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Putting the Käse in Omakase


What do you get when you combine cheese, Japanese food, and two American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professionals? The answer: an innovative, umami-filled omakase (meaning “I trust you” or “I’ll leave it up to you”) tasting menu prepared by Rachel Freier and Laura Sutter. The duo met at Murray’s Cheese Bar in New York City, where Freier ran the cheese and beverage program and Sutter had recently left a line cook position to work there as a cheesemonger. They founded their popup dinner series, The Cheese Course, in 2016—the idea evolved out of an informal chef’s tasting menu at Murray’s called Monger’s Table. “We create dishes [that emphasize] what we love most about [certain] cheeses,” says Freier. One of their most popular recurring events, OmaKäse, pairs cheese and Japanese cuisine (käse is German for “cheese”). Diners gathered at Philadelphia’s Martha Kensington restaurant and bar on March 5th, 2019, to enjoy Freier and Sutter’s unconventional offerings.

Martha is located in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood, nestled among taprooms, creameries, and other food-focused businesses. The restaurant frequently opens its doors to popup concepts like Freier and Sutter’s. For a more intimate experience, patrons can have a seat at the chef’s counter and enjoy some facetime with the folks behind the food.

Freier and Sutton are dubbed the Cheese Chefs for a reason. Their OmaKäse tasting menu features cheese in many forms, from a hunk of Silken Curd to the whey used in their Yuzu Ice dessert.

“We strive to inspire our guests to think outside the box and use cheese as the main ingredient in their cooking,” says Freier. As partners in The Cheese Course, both Freier and Sutter work together to develop concepts and recipes. “I come up with the names, which is part of the concept—we like to infuse a bit of humor [into it],” she says.

“We strive to inspire our guests to think outside the box and use cheese as the main ingredient in their cooking,” says Freier. As partners in The Cheese Course, both Freier and Sutter work together to develop concepts and recipes. “I come up with the names, which is part of the concept—we like to infuse a bit of humor [into it],” she says.

Madison Trapkin

Former Editor-in-Chief Madison Trapkin is an Atlanta-bred, Boston-based writer. She graduated from Boston University’s Gastronomy master’s Program in December 2018 and started at culture in March 2019. She is passionate about The Feminist Agenda, pizza, and regularly watering her houseplants.

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