Murray’s Ultimate Pairing Guide

*Editor’s Note: This article was written by Chiara D’Amore-Klaiman, a member of our Wholesale Team

One of the questions we get asked the most at Murray’s is “What do I serve with this cheese?” It’s one we love answering because, if done right, accompaniments can highlight the best qualities in a cheese and create a taste sensation greater the the sum of its parts. Not to mention that with a variety of accompaniments, a cheese and charcuterie board can be a satisfying meal in and of itself, and is a great way to make entertaining easy.

 If you’re not sure where to begin, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with three simple principles that will help you pair like a pro.

Continue reading “Murray’s Ultimate Pairing Guide”

Crushed Velvet: Our Newest Caves Cheese

An interview with Head Cavemaster PJ

Meet Crushed Velvet, our latest Cavemaster Labs cheese! This colorful cheese is a beautiful bloomy experiment that’s been rubbed with hibiscus and aged in our Caves, emerging with a distinct new flavor and unique purple hue. Buttery, velvety, earthy, and sweet, this floral masterpiece is one show-stopping cheese. We sat down with Head Cavemaster Peter (PJ) Jenkelunas to get the inside scoop on our latest release:

Continue reading “Crushed Velvet: Our Newest Caves Cheese”

Meet the Designer: Clare V.

Clare V.’s Tete de Moine T-shirt, available online at Murray’s

Whether it’s cheese or clothing, we love a great collaboration. We partnered up with popular designer Clare V. to help us bring one of our favorite cheeses to life with this bold interpretation of Tete de Moine. Known for being chic, functional, and playfully whimsical, Clare V.’s extensive and constantly-growing collection of stylish designs encompass apparel, accessories, and so much more.

We sat down with Clare Vivier, the mastermind behind the design, to talk about her daily inspiration, the restaurant world, and what drew her to this potent Swiss cheese.

Your brand is known for being chic, whimsical, and practical—how would you describe it in just a few words to someone who’s not familiar with it?  

Chic. Functional. Locally-made.

On a daily basis, where do you typically find the most inspiration for your brand?

I find endless inspiration from the people I work with, and throughout my local community, be it the architecture, street signs and graphics, or people watching.

Would you say food plays a big role in your life? Is it ever a source of inspiration?

The whole restaurant world and the food community is such an interesting domain right now because there’s so much talent at the moment, and it’s really inspiring everyone. Also inspiring are the restaurants we seek out when we travel. Using those two touch points is always inspiring to me.

What made you want to use Tete de Moine for the design?

It’s such an obscure cheese and has such a silly name, it seemed improbable that we’d ever use it on a t-shirt until Murray’s asked us. And of course, we also love the cheese.

You’re only allowed one cheese for the rest of your life—what is it?

A good aged, nutty, salty Comté.

Are there any other food collaborations you’re dying to do?

We’ve just done one with our favorite chefs in LA, the guys behind Petit Trois, to celebrate their restaurants and their food, which we absolutely love. Ultimately  we’d love to do something with a French chef.

Meet the Cavemaster: Josh Windsor

Cavemaster Josh

January is Caves Month at Murray’s, and in order to understand our caves and the cheeses that come from them, you have to meet our Cavemasters! From daily cheese care (known as affinage), to coming up with new cheeses and much more, the Cavemasters are the reason Murray’s Caves are able to produce thousands of wheels of innovative, delicious cheeses each year.

A love of beer and a lifelong passion of cheese brought Josh into our Caves program from an 18 year career in building automation. After finishing the Murray’s Caves Internship Program (*Editor’s Note: This 12 week program has a launched many a Cavemaster, and we’re always look for interns, check out our Careers Page for more info) Josh stayed on and is now an integral part of the Caves team. We sat down with him to talk what inspired him to make the career switch, his favorite cave, and more.

Where are you originally from?

Cincinnati, OH

How did you first get into cheese?

I have loved cheese longer than I can remember. In my mid-20s I created a weekly routine called “Beer and Cheese Sundays” where I would buy a new-to-me beer and take it to my local cheesemonger to recommend pairings. I would then have an afternoon of trying amazing beers and cheeses. It was my version of high tea.

How did you start working in the Murray’s Caves? 

I spent about 18 years working in the building automation world, but had opportunity to switch careers a few years ago. Cheese was always a passion of mine, and I quickly found the intern program at Murray’s Caves. I jumped at the opportunity and was fortunate to be offered a job at the conclusion.

What’s your favorite thing about working in the caves at Murray’s?

Using the term “cavemaster” in casual conversation.

Josh (right) working in the Washed Rind Cave

What do you love about Murray’s in general?

I love the passion for cheese from everyone who works here. For someone who could have 90% of their conversations be about dairy, this is the place to be.

Which cave is your favorite? Why?

Really, favorites? I’m horrible at these questions. My answer will always change. I like the tranquility of Alpine, the steady rhythms of Bloomy, the quixotic nature of Washed, and the rinded beauty of Natural.  I couldn’t pick just one.

What is your favorite Cavemaster Cheese?

Murray’s Cavemaster Reserve Project X

Depends on the day, or the hour, or the last one I just tried. My current obsession has been Project X. After the shelving renovations last summer, this cheese became very temperamental. It’s been a lot of work to get it back on track and the results have been fantastic. This is my go-to snacking cheese.

Josh is a huge part of our Caves Team, but he’s not just a one man show, meet the rest of the team:

Meet the Cavemaster: Krista Jacobsen

Cavemaster Krista

January is Caves Month at Murray’s, and in order to understand our caves and the cheeses that come from them, you have to meet our Cavemasters! From daily cheese care (known as affinage), to coming up with new cheeses and much more, the Cavemasters are the reason Murray’s Caves are able to produce thousands of wheels of innovative, delicious cheeses each year.

Krista Jacobsen is the resident doctor of our Caves team, with a background in animal and dairy science — in fact, she chose dairy goats for her doctoral research. This experience allows her to dig into the various microbes, treatments, and variations inherent in affinage (cheese care), with extra attention spent on milk quality and type. Krista proves that working in the Caves is just as much a science as it is an art. We sat down with her to talk how she went from studying animal science to washing cheeses, her favorite types of cheese, and more.

Where are you originally from?

Short Hills, New Jersey.

How did you first get into cheese?

I was an animal scientist for a long time, specifically focusing on ruminant nutrition and management. Having grown up in a very cheese-friendly home, I wanted to apply my dairy science background to specialty American cheese.

Cavemaster Krista during her doctoral research with one of her subjects

How did you start working in the Murray’s Caves? 

I started as a caves intern in April 2015 (*Editor’s Note, Murray’s has a Caves Internship Program open to any and all that apply, check out our careers page for more information). That July, at the conclusion of the internship, I was hired as Assistant Cavemaster.

What’s your favorite thing about working in the caves at Murray’s?

The caves team is very small, which enables flexible collaboration using our diverse skillsets.

What do you love about Murray’s in general?

The wide variety of cheese that we carry.

Which cave is your favorite? Why?

Probably the Washed Rind Cave. Affinage in this cave is the most varied in terms of potential treatments. Although the environment and microbes in the cave itself are critical towards young cheese maturation, the washes enable us to directly manipulate the conditions on the developing rinds.

The Caves team at work in the Washed Rind Cave

What is your favorite Cavemaster Cheese?

Can be one we’ve done in the past. Impossible to identify a single favorite, but I love the stinkies (aka washed rind cheeses), such as a perfectly ripened Greensward or Cornelia.

Murray’s Cavemaster Reserve Greensward

Krista is a superstar, but she’s only one part of our Caves team, meet the rest of the team: