When Sheri LaVigne was growing up on a farm outside of Albuquerque, she milked goats and made goat cheese with her mother. Yet it wasn’t until a trip to Paris in her twenties that her passion for cheese, shall we say, bloomed. Living across the street from The Bedford Cheese Shop in Brooklyn furthered her education, and when, after moving to Seattle, she opened her own cheese shop, it provided her with a model. At The Calf & Kid, LaVigne passes her knowledge along to customers, arranging classes and tours of local creameries. She makes a point of personally visiting her local purveyors, and many wannabe cheesemakers come to her seeking advice. Though you’ll find English cheddars or funky French Epoisses, Northwest cheeses comprise 60 to 70 percent of what’s in her tempting cheese case at Melrose Market (across from Rain Shadow Meats). She’s generous with samples, eager, and educates potential buyers by carving a sliver of raw sheep milk tomme just in from Whidbey Island, some Rogue River blue, or a chocolate goat cheese truffle fresh from the Brian Rose Creamery in Dundee, Oregon. It’s worth checking the basket of pre-wrapped odds and ends on the counter. They cost a couple of dollars. Then grab a Macrina Bakery baguette and call it lunch.
Photo: Adriana Dunn