Meet Cheesemonger Apprentice: Evan Bortzfield

Cheesemonger Apprentice Evan BortzfieldWhat inspired you to pursue becoming a cheesemonger?

I started with Di Bruno Bros. as a barista when I was 18 to put some cash in my pocket. After a six months with the company, I reached out to our president to see if I could complete my Drexel Co-op Experience with Di Bruno Bros. in our corporate office. After working on so many top secret corporate cheese jobs, I wanted to immerse myself in the knowledge and culture. I started down at ninth street one early Sunday morning with only a desire to learn more. I am forever a student.

What has been your favorite part of the job so far?

The people are what make my job so fantastic. Di Bruno Bros. is full of characters that keep you going day after day. I’ve never met a group of people who care so much about what they do, and have such a desire to share it with the world! Not to mention, they’re not all that bad to joke around with for however many hours a day.

Name your top 3-5 cheeses? What are your favorite pairings?

What do you like to do in your spare time when you’re not cheesemongering?

I’m a full time student (and full time is an understatement) at Drexel University for International Business and Italian, so I spend a lot of time doing classwork and homework. When I’m not banging my head on my desk, I like to cook for my girlfriend or my parents, play my saxophone and guitar, and hang out with the gang shooting the breeze.

What are your favorite foods/cuisines?

Italian – anything else would be heresy (don’t tell my mother, but I can really get down with a good gastropub, too).

What do you like best about Philly/Philly’s food scene?

Everyone in Philly’s food scene is connected. We cook just as good, if not better, than New York and San Francisco, but everyone in the food scene here knows each other (or is only one or two degrees separated) and loves to help each other out.

What advice would you give to someone who may be considering becoming a cheesemonger?

Be passionate! This job takes passion, determination, and sometimes just plain refusal to give up. You’ll find many road bumps that will make you want to throw down your knife and apron and walk out the door with your middle finger held high. Passion keeps you where you are, learning what you need to know, and loving what you need to do.

Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years down the road?

25 – 30. Fatter (hopefully) and with a longer beard (maybe).

Last meal on Earth.

Whatever the people I love are eating with me.