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

Katie Glaudell, Cheesemonger

Favorite Cheesy Dish? Mac-n-Cheese
Cow, sheep or goat? I love all of 'em!
Desert island cheese? Roquefort or Gorgonzola
If I were a cheese, I'd be... Extra sharp white cheddar
Favorite Guilty Pleasure? Bad rom-coms and early 2000's movies
When I’m not mongering I’m… Relaxing outdoors, listening to spooky podcasts, and attempting DIY/craft projects.
Dream Trip? I was supposed to go to New Zealand but the pandemic happened so that’s still my #1!
Favorite non-cheese product at Marché? Anything that Debbie pickles. I love pickles.
Wine or Beer? Wine in summer, beer in winter, but red wine always.
Last good book I read was? East of Eden

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

Molly Hess, Cheesemonger

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... Bid Ed's Gouda
Favorite Guilty Pleasure? Candy in all it's various forms
Dream Trip? London

Nikki Bourque, Cheesemonger

Favorite cheesy dish? Real New York calzones which are basically magical, dough-enrobed clouds of ricotta and mozzarella. In lieu of that, I would say my own homemade varieties of mac and cheese.
Wine or beer? That is akin to asking, "air or water"? I need both in my life.
Cow, sheep or goat? Sheep
Desert island cheese? A good, crumbly cheddar.
If I were a cheese, I'd be... I am known to be pretty salty, so I will go with feta.
Favorite Guilty Pleasure? Watching True Crime on YouTube.
Dream Trip? I would love to follow in the footsteps of the late Anthony Bourdain and eat my way around the world. Sharing good food and drink with others does more to unite people than a million diplomats ever could.
Favorite non-cheese product at Marché? Can't decide between the house made mixed nuts with the roasted walnuts, or the compound butters, or the bread, or the wine...
hen I'm not mongering... I'm writing, listening to music, studying hisory, brushing up on my French, walking through any forest that comes my way, watching too much TV, and being on Twitter.

Linda Rutschke, Staff Associate

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 with Debbie’s many delicious recipes coming in a close second
When I’m not mongering I’m... Spending time with my husband, drinking wine, bike riding and playing golf.

Patti Oh, Staff Associate

Favorite cheesy dish? Either raclette or a creamy macaroni and cheese.
Wine or Beer? I prefer wine over beer, especially Rosé and Prosecco.
Cow, sheep or goat? I love all types of cheese but I think my favorite is a goat or sheep cheese.
Favorite guilty pleasure? Dark chocolate.
If I were a cheese, I'd be... Soft and creamy.
Dream Trip? Would be to explore the mountains, lava fields, and glaciers of Iceland.
Favorite Non Cheese Product at Marché? The yummy brownies.