Meet Brent Delman, Westchester's “Cheese Guy”

Yonkers wholesale affineur Brent Delman is bringing the cheese course back to the kosher table.

The Cheese Guy, Brent Delman, fuses his cheese-making trifecta—Eastern European Jewish heritage, Italian upbringing outside of Cleveland, Ohio, and proximity to Amish farms—to create mouthwatering artisanal, kosher cheeses from his Yonkers home cheese cave. With more than 20 years of experience in the food specialty industry, his return to a traditional Jewish lifestyle, and an MBA from George Washington University, Delman saw the growing need to provide kosher aged cheeses to kosher, vegetarian, and gluten-free consumers. “Having grown up in a non-kosher home, I knew what we were missing and I don’t think food should be an obstacle in anyone’s spiritual path or that anyone should be deprived,” says Delman.

Brushed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, his Pepato Pecorino is aged for almost year, allowing the scattering of black peppercorns to permeate the entire wheel—a result that could not be achieved without aging. A silent nod to Yonkers is his aptly named Saw Mill River Pecorino. Made from sheep’s milk and imported, young and mild from Sardinia, it is then aged two years in Delman’s cheese cellar resulting in a smoky, nutty, and smooth cheese.

According to Delman, “to make a cheese kosher the milk used must come from a kosher animal, the rennet must be vegetarian, and the processing facility must be cleansed, sanitized, heat treated and inspected to ensure there are no non-kosher ingredients in the production process.”

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 As one of the few artisanal kosher cheese producers in the country, Delman’s cheeses are carried at fine luxury hotels worldwide, like the Ritz-Carlton in Naples, for their Passover vacation packages. The Cheese Guy’s creations are available locally at specialty stores like Fairway, Mint, Adams Fairacre Farms (in Dutchess County), and at the Riverdale Farmers Market Sundays from May to November. Delman says, “There is a real art to aging cheese and my goal as a local affineur, is to take an ordinary block of cheese and derive its greatness.”

(718) 698-5154; www.thecheeseguy.com

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