The 2024 Hot List: Janee' Muha | culture: the word on cheese
☰ menu   

The 2024 Hot List: Janee’ Muha

This story is part of culture’s 2024 Hot List. Click here to learn more about the selection process and to see the entire list of recipients.

Photo Credit: Delaney Brown

Janee’ Muha ACS CCP

Producer Advocate and Dairy Creative, the Mobile Monger
Seattle, Washington

Since 2002, Janee’ has been wandering down an unexpected cheese aisle. She spent 14 years behind a grocery store cheese counter, became a Certified Cheese Professional in 2013, and in 2014, became an active participant in the American Cheese Society. Thanks to these connections, Muha has been able to build a community and network of friendships. This afforded her the chance to nurture her small business, delve into creative endeavors such as photography and podcasting, and eat a lot of darn good cheese in amazing places—all while witnessing the hard work of cheese producers and conjuring up ways to tell their stories.

Who is your biggest inspiration in the cheese world?

Though I didn’t know her well, Anne Saxelby. Her voice guided me through the airwaves and helped me believe that a career in cheese was not only feasible, but also a worthy venture. We didn’t have an internet’s worth of information to utilize, so her chats with cheesemakers on Cutting the Curd went a long way in my cheese education.

What was your big “aha moment” when you entered this industry?

My first American Cheese Society Conference was in Seattle in 2011. I knew there were people in the same business as me, but seeing so many people nerd out on cheese in the same way validated the years I spent getting laughed at when I told people I was a cheesemonger. My number one goal for my career is to find new ways of advocating for the producers. From photos to demos to letting them tell their stories on my podcast, I’m always trying to find new avenues to share their experiences so that others can see and taste the beauty and hard work I see.

Pair a celebrity with a cheese.

Natasha Lyonne and Boxcarr Handmade Cheese Campo. Both are redheads, a li’l smoky, and multi-talented.

You’re on a desert island and can only eat one cheese for the rest of your life. What is it?

Essex St. Cheese Comté. Its delicate nature and versatility are perfect for snacking, and for making things taste better when it’s melted over everything.

What is a pairing you’re ashamed to love?

I don’t allow for shame when it comes to eating cheese, but I think people would be surprised to know how little I actually pair cheese with other things. I like cheese straight up.

Related Articles
Culture’s 2024 Hot List
The 2023 Hot List: Nine Cheese Stars to Watch

culture: the word on cheese

Culture is America's first and best magazine devoted to the love of cheese. Explore our website for stunning photos, cheesemaker profiles, recipes, wine, beer, and a community of readers always willing to help and chat.

Leave a Reply