In 1976, Clark Wolf ran a little cheese shop at the base of Nob Hill in San Francisco; in 1980 he became the manager of the San Francisco branch of the legendary Oakville Grocery. While the rest of America was on the verge of a decade of a morbid fear of butterfat, Wolf was looking for a source of local fresh mozzarella and newly devoted to the joys of rice flour-rubbed teleme and four-year-old Wisconsin cheddar. Today, we are all knee-deep in bocconcini and fresh goat cheese, and Wolf is a restaurant and food consultant. But glorious cheese, particularly American cheese, is still his passion.
In American Cheeses: The Best Regional, Artisan, and Farmhouse Cheeses, Who Makes Them, and Where to Find Them, Wolf gives us an in-depth look at the art and craft of cheese across the United States, and documents in words and beautiful black-and-white photographs the story of the talented and committed women and men who create this dairy ambrosia. He shares his expertise (with a touch of attitude) on how cheese is made, how to store it, and how to serve and enjoy it. Dividing the country into sections -- The Northeast and New England, The South, The Middle West, The Wild West -- he explores the cheese-making communities, discussing the kind of cheeses that are specific to each of the four sections of the country and profiling dozens of the most accomplished cheesemakers, from well-known national brands to the creators of small-batch, hand-crafted rarities. Each profile lists the kinds of cheeses available and contact information for producers and farms. At the end of each regional section is a selection of delectable recipes that showcase the best cheese of that area, from A Perfect Pimento Cheese of the American South to Blue Cheese Pralines from the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Michigan.
Clark Wolf has more than 25 years of experience in the food industry and is the founder and president of Clark Wolf Company, a New-York based food and restaurant consulting firm. His clients include major hotel companies like Loews and Sheraton, venerable institutions like The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, and the Guggenheim Museum, and restaurants like Smith & Wollensky and Bradley Ogden at Caesar's Palace. He is a contributing authority to Food Arts magazine, and has written for Forbes and Cook's Magazine; he was The Cheese Wizard on AOL's website, Thrive. Wolf has appeared on CNN, Food Network and CNBC. He lectures and gives seminars to chefs' associations, food professionals, cooking and food service students and industry groups from California to Paris on subjects ranging from food trends, speciality foods, retaurants and marketing to restaurant real estate and finance. Since 1996 he has served as Chair of the Advisory Committee to New York University's Department of Nutrtition.