The upcoming events

The Joy of Cheese Turns 5 and Celebrates with Italian Cheese

2005 seems like a looong time ago, but that Memorial Day weekend, I packed some cheeses, some wooden boards, my knives, a dozen copies of program notes I’d written, some fruit, dark chocolate, and two Amy’s baguettes, and headed off to my first appointment as The Joy of Cheese.  I still remember walking along Canal St. (my first appointment was at a loft on Church) thinking, “this is kinda cool; it should work.”

Thanks to a receptive audience like each of you, it has.  So thank you thank you many times over!!

Anyway about the tastings: the theme in May is The Italian Job.

May 4 at 7 at d.b.a Brooklyn, 113 N. 7th St. Way Beyond Reggiano and Romano.

At this tasting we will have some Cravero Reggiano, but we will also sample and discuss six other extraordinary hard cheeses from all over Italy.  Ray Deter, owner of d.b.a. will pair these gems with beers from the enormous and wonderful d.b.a menu.  Tickets are $25 and available via Brown Paper Tickets,

May 11 at 7:30 at Stella, 213 Front St. It’s a Robiola World

Robiola is the dominant style of soft cheese found in northern Italy.  Loosely speaking Taleggio, Brescianella, and Quardrella are robiolas, so too are a few dozen delectable wonders, some wrapped in leaves all with distinctive tangs.  I don’t really think planet earth is a Robiola world, but on May 11th the salon room at Stella certainly will be as we sample and discuss eight of these wondrous creations paired with wine chosen by Vanessa Conlin.  Tickets are $25 and available Brown Paper Tickets,

May 18th at 7:30 at The Clerkenwell, 49 Clinton St.: The 8 Best Italian Cheeses in New York City

How’s that for plain and simple.  Hard, soft, north or south, we will present the eight best, period.  There will be wonderful wines to match from the Clerkenwell list, and I’ll be happy to make recommendations.  Tickets are $25, and you pay for your beverages as you go.  Advance sales are at

I also accept cash at the door at each of these events, but please alert me in advance since I’m the prep guy too.

As always, I can be reached on  Thanks for all of your wonderful support!

-Martin Johnson

About jmartin437

I've worked in and around the world of high end cheese for 27 years. I've been everything from a department manager who hired and fired and trained staffs to a weekend warrior who shows up ties on an apron the middle of a rush and talks to customers and cleans up the place. I enjoy it all, and I especially like my current situation conducting informal seminars about cheese at area bars and in class at the 92nd St. Y. The current schedule is always up at In addition I conduct private events that are perfect to lead off birthday parties for foodies and sommeliers and also they make great entertainment for corporate team building events and associates meetings at law firms. In addition, I've been a freelance journalist for 27 years. Currently my profiles of leading musicians and filmmakers appear in the Wall Street Journal and I also wrote about sports for the Root, and for five loooong years, which included the entirety of the Isiah Thomas Knicks era, I wrote about the NBA for the New York Sun. I enjoyed writing about basketball so much that I now do it here at rotations for free.
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