CHEESE NOTES

McSweeney’s: Sarah Kaufmann, Cheese Sculptor

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McSweeney’s Internet Tendency interviews Sarah Kaufmann, Professional Cheese Sculptor:  

Q: You’ve done some huge cheese sculptures. Which one is your favorite?

A: My current favorite is from the Indiana State Fair this past August. It was SO cute. It was 2,200 pounds of cheese.

It’s a dairy cow sitting on her throne. I used one white 640-pound block and two yellow 640-pound blocks and had to cut and fashion them to make the 7-foot by 6-foot sculpture. It was very complicated, very beautiful, and very fun to do. It stretched me to the ‘nth degree of ability and stamina.

Q: How long have you been doing this?

A: I’ve been carving cheese for 17 years, full-time for eight years.

Q: Did you set out to be a cheese sculptor? 

A: Cheese really found me. I drew a lot as a kid. My whole family is very artsy, talented and clever. We were always encouraged to try, our art was never criticized so we never failed. You should have seen our cookie decorating-–true works of art! I knew in high school that I had to do something with art, and I ended up going to technical school for commercial art.

Later, I became the art director for the American Dairy Association of Wisconsin. We had “foodies” I would hire to carve cheese for big events. Of course I had to dig in and help, but I never thought about carving cheese myself.

When I left that job in 1996, one of my cohorts called and asked me to carve for them. They sent me a 40 pound block, the tools, and the rest is history.

Read the full interview (and then get yourself a knife and 50Lbs of cheese and get carvin’!).

(Photo ©2013 Sarah Kaufmann)


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    Hillary make us proud and be a cheese sculptor
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    This Hoosier can vouch for how cool is was. Seriously. Adorable.
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