A class of Chefs-to-Be from George Brown toured CheeseB yesterday, with Afrim Pristine as guide. The students and their prof are about to depart for the second term of their training-- four undoubtedly wonderful months in Italy.
Afrim, recently returned from Italy himself, enthusiastically regaled the group with stories of time spent there-- that fundamental passion for food, terroir, and taking the time to enjoy simple pleasures which is a way of life. Within the chilly and fragrant confines of the Cheese Vault he spoke about such things as the mysterious process of aging a cheese, and the partnership between the producer of a cheese and the affineur that continues the "evolution" of the product.
Over to the deli counter, comparisons were made via taste-testing as samples of prosciutto and speck, sbrinz and parmiggiano reggiano made the rounds.
When Afrim departed for an in-store TV interview (popular guy these days!), and the crowd dispersed, I checked out the new Gragnano pasta display at the front of the store. With the taste of that delicious prosciutto and parmiggiano still on my tongue, I think to myself-- I may not be able to go to Italy whenever I want, but CheeseB is always right here!
Speaking of TV interviews, Afrim will be on Cityline this Monday to talk about... the Lunchbox. Back-to-school time is fast approaching after all. Hmm, a Pristine lunchbox doesn't contain your average ham-and-cheese sandwich, I'll wager...