Dale Baumgartner, head cheesemaker, Tillamook County Creamery Association, Tillamook, Ore.
First food-related job? Making cheese as a “grunt” at the Hebo Cheese Association.
Where did you learn to make cheese? Hebo Cheese Association.
Favorite way to eat cheese?I do love macaroni and cheese with real Tillamook Cheese.
What should the public know about cheese?You get what you pay for.
Who is your cheese idol?Former head cheesemaker at Tillamook, Ed Yates. He taught me a lot about cheesemaking and how to make the best product we can.
What is your first memory of cheese? I’ve been making cheese at Tillamook for 44 years, so I don’t remember a day without cheese.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a cheesemaker?My dream was to be a hunting guide in Alaska. Right after high school, I was going to go with the cheesemaker’s son from another creamery in the county, but our parents stepped in and put an end to that. I’ve not been to Alaska yet.
Best book about cheese you’ve read?The Tillamook Cookbook. If you want to learn how to make cheese, read “Cheese and Fermented Milk Foods” by Frank V. Kosikowski and Vikram Mistry. It’s a great book to learn the basics.