THE STAFF + Q&A with Our Cheesemongers
Daniel Sirko, General Manager
Daniel, is a veteran of the specialty food industry helping to launch Pastoral Artisan Cheese and Fox & Obel Market in Chicago, and a founding partner at Wicker Park’s Birchwood Kitchen and Second Street Market in Highland Park. He is a member of the American Cheese Society, a not-for-profit that promotes cheese appreciation, home and farm cheese making and has served as a judge at the organization’s annual competition.
Wine or beer? Wine - mostly whites and reds.
Cow, sheep or goat? This week, goat cheeses – especially matured goat cheeses.
Desert island cheese? A well aged Gruyere - rich, timeless and satisfying, ideal for cooking and eating.
If I were a cheese I’d be... See above.
Most interesting thing I've learned at Marché? What an amazing, supportive community we’re in.
My best cheese Haiku? gentle. loud. complex. runny. squidgy. flaky. veined. so many choices.
Adam Meuller, Assistant Manager
Favorite cheesy dish? Pizza
Most interesting thing I’ve learned at Marché… The science (biology, chemistry, climatology) involved with cheesemaking
Wine or beer? Beer
Cow, sheep or goat? Sheep
Desert island cheese? Mozzarella
If I were a cheese I’d be… Not the worst; not the best; but I’d definitely be a pretty gouda one.
Favorite guilty pleasure? I have no guilty pleasure because I do not feel at all guilty in saying that Rocky IV is the greatest movie ever made.
Dream trip? Antarctica
Favorite non-cheese product at Marché? Compound Butters
When I’m not mongering I’m… Watching movies
Last good book I read was… The Friends of Eddie Coyle
My best Cheese Haiku:
Cheese Louise, it’s good
Holy Cheesus, it’s so good
Cheese is oh so good
John Kay, Business Development/Wine Director
Favorite cheesy dish? That’s a tie between lasagna and a greek dish called Bouyourdi – feta and
kefalotyri cheese mixed with chopped tomatoes, hot peppers, oregano and olive oil, baked until melty.
Most interesting thing I’ve learned at Marché… How much I enjoy working in this industry
Wine or beer? Wine
Cow, sheep or goat? Why choose, enjoy them all.
Desert island cheese? Parmigiano Reggiano – It’s the King!!
Favorite guilty pleasure? ice cream
Dream trip? Weeks-long trip throughout Italy
Favorite non-cheese product at Marché? The wine, of course!
When I’m not mongering I’m… Wine-ing
Last good book I read was… Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
My best Cheese Haiku:
Simply curds and whey
So many varieties
Does Velveeta count?
Molly Hess, Head Cheesemonger/ACSCCP
Favorite cheesy dish? Ploughman's Lunch
Cow, sheep or goat? All three!
Desert island cheese? Alp Blossom
If I were a cheese, I'd be... Big Ed's Gouda
Favorite Guilty Pleasure? Candy in all it's various forms
Dream Trip? London
Favorite Cheesy Dish? Any form of mac n cheese.
Most interesting thing I’ve learned at Marché… Not all cheese is vegetarian, and not all wine is vegan.
Cow, sheep or goat? Goat–it’s hard to beat fresh chevre
Desert island cheese? Appenzeller Extra-Aged–it makes me want to cozy up in a Swiss ski chalet.
If I were a cheese, I'd be... Sappy Ewe–soft, sappy, and extremely pale.
Favorite Guilty Pleasure? Bad rom-coms from the 90's and 2000's
Dream Trip? A British Isles road trip–hiking, drinking, and eating!
Favorite non-cheese product at Marché? Chef Brian’s compound butters
Wine or Beer? Wine for contemplating, beer for socializing
Last good book I read was? Tunnel 29–the true story of people tunneling under the Berlin wall to escape East Berlin.
When I’m not mongering I’m… Doing art projects or watching furniture restoration ASMR on YouTube
Brian Buchna, Chef
Favorite cheesy dish? Classic Fondue, Steak Tips with Blue Cheese Sauce, Any kind of Cheese Soups (beer and cheddar)
Most interesting thing I’ve learned at Marché… Everyone is a wealth of knowledge, sharing it collectively is so rewarding as a team. I am always trying to continuously improve my knowledge of wines, from varietal to region to flavor profile. Daniel is a constant reliable source of information, and I am glad we now have John as well who knows a lot about wines. It is a fascinating field in which I hope to continue that growth!
Wine or beer? A refreshing lemonade, tonic spritzer, or root beer for me please!
Cow, sheep or goat? Toss up, most likely cow because im a sucker for french soft-ripened cow milk cheeses. Don’t rule out buffalo though!
Desert island cheese? Rocamadour, Fourme d'Ambert, Bresse Bleu, or a classic Camembert. Too hard to choose.
If I were a cheese I’d be… Probably a gouda: a little aged, a little bitter, but still a little sweet, best enjoyed with a full bodied red!
Favorite guilty pleasure? I’m definitely a late night snacker, “workin on my night cheese!”
Dream trip? A European food tour! I’ve never been and would literally love to go everywhere and sample things right from the farms and producers.
Favorite non-cheese product at Marché? Should I say I’m partial to all the things I make in-house from scratch for us? If you haven’t tried the Smoked Salmon Spread, you’re missing out!
When I’m not mongering I’m… It is my pleasure to also be cooking for Marcel’s or Maison. In my downtime I enjoy working on home renovation projects, playing music with my friends, and hanging out with my wonderful wife.
Last good book I read was… I most recently re-read Dune, and it is still just as fantastic as always. I enjoy sci-fi, epic fantasy, memoirs, playwrights, and poetry mostly.
My best Cheese Haiku:
A word about brie?
As clever as it would be,
Is way too cheesy.
Wine or Beer? Most definitely wine.
Cow, sheep or goat? Now that I am expanding my cheese palate, I would have to say that I am leaning toward sheep as my favorite!
If I were a cheese, I'd be... Gouda - it has a little bit of edginess and gets better with age!!
Dream Trip? Would love to go to Australia
Favorite Non Cheese Product at Marché? The many, many wine options but also loving all of the new products that Brian dreams up in the kitchen.
When I’m not mongering I’m... Spending time with my husband, drinking wine, bike riding and playing golf.