Famous Cheese (or Cheesy?)

I think I understand it. You know how Britney Spears went all crazy and shaved her head and did other bizarre stunts. Fame will do that to you. Ask me how I know… seriously, ask me!!!

Okay, well, since you asked…

I am famous. Totally completely famous and not even letting it go to my head.

First I have a quote on an article about some awesome chefs doing an awesome dinner in basically my back yard (2 miles away).

Then there was a lovely article about our special Ollie… I mean ME and Ollie. (yeah, whatever, I rolled my eyes as I typed this too!)

THEN there was last night. Last night I eclipsed mere fame. I think I was royalty. Perhaps the birth of a new Royal in the UK impacted the cosmos in some mystic way.

Last night I made a delivery of a very special cheese to one of my very special customers. Batch 75 is an aged goat cheese, but it is so much more than that. Batch 75 is an exclusive release cheese, only available at The Walrus and The Carpenter (it was only on a very short trial and sell-out at market one Saturday… and we still get weekly requests for more.). It’s also a beautiful ripe old age of 2 years.

This cheese is a special cheese to the Chef de Cuisine at the Walrus. His first visit to the farm I had him try it. It was young then, but it was something unlike anything we had made before. It was a trial cheese we made that just went… well, differently than we anticipated. It took us a while to isolate our mistake creative process that resulted in this special cheese. Then we sat on it. We aged this cheese a year and it became even more… more everything! But I couldn’t bring myself to part with it yet. Another year ticked by. The cheese developed a complex flavor and feel, pungent and sweet, crumbly and smooth, sharp… and delicious.

We had no idea what to call this cheese. We tried a few names on for size, they fell flat. When Eli was here trying it I told him of my naming woes. I said right now we just identify it as “Batch 75” because that is the batch of cheese it is. He said he liked that. I asked him, “You like what?” “That name.” “What name?” “Batch 75” “Yes, it is Batch 75” “Yes, I like that” “What?” “Batch 75” “Um, uh-huh?” “The name for the cheese, calling it Batch 75.” “Of course!” Yes, of course… felt a little bit like “Who’s on First?”

Batch 75, the most unlikely cheese, the most unlikely name. The most delicious mouth full of dairy you’ll lay your lips on… if you’re lucky.

Batch 75 was born in collaboration with the finest chef around (yes, even my other chef friends take their hairnets and hats off to Eli). It was encouraged by him, named by him, purchased by him as an exclusive release cheese. It is where it should be. I am so proud and so pleased.

So, back to last night. Making the road trip to Ballard to make this special delivery, I might as well stay for dinner. I know a lovely couple that has shown great interest in our farm and us, they have been supportive and curious and helpful in ways that delight us. They have freely shared with us their business acumen, their perspective, their appreciation. They had never been to the Walrus, so I invited them to join me. I wanted to pick their brains on some business shifts we are making (turns out they had some brilliant solutions for me too!), and I could enjoy a fine meal with them at the same time. Win-Win.

This is where the royalty part comes in. They showed up while I was downstairs dropping off the soon to be famous Batch 75. Downstairs I was distracted chatting with Marie (the Chef de Cuisine at The Whale Wins), Eli (does it sound like I’m name-dropping yet?), and Renee (yes, THE Renee Erickson). *swoon* I was in the middle of the trifecta* of every foodies fantasy – and I was having too much fun to notice until after I left… I am indeed the luckiest girl alive.

My friends were upstairs and didn’t know I arrived. They put their name in and started patiently waiting for the expected hour and forty-five minute wait.

When I finally tore myself away from the foodie-fest downstairs I saw my friends waiting. I had them let the hostess (who is, of course, AMAZING!) know that they were with me while I put my cooler away and moved the truck to a non-temporary parking space.

When I returned we were ready to be seated. I think my friends were pleased to see the hour and a half wait disappear. I know I was tingling with delight and feeling quite spoiled.

Then it happened. We ordered some drinks, we ordered some oysters, and we ordered some food. And the Walrus team members I know from previous visits to our farm stopped by to say hi. Marie stopped by to say goodbye on her way out. Eli came by and I got to introduce him to my friends.

Then he came back, and in his hand was a plate. He let me know that THIS was with our Batch 75.

Oh, wow.

Special plate from Eli (1)

Special plate from Eli (1)

Two thirds of the plate was gone when I thought… pictures! I did my best with the little bit that was left.

Then he returned. With more. Let me be clear. This food isn’t on the menu. It isn’t a ‘dish’. It is the BEST CHEF in the United States making us a custom dinner with the cheese I just delivered, and hand delivering it to us. Seriously. Holy cow (or goat actually)!

Feast plate from Eli (2)

Feast plate from Eli (2)

This was frita (not sure I remember that right?). Which coincidentally was so fricking good that I would name my first born after it if she wasn’t already an adult and quite happy with the name I gave her almost 24 years ago. Nom!

Feast plate from Eli (3)

Feast plate from Eli (3)

Thought we were done? Oh heck no. How about one last bit of Batch 75… warmed on a plate with vanilla, fennel, olives and carrots. Heaven on Earth is real. I’ve been there. I ate it.

I seriously don’t think the celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain got this level of treatment. Wow.

Now if I weren’t in so much complete awe of the serious rock star quality of the chefs I got to spend time with last night. And if I weren’t so thrilled to be in the company of two lovely, brilliant, supportive friends. And if I weren’t so busy being spoiled by the top notch team at the Walrus. I think my head might have exploded… but instead I was nearly humbled to tears. I’m not even certain how to express this much gratitude. I don’t know, maybe I don’t really understand the fame thing after all.

Last night was a special night. I am so sorry my husband missed it (not even for managing the farm – we had help last night… he was stuck handling his work crisis crap going on right now).

Fortunately he was there on the only other night of my life I felt more special… our wedding, 12 years and 11 days ago. And he was there in my thoughts all last night too as there is simply NO way I could have had this experience without him.

What a lucky, lucky, LUCKY, grateful girl I am.

*trifecta only just barely missed the perfecta because dear Jay (Boat Street Cafe Chef de Cuisine) wasn’t there too.

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About Chief Milkmaid

A former executive, now goatmilker and cheesemaker, I am the Chief Milkmaid of the Little Brown Farm.
This entry was posted in Cheese, Gluten Free Recipe Ideas, It's Personal, Oprah's Favorite Things - if my name was Oprah not Vicky and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Famous Cheese (or Cheesy?)

  1. Bob T Panda says:

    It is way too early in the day for this much food porn! You fiend! Now I’m hungry, it isn’t even CLOSE to lunch time, and I am no where near to Ballard. phooey. BTW, am reblogging to the Froggwell blog….

  2. Bob T Panda says:

    Reblogged this on froggwell and commented:
    Art exists in all forms, and great food is one of them. If you are attending the Forgeries@Froggwell show, that opens in less than a week, take a trip to Bayview Farmers market, visit the Little Brown Farm booth (oh, and you should get some bread from Tree Top Bakery while you are at it) pack yourself a picnic and bring it over to Froggwell garden for a picnic lunch in the garden and see the show. What could be better?

    • I am so excited about the Froggwell show! I don’t have a market Sunday so guess who gets to come and see it!! YAY!!!
      I love the idea of a picnic lunch for it. We are making our little Taste of Whidbey snack size chevre again… I think you might need to stock up to get yourself through the day(s) smiling.

  3. Carole says:

    I’ve said it more than once and likely will say it again in the future – you are one special person, Vicky!!! You deserve all the lovely things happening to you! Some friends and I are planning a visit to Walrus in the near future – I grew up in Ballard and want to show them my favorite haunts. Walrus wasn’t there, of course (this was back in the dark ages), but I know it will become a new favorite for sure!! Thanks for all that you do – not just your glorious products, but your excellent and intriguing writing as well as your loving ways.

  4. I love this post, Vicky. You are a talented artisan and your name is equal to all of their names, and they would do well to honor the one who brings the love to “Batch 75” and all the others.

  5. Thank you so much! Yes, they are lovely and supportive of us and all of their farmers at the Walrus. It is fantastic to work with chefs that respect the efforts that goes into making the best ingredients so they can turn them into magic on a plate… even when it costs them more to source what they consider the best. These folks are not just exquisite chefs, but truly in touch with the food. I am so proud to be a part of what they do.
    Life is a series of memories in the making… this was an exquisite one!

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