A Path to Cheese
Spreading Joy Through Curd
I began making cheese in 2002 at a farm in New York State, making three varieties of aged cow’s milk cheese and fresh ricotta. I attended the University of Wisconsin Cheese Short Course and workshops with renowned cheesemakers Peter Dixon and Kathy Biss to learn more about the chemistry and art of cheesemaking. The semi-hard cheeses I made there placed 15th and 32nd in the World Championship Cheese contest in 2003 and in 2004, the ricotta won 3rd place in the American Cheese Society competition.
In 2005 I was invited to speak at the joint conference for the Association for Food and Human Values Society (AFHVS) and the Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS). The conference theme was Visualizing Food and farm and the panel I was on discussed perspectives on the divide between the intent of farmers/producers and perceptions of consumers.
I began my own business, Lakin’s Gorges Cheese LLC, in August 2011 and am licensed by the Maine Department of Agriculture. The cheese was made in space leased at the State of Maine Cheese Co. in Rockport, Maine and using single source milk from Maine.
In December, 2017, I relocated to my new facility at East Forty Farm, where there is a farm store and classes are offered.
In the fall of 2019, Rockweed cheese was named one of the top 10 foods in New England by Yankee Magazine.
How to get from Maritime Museums to Cheesemaking in 8 easy steps
1. Learn to cook salmon on cedar stakes around an alder wood fire
2. Graduate cum laude in Anthropology from Cornell University
3. Research food preservation for Polynesian voyages for Tommy Holmes’ planned Pacific Canoe Museum
4. Take a 4 month, cross country road trip eating blue road roadside fry bread in New Mexico, out- the-back banana pudding in Georgia, speed eating crawfish in Biloxi, Mississippi
5. Work at Mystic Seaport Museum demonstrating open hearth cooking in the Buckingham Hall House and “Mug ups” cooked over a coal burning stove aboard the Schooner LA Dunton
6. Make cheese in New York State, with cheese classes at the University of Wisconsin, West Highland Dairy cheesemaker Kathy Biss and artisan cheesemaker Peter Dixon. Place 16th and 32nd in the World Cheese Championship with semi hard cheeses and 3rd in the American Cheese Society Competition with Ricotta.
7. Create programs that blend food and art at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
8. Take a leap of faith in self and the universe
Number 8 would not have been possible without the perpetual encouragement from my mother; generosity of spirit of Cathe Morrill of State of Maine Cheese Co.; and the businesses which, for the love of quality food and a sincere desire to assist a new venture, welcomed the cheese.
Thanks, too, must be given to the Maine Department of Agriculture (specifically Diane Perry and Audrey Slattery), Coastal Enterprises Inc. Small Business Assistance, MaineStream Finance and the Maine public library system.
My gratitude is boundless.
Interested in learning more?
Consider attending a Cheese Pairing or Cheese Making Class
From October to May I offer cheese and culinary education programs at East Forty Farm & Dairy.
Throughout the summer months I partner with Cellardoor Winery and local community organizations to host wine and cheese pairing events.
All events are listed on the calendar.