Ambassadeurs of the New World Chapter

 
Roland Barthelemy, Provost.

Master cheesemaker and an ardent defender of French gastronomic diversity, Roland Barthelemy is a man of passion who fell into the pot when he was little. Born in 1949, his parents passionate about dairy with a storefront in Paris, the young apprentice cheesemaker began multiple internship at sixteen: manufacturing, refining and retail. Roland met and worked with the biggest names in cheese and in 1971, he acquired a small dairy in Paris making many discoveries over the years. Roland Barthélemy's shop became the cheese shop to go to for all of Paris.

In 1997, after many years of effort, the National Federation of Retailers Dairy under the leadership of its President Mr. Claude Bellot managed to begin the famous craft cheese national contest: "One of the Meilleur Ouvrier de France". It was Roland Barthlemey who was elected by the FNDPL and appointed by decree of the Minister of Education as "President of the Jury of the class Cheese."

In 2003, he left his shop in the Rue de Grenelle to to become Cheese Master globetrotter. As President of the Guild of Cheesemakers, he travels the world to bring recognition to the raw milk cheeses and diversity of French gastronomy in Tokyo, Montreal, Rome, Brussels and elsewhere. He presents at conferences, advises brands and works in partnership with Forge de Laguiole.

Closely associated with the major turning point that saw the gourmet cheese today, Roland Barthélemy supports and reinforces what he calls "the Cheese Attitude" because, he said, "what this extraordinary ingredient that is cheese, can adapt to all uses and all associations: sweet / salty, crunchy / chewy, spicy & delicious ... and it is associated with both our finest taste discoveries of childhood and deeply rooted in our daily lives with the return of appetizers dinners and evening tapas." Susan Sturman's Summer 2012 article in Cheese Connoisseur, "The Napolean of Cheese: Roland Barthelemy is a Force to be Reckoned With," provides more information on Barthelemy's background and accomplishments.

President. Cathy Strange, Whole Foods, USA.

Cathy Strange joined Whole Foods Market in 1990 and has a wealth of food industry experience and expertise. As the global cheese buyer, she has become an authority at detecting international food trends during her travels around the world while seeking out vendor partners that meet Whole Foods Market’s strict Quality Standards. After selecting new partners, Cathy works diligently with the small producers to help them sustain a profitable business.

Cathy Strange is a member of the American Cheese Society, the Cheese of Choice Coalition, the Cheese Importers Association, the International Association of Culinary Professionals, Slow Foods USA and Les Dames d’Escoffier where she serves as the president of the Austin Chapter. Her palette and expertise have been solicited all over the world to serve as judge for the American Cheese Society competition, the World Cheese Championships, the U.S. Cheese Championships, the World Cheese Awards and the British Cheese Awards. She serves as New World President and an ambassador for the distinguished international Guilde des Fromagers de Saint-Uguzon, the most celebrated association of cheese mongers and specialists in France. Cathy is one of the first Americans inducted into the prestigious guild of cheese trade professionals, recognized for comprehensive knowledge and attention to the merits of French cheese. 

Secretary/Treasurer. David Gremmels, Rogue Creamery, USA

David Gremmels is the President, Rogue Creamery, a artisan cheesemaking company producing some of the finest blue cheeses in the world. He is past Chairman of the American Cheese Society and a leader in promoting and supporting American cheese. David was appointed to the Oregon Governor’s Sustainability Board which helps protect and enhance Oregon’s environment, economy and community. As a cheese sensory expert, David is accomplished in the art of cheese organoleptics and pairing.

Having previously acquired an extensive marketing experience in specialty food products, David discovered the Rogue Creamery in Southern Oregon in 2002. The imminent closure of this historic creamery founded in 1933 sparked a new passion, one that would return David to his agricultural roots in the Pacific Northwest.

Since purchasing the business with co-owner Cary Bryant, the Creamery has raised awareness of artisan and farmstead cheeses in Oregon and around the world. Rogue Creamery made history when Rogue River Blue became the first American blue cheese to win World's Best Blue and Grand Reserve Champion over all cheeses at the 2003 World Cheese Awards in London.

David has become the ambassador for raw milk cheese both in the United States and abroad. When asked about the success of Rogue Creamery, David explains, "It’s simple, Rogue Creamery’s cheese is a faithful example of the terroir of its region. Everyone at Rogue Creamery continually reinforces the importance of providing a healthful, delicious hand made cheese."

David is Ambassadeur of la Guilde Internationale des Fromagers. He is the recipient of the 2010 Excellence in Marketing award from the Oregon Department of Agriculture. In 2006 he received the United Way of Jackson County’s Community Spirit Award. A benchmark of sustainability was accomplished in 2012 with the installation of a solar system offsetting 48% of the company's energy use. He is now moving towards complete reliance on renewable energy.

Vice President. Will Studd, Fromagent Australia and Calendar Cheese Company, Australia

Will Studd was invited to become a member of the Guildes des Fromagers in 1978 and has travelled extensively in his quest to seek out the world's finest artisan and farmhouse cheeses for over four decades.

After establishing a chain of delicatessens in central London during the early 1970s, he migrated to Australia in 1981 where he has done much to promote a greater understanding of specialist cheese as well as championing the cause of traditional and local farmhouse cheese made from raw milk.

Will was the founding chairman of the Australian Specialist Cheese Association, and has published two books: Chalk and Cheese (1999) and Cheese Slices (2007). These have won a number of major international awards and are highly sought-after by cheese aficionados around the world as valuable guides to understanding cheese.

Will is currently the executive producer and presenter of Cheese Slices (Cheese Chaser World Ventures), a television show that explores the growing intereswt in how cheese is made and where it comes from. Over the past decade, he has filmed hundreds of traditional and artisan cheese producers in more than twenty-five countries around the world. This unique, award-winning series is now aired to a global audience of more than 300 million.

The French government awarded Will the title, Officier - Ordre du Merite Agricole in 2002 for his defense of traditional cheese and in 2009 was promoted to the prestigious title, Officier.  

Vice President. Louis Aird, Saputo, Canada.

Louis Aird is the National specialist in fine cheeses at Saputo Fine Foods and he has become the first North American ambassador of the International Guilde des Fromagers. He is also a commander of the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Taste-Fromage de France, a brotherhood of cheese lovers and experts.

Born and raised in Montreal, Louis studied at the Institut de Tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec and had an internship with the great cheese maker, Pierre Androuet in Paris. In 1982, Aird opened the famous Foumagerie in Montreal, where the first imported raw milk cheeses could be found.

Above all, Louis loves to discover the history behind a cheese and a producer. His mentor, Pierre Androuet, taught him that "people don’t remember the name of cheeses; they remember stories about cheeses.”

Alain Voss, AmbassadeurVice President. Alain Voss, Schratter Foods, United States.

Alain Voss is the President and CEO of Schratter Foods, Inc., and operator of ANCO and AFFINAGE Cheese Company. The business of specialty cheese is his life and his passion.

Voss was born in 1959 into a farming family from the beautiful "Plateau de Herve" region of Belgium. This region of rolling pasture land is famous for the quality of its milk, and is home to HERVE, a pungent washed-rind cheese that is the country's sole AOC. While a student, Voss worked on Saturdays at the town's farmers market, as well as on various farms and at S.A. CORMAN, a world leader in specialty butter. After military service, Voss returned to S.A. CORMAN and rose to head sales and international markets, working closely with the owners and Voss's early mentors, Guy and Philippe Corman.

The company also co-owned and managed the commercial operations of the Monastery of Maredsous, famous for its Trappist beer and cheese, creating an export business in the early 80's called "The Belgian Cheese Board," selling Beauvoorde, Fagnard, Maredsous, Passendale, Pere Joseph, and Wynendale to a number of American and Canadian cheese importers. In 1986 at the age of 26, Voss moved to America, started as a trader and importer of dairy products with the cheeses of "The Belgian Cheese Board" and met his wife, Elaine.

In 1994, Voss started a specialty cheese import company with Messrs. Jean-Noel and Alex Bongrain, focusing on BONGRAIN cheeses, followed quickly by the ones of other prominent French cheese makers. By 1997, they acquired ANCO from Kraft Foods, and enlarged their portfolio with cheeses from all major cheese producing countries and expanded distribution of the Group's French specialty cheese brands to the supermarket deli and food service market segments.  These include Alouette, Chaumes, Chevrolle, Doux de Montagne, Etorki, Gourmandise, Ile de France, Papillon, Rambol, St Albray, St Andre, Supreme, Frico, Chevrette, Old Dutch Master, Il Villaggio, Casa del Campo, Corazon de Ronda, Danesland, Edelweiss, and Kolios.  With the recent creation of the AFFINAGE Cheese Company, Voss supports the growth of sales of domestic and imported artisan and farmstead cheeses, with cellars, distribution, and marketing to cheese shops and the very best chain retailers.