CYril's & Clay pigeon winery
Cyril's and Clay Pigeon Winery are the duo of businesses my husband and I opened in the fall of 2012 in a shared space in Portland's Central Eastside Industrial neighborhood.
Cyril’s is a welcoming Pacific Northwest wine bar. The food and atmosphere are direct reflections of what I think is important in the world of hospitality: taking care of each other and ourselves. Cyril's is also more than a wine bar; it is an event space, a retail shop, and a tasting room for Clay Pigeon Winery. Above all it is a place to connect people- and we've found that nothing facilitates that better than the comfort of a communal table, great food and drink.
In addition to producing beautiful wines made from grapes grown in the Willamette and Rogue Valleys and southern Washington, Clay Pigeon Winery provides a tranquil and beautiful backdrop for all sorts of goings on at Cyril's.
Published in 2010, the Guide to West Coast Cheese is an encyclopedic work documenting the breadth of artisan cheese being produced in California, Oregon, and Washington at that time. This project provided a fantastic opportunity for me to visit cheesemakers throughout the coastal states and to expand my cheese description vocabulary!
Published in the fall of 2012, the Cheesemaker's Apprentice was a dream project that allowed me to reach out to many of my heroes in the cheese industry and interview them about what they felt was important within their areas of expertise. This book was a collaborative effort with avid home cheesemaker David Bleckmann who wrote and tested all of the recipes, and Leela Cyd who contributed the majority of photographs.
cheese by hand
In the summer of 2006 I coerced my husband into taking four months to travel around the United States visiting nearly forty artisan cheesemakers. This project was born from my desire to understand the people behind the incredible cheeses I was selling in volume to restaurants and consumers from my post as a cheesemonger in a busy cheese shop in NYC.
Hand-crafted cheese made in the U.S. was finally attracting attention not only at home but also in European markets. While the Europeans had volumes of history defined around their food traditions- especially regional cheeses- and in America, if cheesemakers had anything at all (and that's a big if) it was a single page of marketing material on their website. So I went in search of answers to the questions I had about who these people were, what motivated them, and why did they make the cheeses they made.
We kept a blog throughout the project and also created podcasts (which you can find on iTunes) from our recorded interviews with various cheesemakers we visited.
It was by far the best thing we've ever done with a summer!