Self Portrait

Martin Johnson

thejoyofcheese@gmail.com

 

Goal: I want to employ my editorial, merchandising, social media and point of sale skills to make artisanal, small producer cheese, beer, cured meats and wine accessible to the highbrow culinary mainstream.

 

Press Coverage

NY Times Dining In Section Cover Story: http://nyti.ms/WfyzRv

New York Magazine Eight Page Feature: http://grb.st/1c4QnJx

 

Editorial Experience

Wall St. Journal: http://on.wsj.com/1hu52gH

Columnist, Huffington Post, 2011-‘12

Columnist Serious Eats, 2010-‘11

 

Retail Experience

Gastronomie 491: Cheese, Charcuterie and Beer Program Manager 2011-

Alphabet City Wine Company: Weekend Manager 2011 – ‘13

Bedford Cheese Shop: Lead Cheesemonger 2004 – ‘11

Garden of Eden: Lead Cheesemonger 2003 – ‘04

Butterfield Market: Lead Cheesemonger 1994-‘98

Canard & Company: Cheesemonger 1994

Neumann & Bogdonoff: Cheese Department Manager 1992 – ‘94

Likitsakos Market: Cheese Department Manager 1991 – ‘92

Petak’s: Cheese Department Manager 1986 – ‘91

Bloomingdales: Cheesemonger 1984 –‘86

 

Teaching Experience

New York University: Food Journalism Classes 2013 –

92nd St. Y: Cheese and Beverage Classes –2008 –

The Joy of Cheese: Informal Cheese Classes 2004 -

 

Education: Columbia College at Columbia University, Class of 1982

 

 

 

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The Biggest Threat to the Artisanal Cheese Movement Yet

Landaff VaultIf the FDA has its way, cheese as we love it will be gone.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/gregorymcneal/2014/06/09/fda-may-destroy-american-artisan-cheese-industry/

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Upcoming! Sipping Rums and Cheeses to Match at 92Y May 15

Rum has gotten a terrible reputation thanks to fruity drinks & mixing with copious amounts of cola. But well-made rum rivals whiskey and brandy for depth of flavor, complexity and ability to match with bold foods. And it goes beautifully with artisanal cheese. Join me and Dave Herman from Dave’s Drinks as we show off some rums an cheeses that will open your mind alongside cheese that will delight your tastebuds.

For tickets & info, click here:
http://www.92y.org/tickets/production.aspx?performanceNumber=103817&utm_source=92Y_HP&utm_medium=cal_buy&utm_campaign=Institutional

Posted in beer, cheese, culinary, food, foodie, Fromage of the Day FoD, gourmet, news, Upcoming Events, whiskey, wine | Leave a comment

Fromage of the Day, 03.25.14: Andante Minuet

Andante MinuetFromage of the Day, 03.25.14: Andante Minuet.  Silken, buttery and overwhelming, this goat’s milk triple cream is made in California.  It pairs nicely with your favorite Cava, a Brooklyn Sorachi Ace or Freigeist Abraxxxas, or a Slyboro Hidden Star Cider.  If it was a jazz trumpet great, it would be Clifford Brown, smooth and potent.  There will be Joy of Cheese events in April.  I just have to confirm them.

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Fromage of the Day, 03.18.14: Red Hawk

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFromage of the Day, 03.18.14:  Red Hawk.  Funky, creamy and seductive, this cow’s milk cheese is from California.  It pairs nicely with your favorite Riesling, a T’Gaverhopke Extra, a Four Roses Small Batch or a Naked Flock Cider.  If it was a Secret Society tune it would “The Neighborhood,” driving and straightforward with an edge.  The Joy of Cheese returns with events in late April and early May, watch this space for details.

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Fromage of the Day, 03.15.14: Doddington

20101228-Serious-Cheese-DoddingtonFromage of the Day, 03.15.14: Doddington.  Tangy, slighty sweet and sharp, this raw cow’s milk cheese is made in England.  It pairs nicely with your favorite Dolcetto, a Stillwater/Omnipollo Nebuchadnezzar Remix, an Elmer T. Lee, or a Farnum Hill Dry Cider.  If it was a Darcy James Argue and Secret Society tune, it would “The Neighborhood,” complex and accessible.  The Joy of Cheese Cheese and Champagne event, rescheduled from 02.13 will take place March 20th at the 92nd St. Y.

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The New York Magazine Article

Yes, it's Rogue River Blue!

Yes, it’s Rogue River Blue!

On the Saturday before the Super Bowl, New York magazine writers Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld spent an hour at my cheese counter talking shop both about cheese and about journalism.

I figured nothing bad could come of that, and indeed something very positive has.  It was an eight page story in the issue of the magazine with Alec Baldwin on the cover, and this slideshow at Grub St.  http://grb.st/1c4QnJx

Yes, it’s a big positive because the shop I work at is featured as are many cheeses that we carry, but it has potential to be a much bigger game changer.  It could begin an important change in the way people shop for cheese.

I think there are three levels of shopping when it comes to something like cheese and it’s best illustrated by the parallels in wine and beer.  Level one is someone who just drinks a mainstream mass market beer or wine (Bud, Yellowtail, whatever).  Level two are the people who have forsaken the mass market but have settled on Sam Adams, Sierra Nevada or a particular bottle of Bordeaux.  Level three are the people who are into exploring; they go to beer bars eager to see what’s new or visit wine shops with an eye toward expanding what they know.

In cheese thousands and thousands of people have advanced from level one (supermarket crap) to level two, but far too many of them are stuck at Manchego, St. Andre, Cave Aged Gruyere, Taleggio, or yep, Humboldt Fog rather than moving deeper into the cheese case and discovering the wonders that await them.  I understand the reluctance.  A wine or beer that doesn’t agree with your preferences is still an alcoholic beverage.  A washed rind cheese that is past its prime is for most people just a smelly mess.

Rob and Robin’s article whether in print or in the nifty slide show via the Grub St. link, offers people a solid checklist of other cheeses they should be checking out.  It’s like a road map into level three.

I’d say the fact that I’ve had far more customers in the last week ask about Winnimere than complain about the price of my Roquefort is a solid sign that a change is gonna come.

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