Sunday, November 18, 2007

Murray the Scholar

This year, Murray's has hosted several students from the University of Gastronomic Sciences, founded by Slow Food in Italy. Clementine Mallet spent several months working with Taylor Cocalis, manager of The Cheese Course at Murray's, a graduate of the University of Gastronomic Sciences herself. While here, she gained an inside perspective on the artisan cheese scene in NYC. You can read her graduate thesis here.


I would like to acknowledge the efforts and contributions of the following individuals whom made this report possible: Zoe Brickley. Taylor Cocalis, Rob Kaufelt, Robert LaValva, Niki Russ Federman, Josh Russ Tupper, and Anne Saxelby.


Growing up French in New York City quality[1] food has always been valued. From our home on Barrow Street my mother and I frequently did the food shopping together always at our neighborhood food shops. We bought our bread at Zito’s Bakery, meat at Ottomanelli & Sons, cheese at Murray’s Cheese Shop, pastries at Claude’s Patisserie, and coffee at Porto Rico roasting company which were all on a three block radius of each other and our home; we felt fortunate to always having all the food we wanted at our fingertips. As a New Yorker, I decided to return to my metropolitan food roots for my internship. In New York there has always existed unparalleled food energy, and with my experiences at the Università degli Studi Scienze Gastronomiche I brought my knowledge and enthusiasm about food culture to the food scene of New York.

I was very excited to become a part of the Murray’s team, a store that has been around since the 1940’s, prior to my time, yet had a place in my childhood and again in my present.

The most evident singularity I noticed upon my arrival at Murray’s Cheese is the youthful presence that makes up this establishment. From the cheese mongers, to the directors, and everyone in between, the majority of the employees fall under 32 years of age. Then I realized this youthful presence doesn’t stop at Murray’s, but rather pervades throughout the West Village, Lower East Side, and various other neighborhoods of New York City, New England and the remainder of the United States.

Ironically, I went off to Parma to develop an understanding of Food Culture through the study of food traditions and production, not realizing that in the United States, the American youth have successfully been trying their hands in the trade of quality products.

At Murray’s Cheese I educated the public about quality foods in a fun and practical manner: through tasting education in the Murray’s classroom. During my tenure, I met the leading purveyors[2] of New York, many of who are my peers (a majority of them under the age of 27). This influx of youth in the world of gastronomy came as a surprise. Although I expected such a trend in Europe, I did not anticipate it in the U.S. It turns out that in Europe many of my peers are no longer involved in traditional food ways. This “back to the renaissance” occurring in the states speaks volumes about the current food systems of the American landscape.

In this paper I will explore the rise of this movement through history, the portraits of the purveyors that are creating this movement, why this resurgence is occurring, and how this movement can provide a framework for other countries.


All throughout history, starting from the Dark Ages till today there have been many food crisis’s and movements that have affected humanities’ food systems: the industrial revolution, the food cooperative movement, the organic movement, and most recently the local food movement.

The newest food movements have come about for various reasons. One theory that sets the stage for this paper is “Due to the Ipod.” We are living in hypermodernity and are surrounded by technology everywhere: cell phones, Ipods, Iphones, computers, televisions, etc. “[Our] consumption behaviors are very much disconnected: everything is made of plastic. We crave connection to the natural world and food is the last thing left. We are made of flesh and crave sensibility.” (LaValva, 2007)[3]

The youth, in particular, have had enough of this desensitization and are stepping up to the vat.


The stories of the young leaders in this new food movement come from diverse origins, yet they have all mentioned similar themes as to why they do what they do.

Murray’s Cheese Shop, founded in 1940 by a Jewish, Spanish, Civil War veteran Murray Greenberg, started as a wholesale butter and egg shop. The current proprietor, Rob Kaufelt bought the shop in 1989 from Louis Tudda, who was sold the store in the 1970’s. (Kaufelt and Thorpe 1) Murray’s differentiates itself by employing their own affineur and having cheese caves which allow them to bring the best quality cheeses to the customers. An affineur is someone who watches over the continuous aging process of the cheese and takes care of them after they have left the hands of the cheese makers: patting, washing, and flipping the cheeses in their various caves.

Zoe Brickley is the youngest affineur I have encountered and is Murray’s very own. Zoe ensures the cheeses are sold at the height of their ripeness- À point not before and not too late.

Zoe herself is at the ripe age of 24 and has been involved with quality products for the past three years: two years as an affineur and one year attending the French Culinary Institute (FCI) of New York City.

Prior to FCI, Zoe was living in the Midwest and going to school in Ohio, her family is from Indiana. I asked Zoe why cheese? “I have always been artistically inclined but I never painted and this is a creative outlet”. (Brickley, 2007)

She felt the best way to take advantage of her interdisciplinary studies in Ohio was through food and this is the same reason why she generally thinks young people are interested in working with food as well.

“Young people don’t want to be bankers forever. They want to do interdisciplinary things and there are many facets to food- historical, cultural, creativity etc.” (Brickley, 2007) The multi-faceted career is not the only cause of this revival. Zoe believes that quality foods are representative of status, ideals and one’s overall identity, making this career more and more appealing.

The boom of artisanal and farmstead products is relatively new. Just in the cheese world alone, since 2000, four hundred small-scale cheese makers have open business in the United States. (Roberts, xx)

This allure has been brought on by numerous elements. According to Zoe, supporting local and artisan products is a status symbol. By being a part of something that is of high quality, there is the indication that you hold an expertise in that area, increasing the importance of one’s role, whether it be, in bread, cheese, salami or other products. Purveying a product of quality demonstrates your knowledge and skill, making you stand out from the rest.

More frequently we hear the buzzwords such as the 100- mile- diet or locavores. These terms did not exist in mainstream dialogue a few years ago. These lifestyles “can be productive and profitable and support the community imparting many liberal ideas. The conscious decision to be held accountable for your food ways is an agricultural and political act. (Brickley, 2007) Taking responsibility for getting your food from sustainable businesses is supporting liberal ideas and thus part of a political movement.

The hype also comes from the media. Like fashion and pop culture, food culture is “a very accessible and marketable idea. Commercialization brings food to our attention making people want to learn more and making it novel.” (Brickley, 2007)

People go out to restaurants trying the new dishes -rating their experiences as if they were food writers. The more we eat out, the more we see the menus encompassing local and seasonal products. Chefs highlight their daily changing menus, demonstrating their political food views. This, in turn, encourages us to do the same in our own homes. At home you can watch elaborate cooking shows on specialized channels such as the Food Network or mainstream networks such as Bravo. Through reality shows like Hell’s Kitchen, and Top Chef the contestants become celebrities making whatever they create sexy. At work people gossip about these shows, discuss the points of interest, and who had to “pack up their knives and leave”. Food in New York is hot! “As food becomes more important, status arises.” (Kaufelt, 2007) So the more you know about quality products the hotter you are!

Anne Saxelby, a young woman of 27 years of age, had been getting a lot of press lately. She owns her own cheese shop called Saxelby Cheesemongers in the Lower East Side (LES). Anne believes the revival of young purveyors in quality products has to do with making change in our current food systems.

People have realized that if we continue to leave our food in the hands of the government, real food will no longer exist. The farms across the country have been diminishing, and heirloom foods and traditions have been lost. These foods are now only mentioned in our history books, rather than brought to our plates. In the grocery stores, the aisles have been filled primarily with packaged foods: the first ingredient being corn syrup.

In the past five years young people have been taking part in change. They have realized that our “food system in this country is at stake”. (Saxelby, 2007) Action must take place in order to bring quality products back to our tables. The resurgence of purveyors is partly due to need. The young have taken it upon themselves to provide this necessity, altering their careers to encompass quality foods.

Anne attended NYU for Fine Arts. What triggered her interest in cheese occurred on a trip to Florence, Italy while visiting a friend. She tried many amazing cheeses, and when she returned to New York, she followed her taste to the cheese shops of the city. She discovered places such as Murray’s, asking and tasting her way through their cheese selection. Anne decided that during her summer break she would work at Murray’s Cheese, to continue her curds and whey. (Saxelby, 2007)

After returning from Italy, Anne realized “Art school and working in a gallery ended up being to “Scenestry and wasn’t for [her]” (Saxelby, 2007)

Every weekend Anne would go to the farmers’ market, where she met the cheese makers from Cato Corner Farm. Anne always asked lots of questions and then “thought perhaps [she] could work on a dairy farm. A dairy farm would be a great place to be and to learn after living in a city for 4 years.” (Saxelby, 2007) Anne did an internship with them in Colchester, CT, a hundred miles Northeast of New York City, where she had learned the art of cheese making. At this time Anne had had a sort of epiphany, or what she calls

“ a crystallization”.

Anne always knew she wanted to have her own business, “[It] has been an ever evolving idea to have all her interests in one.” (Saxelby, 2007) With Saxelby Cheesemongers, Anne was able to join her love for art and cheese. Like Zoe, Anne compared cheese making and painting. “Painting and cheese making are based on the same principles. With painting you can fluff around, but with cheese you cannot. Cheese is an edible art and is more accessible than painting.” (Saxelby, 2007)

Anne has her own cheese shop because it is a creative expression and a source of cheese education. The revival of purveyors like Saxelby Cheesemongers encourages people to taste, and more specifically taste what is available regionally.

Anne is passionate about educating her neighborhood regulars about the American world of cheese, specifically the northeast.

“She even feels she has to apologize for selling cheese that comes from all the way in Wisconsin.” (Simon, 2007)[4] Anne is no ordinary cheese shop owner she prides herself on encouraging and selling quality cheeses from the regions around New York. When it comes from as far away as Wisconsin it’s because it is an extraordinary “representation of American cheese making.” For example Pleasant Ridge Reserve[5] made in Wisconsin. It is superior. No one can make anything like it from its taste, method of farming which is small and in a sustainable way”. (Saxelby, 2007) Murray’s Cheese shop describes the tasting notes as follows: Smooth, even pressed flesh with rich fruit, olives, herbs and a tang on the finish to rival the best Beaufort.

While interviewing Anne at her shop in the Essex Market there was a real sense of community. Those who stopped to shop or even passersby would always chat with Anne.

Only a few blocks away from Anne, yet still in LES of Manhattan, is another purveyor, a landmark of New York City: Russ & Daughters Appetizing. Here I met with Niki Russ Federman and Joshua Russ Tupper, the fourth generation of this family business: cousins, both younger than 32. Russ & Daughters is famous for their smoked and traditionally cured fish.

Russ & Daughters has always been a part of Niki, but not until 2006 did she wholly become a part of the family team. Niki went to college at Amherst where she studied political science. She spent her junior year abroad in Paris, France studying and working for the UN and went to Japan for a summer on a fellowship working as a translator. Niki dabbled in the art world working at a gallery and also had been involved in the area of health. She had many different interests that she wanted to explore. Niki was “looking for something real [and] that resonated with [her]” however switched to a field that was “more tactile, [where you] produce something making people happy on a fundamental level.” Niki ended up doing a “full-circle…Russ and Daughters is very real!”

(Russ Federman, 2007)

Asking Niki why she thinks there is a resurgence of young purveyors and why they are making a career shift echoed with both Anne and Zoe’s responses. The United States has very little history compared to Europe, much fewer purveyors ‘making these shops a rarity and alluring to the American people’. Talking with Niki, we discussed the “sexy” food phenomenon as part of the cause, but we could not pin point when this culture aroused (pun intended) yet we agreed it has been brought on through the media. Last but not least of Niki’s reasons for revitalization is that “people feel disconnected to the natural world sitting behind a desk all day” so food is a way to reconnect to it.

(Russ Federman, 2007)

I asked Niki if she felt any pressure to be involved in the family business and she said no. In 1914, when Joel Russ, her great grandfather, a peasant from Eastern Europe came to the United States, he had to find a way to make money and survive. At the time there weren’t many ways to accomplish this. Joel Russ sold pickled Herring from a pushcart: the beginning of the family business. Historically speaking, this was not a choice but a necessity for survival. Joel had two daughters-they too had no choice but to work in the family business. As the shop grew and became successful, the 2nd generation (the daughters) wanted their children to have the opportunities they did not have and encouraged their children to get an education and to do something different. Law and medicine were deeply encouraged. Niki’s grandparents were thrilled when her father (Mark Federman, the current owner) became a lawyer. (Russ Federman, 2007)

“Federman, who graduated from Georgetown Law School in 1969 and practiced law before returning to the family business, is the exception to his generation’s rule of shunning the deli counter in favor of the more lucrative career paths of medicine or law.” (Witchel, A. 2007)

The 3rd generation, Niki’s parents, supported her dabbling. However, after the culmination of her experiences, Niki preferred to be a purveyor in her family’s world-renowned shop. “ [She] knew [she] had a strong connection to Russ and Daughters.”

(Russ Federman, 2007)

Josh Russ Tupper, Niki’s counterpart, was deep in the corporate world working as a chemical engineer. Josh was so far away from the “end-user,” making his work distant.

“ In the corporate world it is hard to have a connection.” (Russ Tupper, 2007) Josh explained that it is hard to do a 9 to 5 job and have something to sink your teeth into. He wanted to be involved in something he is passionate about and wanted to have an effect on the world by making people happy. In the world of retail it is about helping the customers, and at Russ & Daughters it has always been about purveying passion and connecting to the customers directly through the traditional quality products. Josh “sells the best food [and he] knows It’s good.” (Russ Tupper, 2007)

According to Josh, “Food purveyors are celebrities in New York and have a draw.” Continuing to answer why purveyors are so highly recognized Josh explained that in the United States “ food has been dumbed down”; the specialized shop is a new discovery for people. “[Making it] easier to get into it because it is better than you have ever imagined”. (Russ Tupper, 2007) The demographic of customers was historically 95% Jewish. Today it is 50/50 (Jewish/New Yorker) “no longer emblematic of just Jewish food but has become a New York food shop.” (Russ Federman, 2007) There are the young, the old, and everyone in between.


Everyone is shopping at purveyors now because they are “agents,” promoting the stories behind the quality products. (LaValva, 2007) They are food communicators: without their energetic passion and knowledge of the products and the producers that create them, we, the co-producers would not be aware of why a cheese has its flavor or what kind of work goes into its making. Anne, Zoe, Josh and Niki make these foods accessible through their work, encouraging people to try something new or know how a cheese is made or how curing fish brings out its flavor. This brings people closer to understanding their food and provides insight into how the choices we make as co-producers influences the American food system. Shopping at specialized food shops is an alternative to the industrialized food choices.

New Yorkers no longer want self-service while shopping. For the young purveyors who are stepping up and provided full-service for their customers are not only making a career choice, but also addressing a need that must increasingly be filled. The fact that people are in need of knowledgeable experts means they are ready to take the control of their food options.

Russ & Daughters has been in existence for almost 100 years. The reasons that this business has persevered throughout the ever-changing New York is because of the strong connections with the community, their knowledge and expertise passed down from generation to generation[6], and because they are a specialized shop providing the best smoked and cured fish. Russ & Daughters has become “a community center”. (Russ Federman, 2007) They know their customers and have a personal connection with them. “[It is] hard to find in New York…in a city that is impersonal.” (Russ Federman, 2007)

Even though the city can be aloof, there are shops that stand out, Murray’s Cheese being one of them. Walking into Murray’s Cheese there is always a grand presence coming from the counter, yes the cheese, but also the cheese mongers. Not just anyone can be behind the counter: only those who are passionate and enthusiastic about cheese and sharing the fervor and discoveries with the co-producers. ‘Part of the Murray’s experience is that the counter people can convey the enormity of the journey when they show you a little piece of cheese.’[7] (Zarin, 2004)

Along with the counter and case filled with over 300 cheeses, in the last few years, Murray’s Cheese Shop has established a classroom, a space for cheese themed courses: the old world and new world cheeses paired with scotch, beer, cider, and wine. These courses exist because the interest is there. Murray’s is not the only food establishment holding food courses-- demonstrating New Yorkers want to deepen their knowledge of food. Interest and accessibility go hand in hand.

The accessibility to quality food has exponentially grown and has become widespread in supermarkets --but only as a “simulacrum”. The staff is “casted” as butchers, bakers, fish and cheese mongers but they do not have any training in these fields their job “primarily consists of unpacking and slicing pre-cut sections that arrive.” (

When you shop at a supermarket you will most likely purchase a product before even tasting it, meaning taste is not your reason for buying it. Co-producers are often convinced to buy something based on what it says on the cover. Since middle school I was told, “not to believe everything I read”; this goes for food labels too. Tasting a food should be the reason why you buy it. Shopping at a purveyor usually means that you can try every smoked fish or cheese before purchasing it, making sure you like the product and also to understand your own tastes. “Everyone eats and everyone can appreciate when something tastes good.” (Saxelby, 2007) You do not have to have money to appreciate aroma and flavor of food.

The most authentic, and knowledgeable experts whom that can really tell you where your food comes from are these purveyors. They are the best communicators of food because they get the products directly from the producers and can express the intent of the products and guide you through your tasting. “Taste is a combination of flavor and knowledge linking our perceptive and cultural spheres.” (Petrini, 97) Through taste, food becomes more accessible to co-producers because it helps them become more discerning in their food purchasing, which then will support a sustainable food system. Real quality foods have flavor and aroma, and packaged corn syrup does not.

“NY is coming to a birth” (Lavalva, 2007) and the discovery of food is exciting. There even exist Food Tours for the visitors of New York, leading them to the historical landmarks and the best purveyors of the city to have a New York experience”. (Russ Federman, 2007) Purveyors, co-producers and tourists alike want to be connected to the terroir of New York; it’s sense of place.


While I was obtaining my Master in Food culture: Communicating Quality Products I learned a lot about terroir. Università degli Studi Scienze Gastronomiche in Parma, Italy is ideally located for the goal of the school: educating eager gastronomes on the history, culture, sociology and anthropology of food in Europe. The best places to study and learn about food traditions are from the producers themselves.

In Europe there is an extensive food culture and history. People even say the best foods of the world are from France and Italy (usually the French and the Italians).

While on our field trips, I felt a lot of individual pride from the producers of traditional food products. This acclaim even seeped out of the people who weren’t making the products creating a sense of nationalistic pride.

Europeans have always had a close relationship to their foods, always buying the best quality ingredients from their personal purveyors. I have been to dinners in France where people talk about their purveyors as if they were their own, referred to as “my butcher and my baker”. The butchers, cheese mongers and bakers are committed to their customers holding relationships with them and always providing the best service for them. Even though our European counterparts have continuously shopped from purveyors, one will notice the purveyors themselves are much older and a dying breed.

While meeting the producers of highly recognized products we always asked if they had children and if so would they be following in their parents’ footsteps. Most of the time the answer was yes to the children, but no to the legacy. In the Province of Parma, where proscuitto is produced, there are people trained to cure the pork legs but the production team consisted of immigrant workers from Romania or Africa - not young Italians. At first it seemed strange to see Muslims massaging the pork legs in salt and rubbing pork grease on the legs to prepare them for their natural curing process. Why is someone who does not eat pork involved in the production of Prosciutto di Parma? Simply, the young generation of Italians are not concerned in this specialized trade.

This is also true for cheese makers in France.

While Anne Saxelby trained abroad in the Loire Valley to learn how to make cheese (goat cheese), she worked with couples whose children did not follow in their cheese steps. One couple in their 40’s, had two sons, neither of which were interested in cheese making. Another couple, in their late 50’s whose children were all grown up were also uninvolved in the family business.

Anne also spent some time at a vineyard in Umbria, Italy where she was considered as the “crazy American girl,” because she enjoyed harvesting grapes and was thrilled to help. At harvest time the laborers were old Italians and immigrants. “The local young generations would never come to help.” (Saxelby, 2007)

Quality products are so much embedded in the history and culture of Europe that it is not appealing to the youth to be involved in purveying or producing traditional products. They appreciate the products and do praise them but there is no sense of fear. There is this assumption that cured meats, cheese, and wines will always exist and there is “nothing to loose.” (Saxelby, 2007) I would probably have made that assumption too -how could foods that have been around for centuries disappear? Unfortunately there is a loss.

Out on the field visiting goat cheese producers of Crete, seeing the Bresse poultry producers in Bourgogne, and cured meat producers in Parma, it became clear that appreciation alone is not enough to safe guard these gastronomic resources[8].

Alongside the no fear phenomenon the youth have always been “expected to do something else” to seek out “professional” careers. (Kaufelt, 2007) There has always been a sense of providing the best opportunities for your offspring. Like the American counterparts, the parents want their children to further their education, be in finance, medicine, or law and be successful. These jobs are much more appealing to the young and old alike because of their status symbol and economic gains. (Russ Tupper, 2007) Working as a food producer or purveyor is known as a physically demanding job, making it not sexy.

The appeal of food in the states is as so because being a purveyor is largely new. Most up and coming purveyors today in the United States find these jobs attractive because they don’t have any experience with it. In Europe, food purveying is a large part of the culture making it old, and “second nature”. (Russ Tupper, 2007) There is definitely a stigma to choosing to be a producer or a purveyor as a career path.

The youth in Europe seem to need and want different rewards. Their incentives are similar to the values of the early immigrants pursuing the American Dream. The Americas were founded by immigrants, Jeremy Lebewohl, the nephew of Abe Lebewohl[9] said ‘When you are an immigrant, the American dream is not that you’re going to open a restaurant and slice meat. The American dream is that you are going to have an education, be a professional, put on your suit and tie and go to work.’ (Witchel, A 2007)

Since food has been placed on the “back burner” in Europe, the Slow Food Association has stepped in to counteract: the disappearance of local food traditions, people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how food choices affect the rest of the world. Slow Food has taken grand strides in promoting artisanal foods through their Foundation for Biodiversity. Through this foundation Presidia have been created to protect and continue the livelihood and economic viability of food products that are in danger of being lost. However, if the European youth are not taking the reigns then without producers there is no product.


While working at Murray’s Cheese and living in New York City, I have been more and more convinced that my passion and my enthusiasm for encouraging others to make informed food choices are indeed in the right place and a crucial time in American and European food culture.

The oldest members of the youth movement in the United States are not much more than 30 making their decisions to be in this movement “ more remarkable.” (Kaufelt, 2007) Right out of college instead of using their higher education for ‘Hedge funds … [Which is] what you do when you have a good education… They chose a peculiar path—maybe [that is] why it is appealing.” Rob Kaufelt continues to comment on this momentum explaining that people are looking for an alternative. “Life is short you should do something you are passionate about.” Zoe, Anne, Niki, and Josh have all taken the “opportunity to be on the ground floor of something.” (Kaufelt, 2007) -- the newest culinary revolution.

Through my experiences in Murray’s classroom I have been exposed to individuals who are “repeat offenders” whom have taken many diverse classes. Whether it’s the basic Cheese 101 class, Best of Both Worlds (American Wines, European Cheeses) or Mystery of the Caves, Murray’s customers always come back for more. Whether the attendance to these events is for status, for newness, for education, for politics—or all of the above, it makes a statement about the role of quality products in their lives: changing their eating and purchasing behaviors.

The classroom is just one resource; co-producers educate each other by spreading their new knowledge. Purveyors and producers themselves are also crucial elements of this food education.

Since there is little tradition in the United States, compared to Europe, it is up to us to create it, affirm it and inspire to have a new attitude towards food. This is a big mission but thanks to the Università degli Studi Scienze Gastronomiche I feel prepared and equipped to embrace this mission. American culture is liked throughout the world through our music, movies, literature, and art and now that food is becoming a part of this culture we hope that our European contemporaries will join us in this effect.


AFFINEUR- someone who watches over the continuous aging process of the cheese and taking care of them after they have left the hands of the cheese makers: patting, washing, and flipping the cheeses in their various caves.

À POINT- On point

ARTISANAL- small production of a traditional product using skills acquired by experience, study or observation: ingredients brought from elsewhere

CO-PRODUCER- “Active participants in the communities that link us to those who produce our food” (Petrini, Cover Slip, Slow Food Nation)

COOPERATIVE- a business that is jointly owned by the people who run it, with all profits shared equally.

FARMSTEAD- All parts of production including ingredients raised and grown on farm.

HEDGE FUND- an investment company that is organized as a limited partnership and uses high-risk techniques in the hope of making large profits.

PRESIDIA- small-scale projects devoted to the preservation of a specific food product. Helps artisan producers promote their foods, develop markets, and preserve their traditional production techniques. (Petrini, Slow Food Revolution, 304)

PURVEY- to provide, look after or attend to.

PURVEYOR- “agents for both producers and consumers. Purveyors enhance the quality of food by practicing their trade.” ( market/purveyors.

100 MILE DIET -buying and eating food made 100 miles or less from your home

LOCAVORES-only buying and eating food made near by and in season

SCENESTRY- conspicuously cool

SIMULACRUM- something that has a vague, tentative, or shadowy resemblance to something else.

SUSTAINABLE- “… meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." - Brundtland Commission, 1987 &

"A dynamic process, which enables all people to realize their potential, and to improve their quality of life, in ways which simultaneously protect and enhance the Earth's life support systems. (Forum for the Future Annual Report 2000). 10/27/07

TERROIR -a product has a distinct association with the land on which it was produced, a 'sense of place' that a product has.

VAT- a large container used to hold or store liquid ex: milk.


[10]Petrini, Carlo. Slow Food Nation (Rizzoli Ex Libris: New York, 2007), pp. 96, 114, and 135.


[1] Murray’s Cheese Shop tasting notes 2007

[1] Russ Federman, Niki. Personal interview. 22 October 2007.

[1] Zarin, Cynthia. “BIG CHEESE.” The New Yorker. August 2004: pp.45


[1] Witchel, Alex. “The Counter History.” The New York Times Magazine. October 2007:




Brickley, Zoe. Personal interview. 13 October 2007.

Kaufelt, Robert. Personal interview. 24 October 2007.

Kaufelt, Rob. And Thorpe, Liz. THE MURRAY’S CHEESE HANDBOOK. New York: Broadway Books, 2006.

LaValva, Robert. Personal interview. 10 October 2007.

Murray’s Cheese Shop tasting notes Pleasant Ridge Reserve 2007

Petrini, Carlo. Slow Food Nation (Rizzoli Ex Libris: New York, 2007), pp. 96, 114, and 135.

Petrini, Carlo. Slow Food Revolution (Rizzoli: New York, 2005), p.304

Roberts, Jeff. The Atlas of American Artisan Cheese. Vermont: Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 2007.

Russ Federman, Niki. Personal interview. 22 October 2007.

Russ Tupper, Josh. Personal interview. 22 October 2007.

Saxelby, Anne. Personal interview. 12 October 2007

Simon, Susan. Dinner. 16 October 2007.

Witchel, Alex. “The Counter History.” The New York Times Magazine. October 2007:


Zarin, Cynthia. “BIG CHEESE.” The New Yorker. August 2004: p.45


[1] The definition of quality, as defined by Carlo Petrini in the book Slow Food Nation, is good, clean and fair. Good: respects the product’s original characteristics; Clean: respects the earth and the environment; and Fair: refers to social justice in the production of food.

[2] All green text is defined in the Glossary of Terms. See page 22.

[3] Robert LaValva has worked for ten years as a planner for the city of New York, where he established an urban composting program. He has worked for Slow Food and instituted a consortium for raw milk cheese producers, and programs to help preserve heritage foods, managed Slow Food’s 2005 Urban Harvest Festival, and is dedicated to reviving NYC’s historic tradition of public markets to include sustainable regional food.

[4] Susan Simon is a cookbook writer and this is from a conversation we had over dinner.

[5]Made of raw cows’ milk from 9 cross breeds. Mike Ginrich the cheese maker describes it as follows “Our cows graze lush pastures from early spring through fall just as all cows did before industrialization of our food system. The result is milk that has excellent nutritional value and more varied and subtle flavor notes as expressed in the delicate flavor profile”. Mike Gingrich worked for Xerox prior to his farmstead.

[6] “Less than 1% of fourth generation businesses make it in the United states…it is a rare thing”

[7] Cynthia Zarin in The New Yorker quotes Liz Thorpe in Big Cheese August 23, 2004.

[8] Taken from Slow Food’s Foundation for Biodiversity mission statement “Recognizing that the appreciation of gastronomy must include the additional step of safeguarding our gastronomic resources”

[9] The late owner of the Second Avenue Deli, whom was murdered during a robbery in 1996.