Guilde de Fromagers: Official Launch of the North American Chapter
Despite relatively little external fanfare, last week saw a significant milestone for North American artisanal cheese with the official inauguration of the North American Chapter of the International Guilde de Fromagers.
The Guilde, a non profit organization, was established in 1969 by noted French affineur Pierre Androuet with a view to promoting and connecting the work of cheese professionals around the world while also helping to maintain standards of cheese knowledge.
With American artisanal cheese’s meteoric rise in recent years, it is no surprise that several members of the cheese industry from North America have been inducted into the Guilde. However until last week, they had to be inducted into other Chapters (such as Canada) since North America did not have a Chapter of its own.
Now that has changed and, largely thanks to the efforts of Cathy Strange of Whole Foods Market and David Gremmels of Rogue Creamery, North America (which includes Mexico) has its very own Chapter alongside the world’s finest cheese producing nations such as France, Italy, Spain and the UK. It is a proud moment.
And who better to be the first inductee of the Chapter than Debra Dickerson.
Debra has worked tirelessly, often behind the scenes, to promote and champion smaller scale cheesemakers around the world and especially the US. She has also mentored and encouraged countless cheesemongers as well as donated a vast amount of her time to the American Cheese Society. Watch a video of the induction ceremony below.
Other notable inductees at last Monday’s ceremony included Michele Buster of Forever Cheese, who has championed and introduced many Spanish cheeses into the US. Carlos Yescas, cheese expert and judge from Mexico, Maxx Sherman of Marin French Cheese Company and author Jeff Roberts.
Congratulations to all and Hooray for American cheese!