Home Posts tagged 'Daphne Zepos Teaching Award'

Posts Tagged ‘Daphne Zepos Teaching Award’


Jon Fancey

Bi-Rite & Essex Street Cheese Invest in the Future

Bi-Rite Catering Cheese Platter featuring Essex Street Cheeses

Bi-Rite Catering Cheese Platter featuring Essex Street Cheeses

Many of our guest’s taste buds are familiar with Essex Street Cheese Company’s selection of imported cheeses. Two of the most popular cheeses in our Markets are Marcel Petite Essex Comte and L’Amuse Signature Gouda.  These beautiful wheels are masterfully matured for incomparable flavors in Europe, then hand-selected for our Markets by the fine folks at Essex Street. Essex Comte and L’Amuse Signature Gouda are truly the best of their bunch.

IMG_7880These well-rounded and distinctive flavor profiles are the legacy of the late Daphne Zepos – one of America’s most beloved cheese advocates.  Daphne was an educator and importer with a palate and spirit that inspired many of today’s top cheese professionals.  She even taught our very own Sam Mogannam how to taste cheese with all five senses, and a deep respect for the work that a truly skilled farmer, cheesemaker, and affineur put into the process of creating stunning cheeses.  Daphne’s appreciation of fine cheese lives on in the Essex Street Cheese selections, and her legacy of education led to the creation of the Daphne Zepos Teaching Award.  The DZTA is an educational fund that grants an award to a cheese professional every year.  The winner is tasked with travelling to Europe to study cheese craft. The winner must then commit themselves to educating other budding cheese professionals upon their return.  Those who’ve been granted the opportunity thus far have studied Basque sheep herding and cheese making traditions, styles of cheese affinage across Europe, and native cheese cultures used in cheese making.

Marcel Petit Essex Comte

Marcel Petit Essex Comte

Bi-Rite Market is a proud sponsor of the DZTA! Over the past three years we have provided $15,000 in support of DZTA and Daphen’s quest for continued education and learning.  While we feature Essex Street Cheeses during December and January, we will be donating 25% of the profits from sales of Marcel Petite Essex Street Comte and L’Amuse Signature Gouda directly to the award foundation.  Not only can you grab a wedge of these incredible cheeses while shopping in the Markets, they’re also available in our Instacart Holiday Market and on the amazing Holiday Cheese Platter offered by Bi-Rite Catering.   The next time you’re in the Market, be sure to ask one of our mongers for a taste of their favorite Essex Street cheese.  Happy Holidays!


Daphne Zepos Teaching Award

Photo by Chester Higgins, Jr./The New York Times

Photo by Chester Higgins, Jr./The New York Times

Bi-Rite is once again mobilizing to support the Daphne Zepos Teaching Award (DZTA) and we need your help.

Followers of this blog will recall last fall’s announcement of Bi-Rite’s commitment to the funding campaign for the DZTA. Our own Sam Mogannam co-founded the award with a group of cheese retailers and educators from across the country to commemorate and honor Daphne Zepos and her immense contributions to cheese-craft in San Francisco and throughout the wide world of cheese. Daphne co-owned The Cheese School of San Francisco and lived in San Francisco’s Mission District, so the palpable absence left by her death last July has resonated for us professionally and personally. Before she passed, Daphne conceived of an award to help a selected cheese professional travel and share knowledge at the annual American Cheese Society conference, and beginning in 2012 the cheese community has worked to make Daphne’s vision of this award a reality.

L'Amuse Gouda

L’Amuse Gouda

The founders of the Award set an ambitious fund-raising goal of $250,000 by the end of 2012, and Bi-Rite resolved to support this goal with a portion of our cheese sales. These sales, combined with an in-kind donation from Sam himself, allowed Bi-Rite to contribute $5,000 to the campaign. But the effort to commemorate Daphne and her contributions to the cheese-making and cheese-educating community goes on, so this fall we are reigniting our campaign in support of that effort – and by working together with our marvelous cheese vendors and amazing guests, we believe we can exceed our contribution from last year. During October, November and December of 2013, we will donate 25% of our sales of Essex St. Comte and L’Amuse Gouda (both cheeses that Daphne selected, imported and introduced to our selection) to the campaign.

Comte: The first cheese Daphne imported through Essex St., hand-selected from among the 60,000 wheels slowly and coolly aging in the caves at Marcel Petite Fort St. Antoine. Herbaceous, fruity and kissed with deep, heavy cream, it’s delicious in sandwiches or simply served with fruit, nuts or bread.

L’Amuse Gouda: This two-year-old aged Gouda, made at the Cono cheese-making facility in the Netherlands, is a great example of the flavor that comes from aging at a higher temperature (as opposed to a cooler one that suppresses bacterial activity). It’s also a stirring testament to affinage, the art of gracefully bringing a young cheese to mature ripeness.

Essex St. Comte

Essex St. Comte

Since the DZTA campaign began last year, we have opened a second market location on Divisadero Street, and with twice the cheese-selling capacity, we’re excited at the prospect of exceeding our contribution goal. But we still need your help! Please stop by either  of our Market locations to taste these fantastic cheeses. And if you would like to honor the memory of one of the greatest cheese educators in America but can’t make it in to our Markets, please consider donating online. We ensure that 100% of your money, minus credit card fees, will go to the endowment, which is managed by a President and Board of Directors from the cheese industry. All funds are safely invested and their annual returns fund the scholarship.

Thank you for sharing these wonderful cheeses with us, for your continued enthusiasm and support and for helping us to commemorate a great individual and the professional community to which she contributed so much. We’ll see you at the Market!