Top Chefs’ Choice of Their Favorite Cheese

Richard Vines wrote . . . . . . .

You don’t have to forsake Stilton, manchego or camembert. But if you want to spice up your cheese plate or impress a host, we have a few suggestions to help you get creative.

Bloomberg asked top chefs from around the world to pick out their favorite under-the-radar cheeses. Here’s what they had to say.


Country: U.S.

Chef: Eric Ripert (Le Bernardin, New York)

Why: This American original with a distinctive, snow-covered dome shape is an aged goat cheese from Vermont Creamery. “It has a lot of flavor and a great creamy texture,” says Ripert, who was born in France. “It is full of personality. It is wonderful to see that America is producing cheese as delicious as those in Europe.” Best of all, it’s relatively easy to find at places like Whole Foods.

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Country: France

Chef: Shane Osborn (Arcane, Hong Kong)

Why: This unpasteurized ewe’s milk cheese from Cévennes comes wrapped in spruce bark. “It’s a bit like a brie, with a light, smoky taste,” says Osborn, who serves it on his cheese board. “When ripe, it is absolutely delicious, very special. People in Hong Kong generally don’t like really strong cheeses or blue cheeses, but Claousou is subtle and elegant and smooth.”

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Country: Greece

Chef: Yotam Ottolenghi (Ottolenghi, London)

Why: This semi-soft, rindless cheese from the Greek regions of Thessaly and Macedonia is known for its gentle, milky flavor. “We use a lot in our restaurant,” Ottolenghi says. “It’s white and young, with cream added to it, which makes it sweeter and creamier than feta. It grills really well, so we tend to use it in salads, alongside grilled fruit or veg. Unlike halloumi, which is rather rubbery if not served warm, this one is crumbly, so can be eaten at room temperature as well.”

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Country: India

Chef: Vivek Singh (Cinnamon Club, London)

Why: This dry and salty cheese was originally brought to Bandel, in the east of India, by Portuguese settlers. “It’s a bit like feta,” Singh says. “It is great to crumble onto scrambled eggs. India isn’t really a cheese country, but this is special.”

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Country: U.S.

Chef: Daniel Humm (Eleven Madison Park, New York)

Why: This stinky, stinky cheese from Cato Corner Farm, in Colchester, Connecticut, flies under the radar. Humm, whose Eleven Madison Park holds the title of world’s best restaurant, says: “We’ve used it in the restaurant. It’s a washed rind, soft cheese that has beautiful aromas and intense flavor.” This one’s tough to find, but we tracked it down at Murray’s Cheese shops in New York.

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Fourme d’Ambert

Country: France

Chef: Wolfgang Puck (Spago, Beverly Hills)

Why: This blue-veined French cheese, which dates back to the Middle Ages, is produced from the milk of cows that are fed on grass in the mountainous region of Puy de Dôme, in Auvergne. “I love Fourme d’Ambert,” Puck says. “It is a blue cheese but really creamy and easy to eat with wine and everything.”

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Country: Ireland

Chef: Pierre Koffmann (London)

Why: This soft farmhouse cheese is made from the milk of Friesian cows grazing on the mountains of the Beara peninsula of southwest Ireland. “It’s got a washed crust and it it is brilliant, with beautiful flavor,” says French-born Koffmann, who held three Michelin stars at La Tante Claire in London. He likes to eat it on its own.

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Country: France

Chef: Anne-Sophie Pic (Maison Pic, Valence)

Why: This goat’s milk cheese from the Rhône is a favorite of Pic, who holds three Michelin stars at Maison Pic in southeast France. She won the title of world’s Best Female Chef in 2011. “Picodon is from my region,” she says. “I grew up with this cheese.”

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Old Winchester

Country: England

Chef: Angela Hartnett (Murano, London)

Why: This a is a firm pasteurized cheese handmade at Lyburn Farm, in the New Forest, in the south of England. “It reminds me of a Comté and a Parmesan,” Hartnett says. “It’s a nice cheese you can have on its own or with bread and chutney, or you can slice it really thin. It’s got a brilliant salty, crystalline crunch to it.”

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Country: Peru

Chef: Virgilio Martinez (Central, Lima)

Why: Queso Paria, which has a soft flavor, is made from cow’s milk in the mountains of Peru. “It is creamy and salty and then the skin, which is also edible, is quite hard,” says Martinez, whose Lima restaurant Central ranks No. 5 in the world. “I like the different textures.”

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Country: Spain

Chef: Albert Adrià (Tickets, Barcelona)

Why: This Catalan cow’s milk cheese is a favorite of Adrià’s. “It is soft, with notes of hazelnut and confit fruit,” Adrià says. “It has a lot of personality from the fields where it is made.”

Source: Bloomberg


Baked Cauliflower and Frittatas


1 medium-sized cauliflower
1 slice lemon
1 slice bread
6 eggs
5 slices Emmenthal cheese
grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted


  1. Remove the large outer leaves of the cauliflower and trim the stalk. Wash thoroughly. Cook in boiling salted water together with the lemon and bread (to eliminate the cooking smell) until al dente (about 15 minutes) and drain.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare 3 frittatas (flat, Italian-style omelets, cooked on both sides), each using 2 eggs and about 6 inches in diameter, according to the size of the cauliflower. Arrange the 3 frittatas on an ovenproof serving platter one on top of the other, with 2-1/2 slices of Emmenthal between the first and second frittata and between the second and third.
  3. Place the cauliflower on top, sprinkle with grated Parmesan. Pour the butter or margarine over and put in a hot oven (425ºF) for about 10 minutes to gratine.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: The Cook’s Book

In Pictures: Modern Dim Sum of Restaurant A. Wong in Victoria, London, U.K.

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Stretches: The Forgotten Exercise

Regina Boyle Wheeler wrote . . . . . .

Along with aerobic and strength training, stretching is an important part of every workout routine. But many people make the mistake of skipping this key step or doing certain stretches at the wrong time.

Stretching improves flexibility and helps maintain good range of motion in your joints. It may even prevent injury. Timing is important, though.

Starting your workout with dynamic stretches can prep your body for the exercise to come, according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE). These are stretches that take your body through a range of motions and raise your core temperature.

On the other hand, static stretches — stretches you get into and hold for a certain length of time without moving — before exercise can strain or pull a muscle. So, save such stretches for after your workout when your muscles are warm and loose, the ACE says.

It’s important to keep safety in mind when you’re doing static stretches in particular. Ease into each stretch and move slowly until you feel the targeted muscle or muscles gently extend. Try to hold each position for 10 to 30 seconds. Relax and then repeat the stretch two or three times. Breathe slowly and naturally.

Be sure to stretch the muscles on both sides of your body. If you stretch one hamstring, don’t forget to do the other. And to avoid tearing a muscle don’t bounce.

Remember to listen to your body as you stretch. If a particular move causes a muscle cramp or pain of any kind, stop doing it.

Source : HealthDay

Top Ten Reasons to Stretch According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE)

Since flexibility is one of the five components of fitness, it is important to impress upon your clients that stretching should be an integral part of every workout program. Here are ACE’s Top Ten Reasons to help your clients remember why they should stretch:

1. Decreases muscle stiffness and increases range of motion.

Stretching helps improve your range of motion which may also slow the degeneration of the joints.

2. May reduce your risk of injury.

A flexible muscle is less likely to become injured from a slightly extensive movement. By increasing the range of motion in a particular joint through stretching, you may decrease the resistance on your muscles during various activities.

3. Helps relieve post-exercise aches and pains.

After a hard workout, stretching the muscles will keep them loose and lessen a shortening and tightening effect that can lead to post-workout aches and pains.

4. Improves posture.

Stretching the muscles of the lower back, shoulders and chest will help keep your back in better alignment and improve your posture.

5. Helps reduce or manage stress.

Well stretched muscles hold less tension and therefore, leave you feeling less stressed.

6. Reduces muscular tension and enhances muscular relaxation.

Stretching allows the muscles to relax. Habitually tense muscles tend to cut off their own circulation resulting in a lack of oxygen and essential nutrients.

7. Improves mechanical efficiency and overall functional performance.

Since a flexible joint requires less energy to move through a wider range of motion, a flexible body improves overall performance by creating more energy-efficient movements.

8. Prepares the body for the stress of exercise.

Stretching prior to exercise allows the muscles to loosen up and become resistant to the impact they are about to undergo.

9. Promotes circulation.

Stretching increases blood supply to the muscles and joints which allow for greater nutrient transportation and improves the circulation of blood through the entire body.

10. Decreases the risk of low-back pain.

Flexibility in the hamstrings, hip flexors and muscles attached to the pelvis relieves stress on the lumbar spine which in turn reduces the risk of low-back pain.

Source : ACE

High-fat Diet Linked to Lung Cancer Risk

Lisa Rapaport wrote . . . . . . .

People who eat a lot of saturated fat – the “bad” kind of fat that’s abundant in foods like butter and beef – are more likely to develop lung cancer than individuals on low-fat diets, a recent study suggests.

Compared to adults who didn’t get a lot of fat in their diets, people who ate the most total fat and saturated fat were 14 percent more likely to get lung malignancies, the study found. For current and former smokers, the added risk of a high fat diet was 15 percent.

While the best way to lower the risk of lung cancer is to not smoke, “a healthy diet may also help reduce lung cancer risk,” said study co-author Danxia Yu of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

“Specifically, our findings suggest that increasing polyunsaturated fat intake while reducing saturated fat intake, especially among smokers and recent quitters, may (help prevent) not only cardiovascular disease but also lung cancer,” she said.

The American Heart Association recommends the Dietary Approaches To Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet or a Mediterranean-style diet to help prevent cardiovascular disease. Both diets emphasize cooking with vegetable oils with unsaturated fats, eating nuts, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, fish and poultry, and limiting red meat and added sugars and salt.

“Those guidelines are the same for avoiding heart disease, stroke and diabetes, and I would say they are also exactly the same for helping with cancer prevention in general and lung cancer in particular,” said Dr. Nathan Berger, a researcher at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center who wasn’t involved in the study.

“This doesn’t mean you need to throw away all the steak and butter in your freezer, but cutting back to once a week would be good for you,” Berger said in a phone interview.

For the current study, researchers examined data from 10 previously published studies in the United States, Europe and Asia that looked at how dietary fat intake influences the odds of lung malignancies.

Combined, the smaller studies had more than 1.4 million participants, including 18,822 with cases of lung cancer identified during an average follow-up of more than nine years.

Researchers sorted participants into five categories, from lowest to highest consumption of total and saturated fats. They also sorted participants into five groups ranging from the lowest to highest amounts of dietary unsaturated fats.

Overall, people who ate the most unsaturated fats were 8 percent less likely to develop lung cancer than people who ate the least amounts, researchers report in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Substituting five percent of calories from saturated fat with unsaturated fat was associated with a 16 percent lower risk of small cell lung cancer and 17 percent lower odds of another type of lung malignancy known as squamous cell carcinoma.

One limitation of the study is that dietary information was only obtained at one point, the authors note. This makes it impossible to track how changes in eating habits might influence the odds of cancer.

They also didn’t account for two other things that may contribute to cancer – sugar and trans fats, Glen Lawrence, a biochemistry researcher at Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York, said by email. Previous research has also found that unsaturated oils may increase the risk of certain cancers, added Lawrence, who wasn’t involved in the current study.

It’s also possible that other bad eating habits, not fat, contribute to the increased risk of lung cancer, said Ursula Schwab of the Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition at the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio.

“We need antioxidants, vitamins and minerals as well as unsaturated fatty acids,” Schwab, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email. “A typical Western diet has a low content of these essential nutrients and a high content of saturated fat.”

Source: Reuters

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