Saved by the CheeseClock: A Note from Artisanal’s CEO Daniel Dowe

When our group purchased the Artisanal Cheese Center from its founders and I got the honor of figuring out what to do next with Artisanal, I couldn’t wait to attend a class with Max to dig into my new job and learn something from the master himself.  This encounter was the root of our now famous CheeseClock

cheeseclock200 Saved by the CheeseClock: A Note from Artisanals CEO Daniel Dowe Max showed us how we should appreciate cheese by starting us out at the 6 o’clock position of our plate,  which on that night was a two ounce piece of a very soft, triple crème cheese from France called Brillat-Savarin that was paired with a glass of champagne – “a match made in Heaven”, as Max called out to the class.  We then enjoyed more than 5 more cheeses with different wines, each one becoming stronger in aroma and flavor, as we moved clockwise to the 9 o’clock position of our plate, then to the 12 o’clock position, until the class ended with Roquefort made only for Artisanal that was paired with a tasting of port wine.  In 90 minutes, I learned so much about cheese.  I now have a framework to work within and am never lost even when looking at the 200 cheeses at Artisanal and bottles upon bottle of wine we have stored here.  When selecting more than one cheese I can now put together a complete cheese flight thinking of the CheeseClock principles — lighter to stronger cheeses, alternating textures and having a sense of the beverage partner.   If I have one cheese, I know what type of wine, or even beer or champagne goes best with it as if I was in the dining of a Michelin-rated restaurant with Max as my personal fromager and sommelier.

These days when I see people eating triple crème cheeses with red wine and hear them say “I love wine and cheese”, I cringe, thinking it’s all wrong.  Their pairing is not right!   Thanks Max, you made me a snob.   I guess I was saved by the Clock!

Spread the curd!
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6 Responses to “Saved by the CheeseClock: A Note from Artisanal’s CEO Daniel Dowe”

  1. LaurenElizabeth Says:

    Ok Dad. I was was just commenting on Heathers and I had decided to check out your page….. I felt really bad that you had NO COMMENTS that i decided to leave you this……. =) there now you at least have 1 comment, so when everyone compares tomorrow you can say that you have a comment.

    xoxo Lauren

  2. Don Moriarty Says:

    Hey Dan,

    Along with Lauren, now you have two comments. I think your concept is fascinating and it reminds me of my scotch whisky experience with Johnny Walker. All the best with this venture, I'm sure you'll do very well with it!


  3. allison Dowe Says:


    you told me to blog on your blogger thing so I did

    love xoxo

    allison(your daughter)

    (p.s.) YOU HAPPY

    (P.S.S.) your cheese is fabulous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Aileen Bordman Says:

    Think ARTISNAL is just fabulous…Chef Brennan helped with the first screening of my film Monet's Palate with Meryl Streep in NYC l before it was picked up by American Public television..PBS. I have eaten at Artisnal many times and even spent my last birthday there. My film Monet's Palate and the food brand by the same name is all about great ingredients and food..including cheese and when I think of all the wonderful cheeses of Normandy I cannot think of any other place in the US that I would enjoy them more than through Artisnal.

    I am in tending to do a r product from Monet's Palate Inc in the cheese category and what Chef Brennan and all at Artisanal have done is inspiring. BRAVO also to the Cheese great. – Aileen Bordman

  5. World News Says:

    You got a really useful blog I have been here reading for about half an hour. I am a newbie and your post is valuable for me.

  6. Dick Dowe Says:

    Dan, just ordered your CheeseClock Collection for the holidays and looking forward to trying it. Uncle Rich