A Californian such as myself might be forgiven for thinking that all roads from the current sustainable-agriculture movement lead back to Alice Waters. Not so! Last week I was at the Morgan Library, where I stumbled upon a New Yorker cartoon of a woman at a deli counter asking, “I wonder how much Louis Bromfield charges for his bacon?” Curiosity sparked, I did what every journalist does—I Googled him—and realized the movement was chic even before Waters was born. Bromfield was a Pulitzer Prize–winning writer who, in 1938, moved from France back to his childhood home in central Ohio and built one of the country's first organic farms, Malabar Farm. There he put his earlier study of agriculture to use, becoming a champion of sustainability and grass-based farming. Like food stars today, Bromfield also had Hollywood connections to help bring attention to his cause—Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart married and honeymooned at Malabar. Bromfield's farm still runs on the principles he supported decades ago, although it is now a historic landmark owned by the state of Ohio.
A cheese lover's heaven.
A few years ago, I had a brief love affair with the notion of running away and becoming a cheesemaker somewhere green and beautiful. Now, Murray’s is offering its first cheesemaker tour to give wannabe cheesemakers like me an insider's look into the art of cheesemaking, right at the source.
Murray’s Director of Education, Taylor Cocalis, is leading a group of no more than 20 around the Swiss region of Bad Ragaz June 8 to 13 with stops at traditional farmstead cheesemakers, Swiss farms and tours of 400-year-old aging caves. And of course, fabulous cheese tastings, wine-paired dinners and overnights at a luxe hotel and spa are included. Check out the full itinerary here. If this first trip is a success, Murray’s plans to lead more trips in the future.
Bad Ragaz Switzerland.