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Authors: Cheese Board Collective Staff

The Cheese Board

BOOK: The Cheese Board
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Copyright © 2003 by the Cheese Board Collective

Photography copyright © 2003 by the Cheese Board Collective and Joshua Apte

Foreword copyright © 2003 by Alice Waters

Illustrations copyright © 2003 by the Cheese Board Collective and Ann Arnold

All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.

Ten Speed Press and the Ten Speed Press colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.

“O Cheese”
Kicking the Leaves
by Donald Hall, © 1978. Reprinted by permission of Curtis Brown.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Cheese Board Collective.
  The cheese board : collective works: bread, pastry, cheese, pizza / by the Cheese Board Collective; foreword by Alice Waters.
      p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
  1. Baking. 2. Baked products. 3. Cheese Board Collective. I. Title.
  TX765 .C465 2003

eISBN: 978-0-307-81538-5

Cover design by Toni Tajima
Cover photography by Joshua Apte




is truly a collective project. While a small group of us worked on the book steadily for the past three years, its existence is entirely due to the support of all the Cheese Board Collective members. Cheese Boarders contributed to the project in so many ways: they tested and developed recipes; substituted on shifts, freeing up time for others to work on the cookbook; contributed artwork and photography; critiqued text; and supported the lengthy work that has gone into writing this book. We heard a collective sigh of relief at our monthly meeting when it was announced that the manuscript had finally been handed in.

The challenge of taking bakery-sized recipes and reducing them to recipes to be used by the home cook kept us busy. Our families and housemates were exceedingly patient about coming home time and again to discover the kitchen transformed into a test zone and plates and plates of delicious scones—but no hint of dinner. They complained only when we finished testing recipes and there were no more scones to taste!

Ten Speed Press is right in our backyard. Many of the staff are Cheese Board customers, which made it the perfect press to publish our book. They were patient and understanding when we explained that decisions would have to be agreed upon by our entire membership. Recently, when only two of us showed up for a meeting at Ten Speed (we usually travel in groups of six), Aaron, our editor, asked us twice if we were really the only ones coming.

Grateful thanks to the following people for their contributions to this project: Mark Anderson, our first contact at Ten Speed; Joshua Apte, photography; Mike Apte, kitchen cleanup, lunches, editing, and computer support; Oliver Apte, recipe tasting; Zac Apte, recipe tasting and computer support; Ann Arnold, artwork; Tina Birky, artwork, support, and information; Carrie Blake, recipe development and testing, information, and support; Lisa Bruzzone, recipe development and testing, editing, and writing; Rosalind Bruzzone, recipe testing; Brad Bunnin, legal advice and handholding; Mateo Chavez, recipe development, information, and support; Ken Della Penta, indexing; Arthur Dembling, writing, editing, support, and information; Lynne Devereaux of the California Milk Advisory Board, cheese information; Suzanne Doyle, recipe testing; Pam Erenberg, recipe development, editing, information, and support; Dan Falsetto, recipe testing, information, and support; Bruce Freedman, support, recipe tasting, and information; Charles Frizzell, photography, writing, and editing; Helen Gaffney, recipe testing; Cathy Goldsmith, recipe development and testing, editing, and writing; Joel Goldsmith, recipe tasting; Samuel Goldsmith, recipe tasting; Steve Goldsmith, support, kitchen cleanup, recipe tasting, and editing; Mariano Gonzalez, cheese-aging information; Reuben Hale, inspiration for steaming techniques; John Harris, encouragement, support, and information; Linda Hawkins, editing and advice; Arayah Jenanyan, recipe testing, information, and support; Alice Kahn, writing, support, and information; Suzanne Kiihne,
recipe testing; Laurel Koledin, cheese information; Beverly Kraut, recipe development; Dave Magtanong, recipe testing, support, and information; Kirsty Melville, belief in the project; Carolyn Miller, copyediting; Jacinta Monniere, manuscript cleanup; Daphne O’Regan, editing and support; Jonas Osmond, poetry; Deborah Quick, writing, information, and support; Gary Salzman, artwork, recipe testing, information, and support; Ursula Schulz, recipe development and testing, editing, and writing; Jasmine Star, proofreading; Steve Sutcher, editing, writing, information, and support; Toni Tajima, our designer; Steve Upstill, recipe testing; Willa Walter, recipe development, recipe testing, and editing; Alice Waters, support and writing; Aaron Wehner, our patient editor; Victoria Wise, support and writing; Phil Wood, belief in the project; and Olivia Yee, recipe testing, information, and support.

And thanks to the following people for their information and support they provided: Bruce Aidells, Francisco Alonso, Nancy Austin, Cristina Barras, Paul Bellman, Carole Bidnick, Charlie Bonkofski, Sylvan Brackett, Martha Cornwall, Erin Crowe, Pat Darrow, Lourdes De Real, Frieda Dilloo, Kate Dowling, Arielle Eckstut, Julia Elliot, Stu Epstein, Gonzalo Ferreyra, Dwight Ferron, Sloan Fidler, Janet Fletcher, John Grau, Michael Helm, Darryl Henriques, Robert Jackall, Mollie Katzen, Adam King, Craig Knudsen, Artemio Maldonado, Michael McGee, Laura McNall, Jesus Mejia, Tessa Morrone, Giorgia Neidorf, Stephanie Pardee, Rafael Peña, Guillermo Perez, José Ruiz, Vicki Salzman, Cory Schreiber, Shehanna Stevenson, Yeshi Tenzin, Arturo Toczynski, Elizabeth Valoma (Avedisian), Lynn Ventresca, Michael Wild, David Weidenfeld, and Eric Wong.


is the one indispensable institution in the north Berkeley neighborhood where I live and work. It has created a community larger than itself, composed of the collective and all its former members, suppliers, customers, neighbors, and all the beneficiaries of its commonsense purity of motivation. And the Cheese Board has anchored and sustained this community by its uninterrupted practice of compassionate collectivism, expressed through food.

Where else but the Cheese Board could I walk through the door on a Saturday morning into a more or less orderly but still thrilling and lively throng of people, all drawn in by the irresistible good smells of baking bread? Inside there are warm loaves fresh from the ovens and huge cases filled with hundreds of cheeses. Everywhere there is greeting, gossiping, and babies crying. Right in plain view is an undisguised workshop: an open, no-nonsense kitchen and counter, with no high-concept merchandising, and nothing boutiquelike about it. And I can always count on a hug and a kiss from a friend behind the counter.

The Cheese Board was there, a hole-in-the-wall with a line out the door, before Chez Panisse was so much as a gleam in my eye. When the restaurant was conceived, I wanted it to be in north Berkeley so the Cheese Board would be nearby, because I knew I would be among friends. The Cheese Board was then a beacon of honesty, and it still is, although now it is also a central gathering place, cheese merchant, bakery, and pizzeria—and still with a line out the door. Its liberality and sheer political expressivity is an inspiration to us here across the street.

Knowing that the Cheese Board is nearby has helped save Chez Panisse from getting too expensive and exclusive, I think. I know I will never forget the astonishing night in the seventies when the merry collectivists, having stripped themselves naked, burst through our front door in the midst of the dinner service and streaked through the restaurant, the very embodiment of ecstatic, anarchic nature, if not anarchosyndicalism.

To have been their across-the-street neighbor for so long is to love the Cheese Boarders most of all for their generosity and kindness. For over thirty years the collective has been quietly teaching its patrons with authentic food and authentic politics. I’m very happy they are now expressing their passion in this book.

—Alice Waters


a Cheese Board cookbook, we knew that it would have to contain not only recipes, but also the multiplicity of voices that have been a part of the Cheese Board these past thirty years. A small group set out to interview past and present members about their experiences, and this resulted in an invaluable anecdotal archive of Cheese Board history. Since 1967, each decade has had its benchmarks: the moving of the store, the starting of the pizzeria, the spawning of new collectives. And with the passing of time, new voices joined the group, adding their creativity and helping the Cheese Board to grow.

The history of the Cheese Board is one of creativity, investigation, trial, and change. Someone gets an idea and throws it out there. Then we pool our knowledge; the idea grows and changes, profiting from the group’s participation and experience. The experience of writing this book has mirrored this process. At first, it was an idea, then a small group of people gathered in support of this idea, the Cheese Board membership endorsed the project, and here we are. We have grown closer, eaten great food, and had a terrific time. And if we’ve learned anything from being Cheese Board collective members, it is that process and product can work together to create something new and worthwhile.

There are many excellent books that explain the science of bread baking. Our book does not go into those details; instead, we offer our years of baking experience. Please follow these recipes as we would: No instruction is carved in stone and no technique is a rule. You are the ultimate judge of what tastes good to you. Our philosophy is that preparing food should be joyous and fun.

BOOK: The Cheese Board
9.26Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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