Currently, Guenther is determined to develop a knock-your-socks-off pimento cheese spread. It’s a true Southern
comfort food (typically based on cheddar and Jack) that
neatly fits into the overall concept of Rocker Oysterfeller’s.
“After researching California cheddars, I’ve discovered there
are a few noteworthy cheese producers that I will consider
for our pimiento cheese spread,” Guenther says. “Fiscalini
Farms [Modesto] and Vella Cheese Company [Sonoma] both
make some great-looking cheddars, although I plan to try and
incorporate our own Valley Ford Cheese Co.’s Estero Gold as
the primary cheese during testing.”
When Joanne Weir of San Francisco headed west from
Boston in 1980, she recalls that goat cheese hadn’t yet made
the California scene. But by 1985, when she joined the staff
at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif., she found baked goat
cheese paired with sauvignon blanc.
Weir went on to pursue other culinary ventures, becoming
a James Beard award-winning cookbook author, cooking
teacher, chef and public television personality. She’s currently
hosting “Joanne Weir’s Cooking Confidence” on PBS.
Through the years she’s retained her fondness for including goat
cheese in recipes. Noting that “fresh goat cheese is so spreadable,
you don’t even have to toast it in the oven,” she suggests adding a
bit of lemon zest, mint and kosher salt to the cheese. “Spread it on
toasted bread topped with thinly sliced blanched asparagus to pair
with sauvignon blanc or oaked chardonnay.”
Incorporating soft, spreadable cheese into various menu
items is a surefire way to be cooking with confidence for
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