Mary Keehn, founder, Cypress Grove Chevre, Arcata, Calif.
First food-related job? Other than cooking for four children, which didn’t pay much, it was starting Cypress Grove Chevre.
Where did you learn to make cheese? In my kitchen with Ricki Carroll and Frank Kosikowski’s books by my side.
Favorite way to eat cheese? Straight up or in a grilled cheese sandwich à la Laura Werlin.
What should the public know about cheese?Cheese is a real, healthy and fun food. Almost everyone loves it, and it can be served simply or elegantly. Don’t be afraid of cheese. If you choose a good cheese to start off with, it is hard to go wrong with pairings and beverages.
Who is your cheese idol? I don’t have just one. It’s really the women, retailers and cheesemongers who started in the early 1980s who helped us all become successful.
What is your first memory of cheese? Sadly, Velveeta sandwiches. Oh, so gooey and it lasts forever.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a cheesemaker? Something in the marine biology field.
Best book about cheese you’ve read? Frank Kosikowski’s “Cheese and Fermented Milk Foods.” I carried that big green book around for years.
Would you bait a mousetrap with your cheese? No, I wouldn’t bait a mouse trap with anything. But if I had to, yes, why not give the little guy a tasty morsel on his way out?
Know any good cheese-related jokes? No, do you? Teleme a Gouda one.