It's Not You It's Brie

Cheese Blog


The Cheese Blog


Cheese, Wine & Beer Eventavaganza Hits the Bay


Ladies and gentleman, if you happen to be in the Bay Area in the next couple months and like cheese and beer and wine, and... then, buckle up. There's a tidal wave a coming. Classes here, class there, SF Beer Week, Sonoma Cheese Festival, Sonoma Cheese Conference, and ... whew. More. Just prepare to be full and and happy until at least late March.

Because I recently published my book (see right-hand Amazon link and huge promo photo of me in the above flyer), I'll be around. I tend to be around anyhow, but in these next couple months, I'll be super around. Educating, sipping a beer or wine or two, writing, attending events, consulting. Below I'm listing some forthcoming events that have caught my eye in my area, and also some events that I'll be hosting, and classes I'll be teaching and attending. I've bolded the titles of the ones I'll be hosting or those at which I'll be reading my book (and tasting cheese). Hope to see you around!


Good Food Awards Gala Reception (THIS Friday)

Join us in celebrating the 114 Good Food Award Winners of 2013 at a gala gathering inside the San Francisco Ferry Building, with the winning food and drink on tap.  Rub elbows with the winners from 30 states and 1 Federal District, media, host Alice Waters and the 130 Good Food Awards judges [one of them is me, rubbing elbows] while sampling the best cheese, charcuterie, pickles, preserves, confections, chocolate, and coffee on regional tasting plates and in dishes as envisioned by 10 local chefs, including Sarah and Evan Rich of Rich Table, Comstock Saloon's Carlo Espinas, Bill Corbett of The Absinthe Group, Trevor Ogden of Chambers and Slanted Door alum Grace Nguyen of Asian Box.  An open bar will serve the 14 winning beers alongside cocktails mixed by Rye on the Road with the 13 winning spirits. Black tie optional."


Cheese School of San Francisco

It’s Not You, It’s Brie: The Best Little Cheesemakers and Winemakers in America, Wednesday, January 30th (6:30-8:30pm

Author Kirstin Jackson’s new book, It’s Not You, It’s Brie is a celebration of the unique character of American’s artisan cheesemaking. In this class, she’ll introduce you to the cheeses that she loves so much she had to write a book about them. As her day job is as the wine bar manager (and cheese program director) at Solano Cellars, Kirstin select four wines from her most beloved winemakers to toast the occasion.


Super Bowl Showdown, Instructor: Gordon Edgar | Friday, February 1st (6:30-8:30pm)

The Super Bowl, a time for cheering, chanting, and cheese. In this class, the cheeses from the home state of the bowl-bound teams will go head-to-head. You’ll decide who the winner is ahead of Sunday’s game. You’ll also taste the party-ready cheeses and accompaniments instructor and legendary cheese buyer Gordon Edgar thinks are worthy of a trophy.

Luscious & Loverly: Valentine’s Day Cheese & Wine Thursday, February 14th (6:30-8:30pm)

There is no better way to romance your honey than with rare and fine fromage, luxurious accompaniments, fiery bubblies, and indulgent dessert wines. Instructor Kirstin Jackson author of It’s Not You, It’s Brie, leads the lovefest with a festive guided tour through the most indulgent of cheeses and wines. Muh!

Basic Cheesemaking: Ricotta, Mascarpone, Panir, & Chevre, Instructor: Mary Karlin | Saturday, March 9th (1:00-5:00pm)

In this four-hour Saturday workshop you’ll learn the basics of making fresh cheeses from home-cheesemaking guru Mary Karlin, author of Artisan Cheesemaking at Home. First, you’ll sample the types of cheeses that you’ll be making — panir, ricotta, marscarpone, and chevre — and learn the science behind the curdling process. Then you will break into cheesemaking teams: Each team will make all four cheeses. By the time it’s all over you’ll have enough home-made cheese to take home to your loved ones, if you can resist eating it all yourself


Epicurean Connection: It's Not You, it's Brie Reading .... has been postponed- will update once rescheduled. 


San Francisco Beer Week

18Reasons: Farmhouse Beer and Cheese with Master Cicerone Nicole Erny and Kirstin Jackson - SO Excited to work with this amazing expert. Tuesday, Feb 12 7:00p

In this beer-pairing workshop, Master Cicerone Nicole Erny and Kirstin Jackson, author of "It's Not You, It's Brie: A Guide to Unwrapping American Cheese Culture," will collide two fascinating worlds of flavor: farmhouse beer and farmstead cheese. Participants will taste through 5 beers and 5 cheeses to learn what defines these terms and walk away with an arsenal of experiential knowledge on how to pair the two.

About Nicole: Nicole is the fourth person, first woman and youngest person to acchieve the title of Master Cicerone (R). This Certification culminated from 2 days of intensive written, oral, and tasting exams which were proctored and graded by highly respected and experienced members of the beer industry. Of the 11 candidates that sat for the exam in November of 2011, Nicole was the only new Master Cicerone to emerge.

Drake’s Sau & Brau – Part Trois, Feb 13, 2013 6:00 PM

Sau & Brau has become one of the must-attend events of SF Beer Week, and there's little reason to wonder why. Each year we open our doors and our taps to lovers of pig and beer with a whole hog pig roast dinner and up to 20 taps flowing with Drake's beers including our special small-batch Barrel Aged Beers. Throw in some live music, good friends, and nearly the entire Drake's staff on hand to talk beer and brewing, and you have one helluva great night.

Craft Beer & Grilled Cheese with Firestone Walker Brewing, February 10, 6- 8:00pm, The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen - South Park

Enjoy artisanal grilled cheese sandwiches and craft beer pairings at this intimate event hosted by SF's first gourmet grilled cheese restaurant and the central coast's premier craft brewery. The Firestone Walker brewing team will walk you through a selection of premium craft beers and Heidi Gibson, THE AMERICAN'S Commander-in-Cheese, will educate you on the art and science of grilling cheese and creating gourmet sandwiches.



Sonoma Valley Cheese Conference, Febuary 24th-26th New Generation Cheesemakers

"A rising group of new generation and urban cheesemakers will take the spotlight at the Tenth Annual Sonoma Valley Cheese Conference – an annual gathering of American artisan cheesemakers, retailers, distributors and food writers, on Feb. 23 – 27, 2013, in Sonoma, Calif.

Hosted by Sheana Davis of The Epicurean Connection, the conference is a premier destination for cheese industry opinion leaders from across the nation. This year, the event will highlight a core group of young cheesemakers representing a new generation in the industry. In addition, the bright lights of the big city will take the spotlight with a presentation on urban cheesemaking in Seattle, Milwaukee and New York."  (I'll be signing books at the Sunday event, come say hi!)


California's Artisan Cheese Festival, Sonoma

Join us March 22 – 24, 2013 for the 7th Annual Festival at the Sheraton Sonoma County – Petaluma. You will have an opportunity to meet cheesemakers, celebrity chefs, educators, cheesemongers, authors, farmers and even the four-legged friends that produce the milk so we can make the cheese!

I'll be teaching this class with friends Garrett McCord and Stephanie Stiavetti, authors of Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese, publishing this year.

"Join these three well known food bloggers and cheese authors as they explore the delicious world of cooking with cheese. While delightful on its own, more and more dairy lovers are taking the dive and cooking with their favorite cheeses. But what are the intricacies of combining your favorite cheese with herbs, fruits, vegetables and meats? How does a cheese’s texture change as it bakes or is swirled into a sauce and, most importantly, how do you plan for these changes when developing a recipe? Both cheeses and culinary ingredients will be tasted in their cooked and uncooked states."