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Welcome to the kosher cheese cave

They call him The Cheese Guy. Just the person you need at Shavuot

    He has been featured in the New York Times, The Times of Israel, The Forward, Mishpacha Magazine, numerous other publications and the prestigious Naomi Nachman Table for Two radio show. Brent Delman, aka The Cheese Guy, has been involved in the speciality food business for more than 30 years, importing and distributing products in the New York area. In recent years he has focused primarily on cheese.

    Delman has a passion for gourmet cheese. Following through on his entrepreneurial spirit and using his food business expertise − plus his love for cheese − The Cheese Guy, a kosher, gourmet cheese brand was born.

    Headquartered in New York, most of The Cheese Guy brand cheeses are produced in America, in small batches, at family-owned dairy farms and are based on Delman’s own recipes and formulae. As “The Cheese Guy” he is taking kosher cheeses to new heights. The company motto is “Raising Cheesy to an Art”.

    Delman, 54, of Yonkers, did not grow up in a kosher home, so when he turned more religious as a young adult he knew what non-kosher delicacies he was missing. A hankering for exquisite cheeses became the mother of his invention.

    His entrepreneurial spirit extends back to his school days when he ran local neighbourhood businesses, helping to employ family and friends.

    Early influences were his “cheese-making trifecta”, as he describes it — Eastern European Jewish heritage, upbringing in an Italian neighbourhood outside of Cleveland, Ohio, and proximity to Amish farms. These ingredients combined to inspire Delman’s mouthwatering artisanal, kosher cheeses.

    With more than 30 years’ experience in the speciality food industry, his return to a traditional Jewish lifestyle, and an MBA from George Washington University, Delman saw the growing need to provide kosher aged cheeses to kosher, vegetarian, and gluten-free consumers.

    “Having grown up in a non-kosher home, I knew what we were missing and I don’t think food should be an obstacle in anyone’s spiritual path or that anyone should be deprived,” says Delman.

    He now sells about 35 types of certified kosher cheeses, in speciality and kosher stores in the New York metropolitan area, as well as dozens of other cities in the United States and Latin America.

    The cheeses are made according to Delman’s recipes. The product is then shipped from his partners, to Yonkers, NY where he does the affinage, or ageing of the cheeses.

    “I partner with small dairy farms to produce my recipes — only at the very highest quality, or else I will reject a batch. And when the young cheeses are delivered to me, soft and mild, they are nurtured as they age in my cheese cellar.”

    He persuaded his wife to let him retro-fit the basement of the family home in Yonkers into a temperature- and humidity-controlled cheese cave, where he could work his ripening process on his more personal cheeses. Since it is in his home, he is able, six days a week, to go down and age the cheese.

    In his words, “There is a real art to ageing cheese and my goal as a local affineur, is to take an ordinary wheel of cheese and derive its greatness.”

    Rabbi Avraham Gordimer, the rabbinical coordinator for the OU, calls Delman a gastronomic trailblazer.

    Some of his unique varieties include a Craft Beer Cheddar using New York beers; raw milk, organic sharp Cheddars and Jack cheeses; soft ripened, pungent Camembert-style cheese made in the Green Mountains of Vermont; nutty Gouda, produced from milk on small Amish farms in Ohio; spicy hot cheeses made with real jalapenos, habaneros and chipotle peppers; Pecorino Romano and other fragrant sheep cheeses from Sardinia, Italy aged over two years — something for every palate.

    Gourmet, artisanal, handcrafted, high-end kosher cheese — if you are holidaying in the States, be sure to try some while you are in town.

    “Kosher cheese has come a long way in recent years,” says Delman, “and, like kosher wine, they can now compete with the best cheeses in the world.”

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