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Culinary Spotlight: The Word Of The Curd

Picture two adorable cheese wedges holding hands. They’re happy. One has a bow; the other has glasses. They are living their best cheese life. Megan Lewis is also living her best cheese life. She brought these two cheesy characters to our community through her business, Milk Made Catering and for that, we are forever grateful.

Providing beautiful grazing tables, centerpiece and conversation-worthy cheese and charcuterie platters, alongside thoughtfully displayed crudites and freshly sliced baguettes is Milk Made’s specialty. How did such a unique catering business come to be?  Glad you asked! Let’s start in New Rockford, North Dakota.

Coming from a family of creatives, Megan not only had a love for cheese from a young age, but also for creating, cooking, small business (selling hair bows and handmade chapstick to raise funds for her own DVD player) and the arts. Finding her way to MState in Moorhead, she graduated with her culinary degree and quickly hit the entrepreneurial streets by starting her own catering and private cooking class business back in her hometown. When she met her soon-to-be husband, Derrick, they packed up and headed to Fargo, making the decision to leave the catering business behind. Little did Megan know, her future experiences in retail would help shape and guide her to the creation of Milk Made Catering.

The jobs we hold throughout our lives shape us, one way or the other. Your takeaways can include things you enjoy, what you may do differently and little sparks of interest/passion pop up as well. Megan sold bridal dresses, worked in the interior design world for a while and eventually found herself behind a cheese counter. It was there that everything clicked. In school, she had dreams of becoming a food stylist. This interest in design plus a passion for cheese helped her create the foundation for Milk Made Catering. Her natural charismatic charm provided the finishing touch that brought her newly found business to life.

In May of 2017, she officially launched this unique, fresh catering business and has been a local, leading cheesemonger ever since. Adding classes to her repertoire came naturally and the support she has received from our community amazes her daily. We love cheese and Megan has shown us the light.

As a mother of two little girls (Lydia (5) and Clara (1) she finds herself balancing the world of a parent, spouse, food insecurity activist and business owner. It turns out, she has a fantastic sense of balance learned through pushing the limits, a solid Midwestern work ethic and finding that sweet spot where you can manage these things and still find joy in what you and still find joy in what you are doing.

Being innovative and passionate, Megan continues her education and the expansion of her credentials so she can best represent the cheesemakers that she features on her platters, grazing tables and in her classes. As a member of the American Cheese Society, 80 percent of the cheeses she features are made in the United States. Her next step is to take the Certified Cheese Professional exam in 2021, which is no easy feat. In order to qualify for the exam, you need to have 4,000-6,000 hours in the industry and Megan is 100 percent up for this cheese-centric challenge.

You can order platters, schedule private classes and find Megan’s upcoming events for this fall on Milk Made’s website: www.milkmadecatering.com. The Cheesy Bus Trip (think mystery bus tour with cheese!) comes highly recommended.

In the meantime, check out the interesting pairings that Megan has put together for us

Honey Butter + Gingersnap Cookie + Blue Cheese Blue cheese can go “dessert “ easier than most cheeses due to its inherent saltiness. It loves sweet things, like honey, chocolate, and warm spices like ginger or star anise. Give this appetizer a try to impress your guests! 

Sour Beers + Fresh Goat Chevre I love sour beers, and love that we have so many great breweries locally making them! Fresh chevre (or logs flavored with blueberries, cranberries, or other fruits) pair great with sours because the effervescent nature of the beer cuts through the fat of the cheese-making it a palate-pleasing combo.  

Fresh Watermelon + Mint + Feta You may have heard of this one, but with summer coming up, this is such a refreshing combination! I like to serve my watermelon in triangles, sprinkled with high-quality feta and fresh mint (try chocolate mint for a new twist!). 

Aged Gouda + Chai Tea Latte This is a funky idea, but it is two items I love to eat and drink! The nuttiness of the gouda pairs so well with the spice and creaminess of the chai latte. If you are really wanting to go crazy, dip your cheese in the chai (like a cookie). It’s an amazing combination! 

The Classic Combo: Aged Cheddar + Salami + Whole Grain Mustard This is a classic for a reason, it is always delicious and people-pleasing! Try a new spin on it and allow the salami to be the cracker. Find a slice of small format meat (Like Red Table Meat’s Chuck Fred) and slice thick. Add a layer of french whole grain mustard on top, finish the perfect bite with an aged cheddar like Deer Creek’s Vat 17, 

Casey Steele

Written by Casey Steele

Casey Steele helped found Square One with a vision to offer professional commercial kitchen space to up-and-coming food businesses. Casey teaches several classes at Square One while managing the facility, making her quite the foodie pro.

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