Philadelphia is a cheese town. And I’m not just talking whiz. I know it might seem hard to believe, but not only are there great places to buy cheese and access to cheesemakers from just outside of the city and around the region, but there are several women cheese educators who call Philadelphia home. Allow me to introduce you to them!
Tenaya Darlington AKA Madame Fromage
If you don’t know Tenaya Darlington AKA Madame Fromage, you absolutely should. She is the First Lady of Cheese Education in Philadelphia. She literally wrote the book on it. She works on special cheese projects with Di Bruno Bros, as well as being the cheese curator at Tria, a freelance writer for Edible Philly, a cheese tour guide for Cheese Journeys, and a food writing professor at St. Joe’s. Learn more at https://madamefromageblog.com/.
Alex Stanton – Why Not Eat Cheese
Alex Stanton is an up-and-comer on the cheese circuit in Philadelphia. She landed a job at Di Bruno Bros. and decided that being a cheese professional would be a gouda career. She conducts cheese tastings in-house and virtually via Zoom. She imparts cheese knowledge and facts often on her Instagram, so be sure to follow her there.
Alexandra Jones – Stuff Every Cheese Lover Should Know/Collective Creamery
Alexandra Jones is also a published author on the topic of cheese. Her book, Stuff Every Cheese Lover Should Know, was published in October 2020. This quick guide to cheese is filled with tons of cheese facts for cheese lovers at any level. She’s part of the Collective Creamery, a women-powered artisan cheese subscription based in southeast Pennsylvania. She loves teaching people how to make cheese, too. When not cheesin’ it up, she’s also a freelance writer for various local publications.
Julia Birnbaum – Philly Cheese School
Did you know that Philly has an actual cheese school? It’s true! Julia Birnbaum is the founder of the Philly Cheese School. After working many years in the cheese industry, she decided cheese education would be her full-time job and wants to help cheese lovers get to the next level in their cheesy love. She’s currently conducting online cheese classes via Zoom, such as the Basics of Cheeseboard Building.
Amanda Bernhardt – Certified Cheese Professional
Amanda Bernhardt is more than a cheesemonger at the Di Bruno Bros. Chestnut Street location; she’s a certified cheese professional. She went through rigorous training and examination to achieve that distinction. As far as cheese educators go, you know you can trust someone who works with it day in and day out. Quite honestly, you really need to know your stuff when you work at Di Bruno Bros. They don’t hire just anybody. Having to answer questions about hundreds of different cheeses can’t be easy, but I’d trust Amanda has the answers.
By all means, seek out these cheese educators to get more educated about cheese. I trust these ladies and you should, too.
Who is your favorite cheese educator? It doesn’t have to be in Philadelphia, but anywhere. Sound off in the comments!
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Independent Journalist. Food marketing/PR expert.