Thursday, January 15, 2009

Client Work: Laura Chenel’s Chevre – Delicious Cheese, Cheese Making

Client Work: Laura Chenel’s Chevre – Delicious Cheese, Cheese Making and Portraits Take Two

About the client: Hand-crafted in Sonoma County since 1979, Laura Chenel’s Chevre is America’s leading brand of artisanal goat cheese. It can be found on the menus of fine restaurants and purchased in grocery stores across the globe.

About the shoot: Back in October of 2008 I was fortunate to work with the great folks at Laura Chenel to create a series of food photos featuring recipes using their products. Once again, chef extraordinaire, Jacquelyn and VP, Marie, worked wonders styling our dishes and sets; their expertise, creativity and patience were invaluable.

This time around, we not only made images of the products, but of the cheese making process as well. It was a blast! I have to admit, I had a great time putting on white scrubs and a hairnet before entering the inner-sanctum of the cheese factory. And don’t even get me started about the sight and smell of all the cheesy goodness being prepared before my eyes. I felt like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, except I was in a wonderful land of milky-whiteness.

Enjoy the photos!

The Cheesemaking Process: Making Laura Chenel Tome

First, goat milk is pasturized and heated in a vat, where special enzimes are added during agitation. After about an hour, water is added to cool the curd.

The cheese curds and this screen is used to slice the curd and loosen it from the bottom and sides of the tank.

When the curd is ready, the tank water is drained, and the artisans begin to make the forms. Cheese curd is scooped into a bucket and placed into cheesecloth. Workers form the curd into a ball and squeeze out all the excess moisture.

Squeezing the cheese makes these rounds which become wheels after they are compressed more and aged for 6 months

Six month old dry-aged Tome. Got any crackers?


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