Established in 2003, the Wisconsin Cheese Chef Ambassador program taps the culinary creativity of talented chefs across the nation to develop exciting new recipes with Wisconsin Cheese.
One of the 11 additions to the Wisconsin Cheese Chef Ambassadors program for 2010 is Chef Scott Anderson of Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Chef Anderson developed a love for cooking in the early 1980s from his grandmother and great-grandmother while in junior high. After several years of secondary education and a master’s degree in political science at Edinboro University in Northwestern Pennsylvania, Chef Anderson became the associate director and chef of Shepherd University in 2002.
As a Wisconsin Cheese chef ambassador, Chef Anderson has been teaming up with Borders bookstores to teach customers about Wisconsin Cheese pairings for the holidays. Specifically concentrating on new technology, Chef Anderson has been sharing cheese cookbooks, including The Great Big Cheese Cookbook, on the iPad and Borders Kobo, and demonstrating the Wisconsin Cheese Cupid iPhone application.
With passion for Wisconsin Cheese and easy eReaders, Chef Anderson was eager to talk about his new position as a Wisconsin Cheese chef ambassador with Wisconsin Cheese Talk.
On the Wisconsin Cheese eBook demonstrations at Borders: I bring dishes from recipes using Wisconsin Cheese to sample and share with the store’s customers, and then I show the recipes on the eReaders – a lot of these are chef ambassador recipes. It becomes an interactive cheese experience for people who want to want to learn more about cheese, and potentially buy the hard copies or the eReader versions of these cheese books.
What do you do during these eBook demonstrations?
It’s all very hands on. I show how to take any recipe, one from the eBooks or even a family recipe, and put it right onto the eReader, into a recipe application. I explain how easy it is to read a recipe from the eReader, create a shopping list, print off the list or take the iPad along to the grocery store.
How are these eBooks changing the way people cook?
The recipe is with you. The list is with you. When you come home you can put your ingredients and eBook on the kitchen counter and just start cooking. If there are any problems with cheeses while cooking, you can actually go online and look up what Asiago is, or go into The Great Big Cheese Cookbook to see if there is a cheese to substitute for Asiago.
What are your goals for teaching people about cooking with the iPad?
I’m interested in teaching people how they can really utilize this new technology while they are cooking with one of their favorite ingredientscheese, of course. People are really grasping it and like the medium – the ability to look at a recipe or look for ideas, and have it right there in front of them. One can actually click on a word and Google it directly from the book or search for it in Wikipedia. It is even easy to make notes right onto the book or highlight key steps in a recipe. People love the hands-on technology with both the eBooks and the Wisconsin Cheese Cupid iPhone application. One girl even downloaded the Wisconsin Cheese Cupid application during the demonstration.
Favorite Wisconsin Cheeses: For me, the ultimate Wisconsin Cheese is Brick from Joe Widmer of Widmer’s Cheese Cellars. His Brick cheese is beautifully aged and has a traditional pungency to it. I gave some to my grandmother, who’s almost 80 now, and she said, “I haven’t had Brick like this in years. Where is it from?” Well, Wisconsin, of course.
Chef Scott Anderson continues.
Roth Käse Bleu Affinée is also really good. Another one of my favorites is Bellavitano merlot by Satori Foods. I use Crave Brothers Les Frères for a lot of catering events. I served it with some pastry dough to a party of sixty people – like baked Brie. The guests tore it up, and were cutting it like chunks of pie. Delicious. I say it’s always better to go with full-flavor cheeses.
Favorite recipe from the eBooks: The Asiago Cheese Puffs from The Great Big Cheese Cookbook are amazing. You can use a lot of different cheeses with this same recipe – Grand Queso, Fontina, Gruyere, Aged Cheddar.
Asiago Cheese Puffs
from The Great Big Cheese Cookbook
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp salt
cayenne pepper, to taste
1 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup (about 2 ounces) finely shredded Asiago cheese
½ cup (about 2 ounces) grated aged Parmesan cheese
½ cup (about 2 ounces) shredded Pepato cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a small saucepan, combine the butter, oil, salt, cayenne, and water; bring to a boil. Add the flour all at once; stir until the mixture forms a smooth ball. Cook over low heat, until the mixture is drier, but still smooth. Pour into a mixing bowl. Beat in the eggs, one at a time; stir in the cheeses. Drop tablespoonfuls of the batter onto greased baking sheets. Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and firm. Serve immediately.