When ICE President Rick Smilow and Anne E. McBride wrote Culinary Careers: How to Get Your Dream Job in Food they discovered a plethora of food jobs they had never heard of before. Since the book’s release, they have been discovering even more interesting career paths in the food world. DICED shares some of them with you in a reoccurring feature, “Unique Culinary Careers.”
There are certain types of foods that can be overwhelming. The world of cheese is both vast and complex. Understanding the flavor of cheese involved know what type of milk was used, how the animals were raised, how the cheese was made, how the cheese was stored, how the cheese is served and so on. Sometimes, you need to call in an expert to help navigate the landscape of available cheeses. Max Shrem is currently working on Ph.D. in French literature, focusing on food in literature in the 18th century, but he also moonlights as a cheese expert, writing for cheese-focused magazine, Culture and blogging for Slashfood. He also works as a cheese monger in Paris for a few weeks each year. We asked Max about how he got into dairy and developed his knowledge for fine cheese.
How would you describe your position?
In my academic life I’m looking at literary depictions of milk, dairy and cheese. A lot of it is overlapping with my professional life writing about cheese for Culture. For Slashfood, I’m doing more “how to” posts. For example, how to pick a cheese, how to store cheese, and what cheese is best of Thanksgiving — my focus is informational, service-oriented posts. I’m not really a cheese monger anymore, but I’ m working seasonally in a cheese shop in Paris. It keeps me physically involved with the cheese. More…