By Carly DeFilippo
It may be hard to believe, but ICE instructor Max McCalman’s passion for cheese did not spring from a childhood in France, Wisconsin or another dairy-rich region. In fact, growing up in Brazil, it was his lack of access to cheese that first sparked Max’s insatiable curiosity.
With a diverse academic background in foreign languages, organic chemistry and European history, Max is uniquely qualified to approach the subject of cheese from a wide range of perspectives. Throughout his early career in the restaurant industry, the self-taught maître fromager read and researched his subject voraciously, until a unique opportunity at the Upper West Side’s Picholine restaurant placed him at the head of one of the city’s most innovative cheese programs.
Since then, Max’s career has thrived as a scholar, consultant, author and educator. With four books under his belt, an ongoing column in Cheese Connoisseur and a forthcoming cheese and wine pairing app, Max is among our generation’s most influential voices in the field. He even earned a 2011 award for the “World’s Best Book on Cheese” at the annual Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Paris.
In turn, Max has established a path for the recognition and certification of his fellow cheese connoisseurs. In 2012, he was instrumental in ushering in the long-desired American Cheese Society (ACS) Certified Cheese Professional exam. Since then, more than 400 professionals have established their expertise and transformed that skill into an incredible range of entrepreneurial opportunities.
Drawing from the ACS’ Body of Knowledge, Max’s new six-session Mastering Cheese course at ICE is the ultimate immersion into the world of cheese, offering instruction in its making, classification, merchandising, nutrition and tasting. For the ambitious enthusiast, current food professional or aspiring career changer, it is an incredible opportunity to train your palate and explore the traditions, myths and allure of one of the world’s most beloved foodstuffs.
Click here to register for “Mastering Cheese” or other cheese courses with Max at ICE.