How the North Bay became a cheesemaking mecca
Ever wonder how California's North Bay Area turned into the west coast's epicenter of cheese? This article from Stett Holbrook atbohemian.com gives a great history of how it all came to be, beginning with Sue Conley and Peggy Smith, of Cowgirl Creamery:
Sue Conley's timing was impeccable. As cofounder in 1997 of Cowgirl Creamery, one of the first local cheesemakers to hit the big time, she and her partner, college friend Peggy Smith, have been instrumental in the North Bay's cheese revolution. But she didn't set out to be a cheesemaker. Conley was a cook who helped start Berkeley's beloved Bette's Oceanview Diner. Smith was a chef at Chez Panisse. Both had traveled to Europe and were smitten by the regional food there. Back in the Bay Area, Chez Panisse exerted a powerful influence on cooks and diners alike, who began to embrace what was then a novel concept: eating fresh, seasonal food from local farmers and purveyors.