Cheese Wiz

by Bruce Cormicle
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cheese-store.jpg When you enter the door at the Beverly Hills Cheese Store - the greatest cheese store in the U.S. of A. (419 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, California 90210), the first friendly face and voice you see and hear on your left will always be that of Cheese Wiz Sebastian Robin Craig working behind the counter like a whirling dervish – unless he is jetting off to the cheese caves of Roquefort, France for a tasting; or Stockholm, Sweden to compose more jazz (go to iTunes for his latest CD “Volition”); or just kicking back and learning Russian.

This Hepcat of Hoch Ibrig – Sebastian is one stop shopping and possessor of knowledge about everything (food, life, arts).  If you are cheese dumb going in (“Uh, sir, could I see something in a tasteless, rock-hard Brie, please?”), you are the freaking Count of  Comté  by the time you leave (“Yes, Sebastian, I do believe that if they had properly added some proprionic acid bacteria before the secondary fermentation this cheese could have been a saved mais tant pis!”)

Need a loaf of Pain de Mie, he can direct you to a great mom and popper bakery on Pico (Le Pain du Jour, 828 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405).  Need an idea for grilled cheese sandwich - “How about a Schwingerkäse from Entlebucher and some Bellwether Farms Ricotta with a little guanciale (unsmoked Italian bacon made with pig cheek) tucked inside?” 

 

cheesestack2.jpgBefore I could lie and say that was exactly what I was thinking, he was grabbing a Couronne Lochoise from the Loire Valley for me to try – “It turned perfectly ripe 45 seconds ago (after aging two months) and we must sample it NOW!”  Need five cheeses just from the Basque region – well, this request pained him because that meant other regions would be neglected that deserved the limelight - “I know it’s not Basque, but a Ticklemore stalking the quince paste on your cheese plate wouldn’t be such a bad idea, maybe?”

Fortunately, the Beverly Hills Cheese Store is not just a cheese wheel deal. They have delicious wine and cheese pairing tastings expertly helmed by store owner Norbert Wabnig,  dream driven olives, Dominic’s homemade sun-dried tomatoes, and everything else you could possibly want to live a life that you definitely don’t deserve.  However, without Sebastian guiding you through this high end culinary playground, you might as well not gotten out of bed this morning because it is toy box of parts to which only he has the blue cheese blueprint.

Beverly Hills Cheese Store
419 N. Beverly Drive,
Beverly Hills, California 90210
(310) 278-2855

 

Bruce Cormicle is an attorney, writer, and chef who works in Beverly Hills and recently started his own catering company called "You've Been Served".   
 

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