This unlikely duo first met when Brown hired Pham as his sous-chef at a restaurant in Provo, Utah. Their disparate upbringings—Brown on a ranch in Arizona, Pham in the Bay Area—have led to their signature style of using a mix of locally foraged greens and other edibles with high-end ingredients such as spot prawns, diver scallops, or elk tenderloin. The result is sophisticated, elegant fare with a whimsical, homespun touch. Oh, and they love cheese.
Culture: Utah is producing some really great cheese. What are some of your
Viet Pham: I love Snowy Mountain Sheep Creamery. We use Strawberry Peak, an alpine style mixed with Jersey milk, as well as Delano Peak (sheep’s blue) and Timpanogos Peak (Brie-style sheep’s blue).
Syrah is the red equivalent of Riesling when it comes to buying wine: the wine everyone talks about but nobody drinks, the one sommeliers wish guests would order instead of the more usual suspects. And that’s too bad, because syrah is where it’s at in California right now.
Sure, there are plenty of California syrahs that aim to be nothing more than cheap and easy, in the mode of the Aussie “good drinks” that spurred them on. And there are other syrahs that wish to be in the Cult Cab crowd, thick and black with fruit, and glossed with the vanilla sheen of oak.
Bryce Gilmore: Chef/owner, Odd Duck Farm to Trailer and
Barley Swine, Austin, TX
Hometown: Austin, Texas
Still (barely) in his twenties, Gilmore exemplifies the new generation of recession-era chefs, with his rustic localized cuisine, laid-back style, and out-of-the-box thinking. After opening the wildly successful Odd Duck in an old trailer, he created Barley Swine, an ode to his love of good food, beer, and pork products.
Errico Auricchio, founder and President of BelGioioso Cheese, Inc., reflects on the past with culture editor Elaine Khosrova.
I came from a little village near Naples [Italy] called San Giuseppe Vesuviano. My family has been in the cheese business for four generations, starting with my great-grandfather in 1879. One hundred years later, in 1979, I moved to the United States with my wife and our three little children to start a cheese company with a cousin.
When I moved to Los Angeles from New York in 1991, I couldn’t understand why LA seemed so lacking when it came to gourmet provisions, including serious cheese. The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills was the exception, but it was beyond my grad student budget; I couldn’t find much else.