The world of cheese lost one of its most passionate advocates this week, Daphne Zepos, who passed away on Tuesday. Daphne was the founder of Essex Street Cheese Company and co-owner of The Cheese School of San Francisco and for years before that a passionate teacher and mentor for many people in the cheese industry.
I had the great pleasure of working with Daphne for a brief time in New York and she had a huge, lasting influence on me. Not only because she was so knowledgeable about cheese, but because I had never worked with someone who was so much fun to be around. She was hilarious, confident, creative and inspired those around her to work hard but always have fun doing it.
You can read a brief interview I did with Daphne in 2006 about the Comte cheese that she imported and read a longer tribute to Daphne written by her friend Ari Weinzweig.
At Daphne's request, donations can be sent to support ongoing education for cheese professionals. They can be made in Daphne's memory through the American Cheese Education Foundation online, by mail to: ACE Foundation c/o American Cheese Society, 2696 S. Colorado Blvd., Suite 570, Denver, CO 80222, or by calling 720-328-2788 x300.