The First Ladies of Cheese: Hooper, Keehn and Lambert

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A highlight of my recent voyage through the Fancy Food Show was meeting The First Ladies of Cheese: Allison Hooper of the Vermont Butter & Cheese Company, Mary Keehn of Cypress Grove Chevre, and Paula Lambert of The Mozzarella Company.

With a plate of cheeses and butter from each of these masterful cheese-makers, along with a few tastes from moderator Ari Weinzweig's Zingerman's Creamery, I started my last day in San Diego by sitting in on a great panel on Artisanal Cheese Pioneers starring Alison, Mary and Paula, above. (Aren't they gorgeous?!)

Each make delicious cheeses that are widely available in gourmet groceries and online, and each has a wonderful story of how they launched their business, and how they each continue to keep it real, twenty some odd years later.

Today we'll profile Alison's cheeses, and tomorrow we'll talk more about Mary and Paula's. Stay tuned...

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Sara Kate is the founding editor of The Kitchn. She co-founded the site in 2005 and has since written three cookbooks. She is most recently the co-author of The Kitchn Cookbook, to be published in October 2014 by Clarkson Potter.