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Cheese! A Chef's Love Story with Vermont's Bestphoto

I would like to welcome and thank you for reading my inaugural cheese blog on the Stowe Mountain Lodge website.

In the coming months I will introduce you to various cheese makers in Vermont whose award winning cheeses we feature at Solstice and Hourglass Restaurants at Stowe Mountain Lodge.

 My enthusiasm for Vermont cheeses began five years ago after moving from California to Vermont. It was at the Capital City Farmers' Market that my daughter and I discovered the Lazy Lady Farm stand.

Laini Fondillier was attending her stand in her usual casual attire: sleeveless t-shirt, worn jeans and sandals. As we approached, my daughter buried her head in my shoulder and looked at Laini with trepidation. I had no idea the direction this sublime sample of Les Pyramids would take my interest in food in the new place I now called home, Vermont.

Sensing my delight, my daughter indicated that she wanted some cheese too. Laini smiled as she handed the nine month old girl in my arms her first taste of the ACS award winning cheese that helped propel Laini from a struggling off-the-grid farm into national recognition. Since that day, Laini and Lazy Lady Farm cheeses have held a special place in my heart.

Having a passion for Vermont cheese and a copy of The Cheeses of Vermont with me at all times,  I was put in charge of the cheese menu with my previous employer.

This gave me the opportunity to bring in whatever local cheeses I wanted to try. Soon after beginning my career as a chef at Stowe Mountain Lodge, I was put in charge of the cheese program here, which is the best part of my job.

We currently offer nine selections on our menus in Solstice and Hourglass. Cabot/Jasper Hill Clothbound Cheddar, Jasper Hill Bayley Hazen Blue and Mt. Mansfield Creamery Inspiration stay on the menu year round, while the other selections change seasonally.

I also order cheese for the Front Four weekly wine and cheese receptions and banquets. At Stowe Mountain Lodge, we sell a significant amount of Vermont cheese annually, which only helps to support the farm-to-table concept we follow extensively.

Every week I anticipate our purveyor's list of available cheeses; always looking forward to finding new cheeses and rediscovering old ones. I look forward to sharing some with you in the months to come.

Tom Damerell
Stowe Mountain Lodge

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