Established in 1999, Andante Dairy is owned and operated by Soyoung Scanlan. The creamery is located at the Volpi Ranch near Petaluma, just north of San Francisco, California, which is also the source for Scanlan's goat's milk. Cow's milk is brought in from the 400-strong herd of Jersey cows at nearby Spring Hill Dairy. Prior to becoming a cheesemaker, Soyoung had a successful career working as a biochemist in both the engineering and science worlds. She also has a strong background in classical music as an avid pianist, making her a rare combination of talents that seem to converge over the cheesemaking vat. Having studied the properties of milk and cheesemaking intensely for two years, including a stint at Cal Poly, in San Luis Obispo, Soyoung has become a highly respected figure in the artisan cheese industry. She is known for producing small quantities of extremely high quality cheeses, many of which are made in the French style. By choice, Soyoung works alone. Her cheesemaking facility is clean, simple, highly organized and has plenty of space to move about. Her early cheesemaking career was greatly encouraged and inspired by Thomas Keller, the owner and chef of the French Laundry in Yountville. Keller and Scanlan both have a tremendous eye for detail and perfection, and it is these qualities that shine though in all aspects of Scanlan's cheese. At Andante, Scanlan produces a range of cheeses made from cow, sheep and goat's milk, or combinations of the three. Made in the style of a traditional Camembert, Legato is a soft pasteurized cow’s milk cheese. During its production, the curds are hand ladled into the molds to ensure that the cheese forms gently. Once set, each cheese is turned a number of times before being salted and aged for at least three weeks before release.
The result is a cheese with an unctuous paste and highly developed flavor. As a scientist, Soyoung is constantly improving her technique with Legato, so expect it to evolve as time goes on.
With a full flavor, this cheese is best paired with light red wines, dry Rosé wines, and Lager or Saison beers. It also can be paired nicely with Brut Sparkling wines. Serve Legato with grapes, or melon and good bread for the best contrast of flavor and texture.