—what she buys from farms in Connecticut, the turnaround time needed for an order of rabbit from Vermont, the best uses for bellies from Massachusetts-raised Berkshire hogs, and the like. For Julie, small, local farms are a natural and non-negotiable part of her work. (more…)
Posted in About Us, Food History, Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge, tagged corned beef, food, food history, Georgia Reuben, pastrami, Rachel, Reuben, Russian dressing, sandwich, sandwiches, sauerkraut on February 10, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Many folks are familiar with the Saturday BBQ that happens out front of our Cambridge shop from early spring through mid-fall. When BBQ season ends, it is a sad day in the shop. We are somewhat mollified, however, by the onset of Reuben season. Instead of BBQ, each Saturday, trays of Reubens are prepared for toasting on the panini grill.
One recent Saturday, staffers were swapping bits of Reuben lore gleaned via word of mouth. Because our collective knowledge consisted primarily of hearsay, we decided to take things a step further, do a little research and get the definitive story behind this iconic sandwich. (more…)
Posted in About Us, Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge, Meats & Charcuterie, United States, tagged Bon Appétit, food, Good Food Awards, Meats & Charcuterie, pâté, rabbit, Rabbit Pâté on January 18, 2012 | 2 Comments »
We are excited to announce that Julie’s Rabbit Pâté was a winner in the ‘Charcuterie’ category at the 2012 Good Food Awards and was recently featured in a Bon Appétit magazine article entitled, “America’s Best Charcuterie.”
Choosing a favorite pâté is a little like selecting a favorite child. Each has its own attributes and unique characteristics that differentiate it from its siblings. That said, our house-made Rabbit Pâté would be a strong contender for the top of my “favorites” list. Wrapped in rose-hued Prosciutto di Parma and encased in amber-colored Madeira aspic, this pâté is our most intricate and, in my opinion, visually appealing.
One of my favorite things about cooking at Formaggio Kitchen is the wealth of wonderful ingredients at our fingertips. Working here as a chef is like being a kid in a lollipop factory. It is as much a treat to cook as it is to eat here, and often the ingredients that we get to use in our recipes add up to more than the sum of their parts. Such is the case of the Rabbit Pâté. (more…)