THE STAFF

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.
Favorite non-cheese product at Marché? Le Bon Magot’s Brinjal Caponata. I go through a jar a week no problem.
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.

Q&A with our Cheesemongers


Steven Merkle, Assistant General Manager

Favorite cheesy dish? The many variations of Mac and Cheese.
Most interesting thing I’ve learned at Marché… Everyday there are new discoveries: from all the history around cheese making to the artistry and nuances that is cheese making today.
Wine or beer? Wine
Cow, sheep or goat? Sheep; Rich, buttery, and nutty. Yum
Desert island cheese? It would have to be a hard cheese that can keep longer then most and keep me nourished until the boats arrive rescue me. I’d take Parmigiano Reggiano.  
If I were a cheese I’d be…   An aged Gouda. 
Favorite guilty pleasure? Retro video gaming
Dream trip? Ireland, to be able to travel the beautiful countryside would be life changing.
Favorite non-cheese product at Marché? Honey Butter! It’s name says it all. 
Haiku: Sitting in my frig, Calling out to me always, Can’t fight it anymore

Lauren Emme, Manager

Wine or beer? Wine
Cow, sheep or goat? Sheep
Desert island cheese? Comté
If I were a cheese I’d be... Prairie Breeze
Favorite Guilty Pleasure? Peach Bellinis
When I’m not mongering I’m… Cooking
Dream Trip? Rhine River Cruise
Favorite Cheesy Dish? Ricotta Gnudi

Piali Roy, Cheesemonger

Wine or beer? Wine
Cow, sheep or goat? Sheep and Goat - Do I really need to choose?
Desert island cheese? Ewephoria
If I were a cheese, I'd be... Avonlea Cheddar because I am an aged Canadian!
Favorite Guilty Pleasure? Slathering a baguette with Brie de Chatelaine
When I’m not mongering I’m… Exploring local restaurants, nature preserves, and music venues. Always looking for the next hidden treasure.
Dream Trip? Stay in a villa in Tuscany for a month, shop in the local markets, take cooking classes.
Favorite non-cheese product at Marché? Nuts Over Olives
Favorite Cheesy Dish? Marché quiches
Last good book I read was? Becoming by Michelle Obama

Andrew Gresko, Cheesemonger

Wine or beer? Neither
Cow, sheep or goat? All of the above
Desert island cheese? The largest, most buoyant cheese wheel to carve a small boat to escape.
If I were a cheese I’d be... All gone
Favorite Guilty Pleasure? Spending too much money on Magic the Gathering
Favorite Cheesy Dish? Triple Creme + Bread
Favorite non-cheese product at Marché? Olives
When I’m not mongering I’m… Reading, writing, consuming, and/or sleeping
Dream Trip? Anywhere on Earth
Most interesting thing I've learned at Marché? Wars have been fought over cheese... aren't people silly?

Debbie Detrick, Kitchen Lead / Cheesemonger

Wine or beer? Wine
Cow, sheep or goat? Goat
Desert island cheese? Triple Creme
Favorite Guilty Pleasure? Tennis
Favorite Cheesy Dish? Goat Cheese Souffle
Favorite non-cheese product at Marché? Wine, of course!
When I’m not mongering I’m… Playing tennis and cooking.
Dream Trip? Patagonia
Last good book I read was... Ruhlman's Twenty

Sami Lustig, Farmers Market Monger

Wine or beer? Irish Whiskey
Cow, sheep or goat? Goat
If I were a cheese, I'd be... Brie (it's my middle name)
Favorite Cheesy Dish? A grilled cheese sandwich with pimento spread.
Dream Trip? Watching a space launch.
Last good book I read was... Tools of Titans - Tim Ferris