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Hero Hirsh Makes History as First Fellow of the Academy of Cheese

Breaking ground in the world of cheese, Hero Hirsh has been named as the first ever Fellow of the Academy of Cheese, marking a significant milestone in the pursuit of the esteemed Master of Cheese® title.

Founded in 2016, the Academy of Cheese is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting cheese knowledge, education, and careers within the industry. Through its comprehensive certification program, the Academy aims to cultivate a thriving community of cheese aficionados and professionals, ultimately elevating the standards of the cheese industry for generations to come.

With an illustrious career spanning 15 years at Paxton & Whitfield and now as the General Manager for Pick and Cheese, Hirsh has solidified her expertise and passion for cheese. Her dedication to cheese education has been unwavering since the inception of the Academy, where she has served as a vital contributor and reviewer for its courses.

Expressing her elation, Hirsh remarked, “I’m absolutely delighted to have achieved Level Three Certification. Having worked as a contributor for one of the modules, I know first-hand just how much time and effort has gone into creating such a comprehensive resource for those looking to advance their knowledge. Even after 15 years working in cheese, every module pushed my knowledge further and highlighted just how much more there is to know about cheese. I’m truly excited to see what I can learn from this programme next as the Academy pushes towards the Master of Cheese Certification”. 

The Fellow Certification, the penultimate certification of the Academy’s educational offerings, is awarded after the completion of eight Level Three modules, along with the two prior levels of certification. Level Three delves deep into the intricacies of the cheese industry, expanding participants’ knowledge to encompass 300 international cheeses, refining technical awareness of cheesemaking processes and distribution practices, and honing tasting and assessment skills.

Ros Windsor, Director of the Academy of Cheese, expressed gratitude to the contributors and congratulated Hirsh on her achievement, envisioning a bright future for cheese enthusiasts and professionals alike. “We are delighted and so proud to have bought together the expertise of those working in our industry to create this tiered educational program for generations to come.” With the first Fellows paving the way, the Academy eagerly anticipates the launch of the Master of Cheese Certification, which will entail further specialized training and assessment.

Josie Krogh

Josie Krogh is culture's Digital Strategy Lead. She earned her master's degree in Agricultural and Applied Economics from The University of Georgia. Josie developed a love of food while working at farmstands in the D.C. area as a young adult, and discovered her love of cheese while living and working on a dairy farm on Martha's Vineyard. She is passionate about the food supply chain, fresh stone fruit, and dogs. Josie currently lives in Catskill, NY.

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