Anastasia DeSimone

I once believed that the moon was made of cheese. I also believed my mother when she said that sliding down railings would reverse my gravity, causing me to float away. I even believed her when she told me that wearing hats to bed would cause baldness. As a youth, I rebelliously risked my ties to gravity and my sturdy hairline by defying her warnings. It is safe to say I never did bald nor did I end up floating into the sky to touch that giant, misty mimolette in the starry night. I almost wish I did… I could have worn my beanie hats to bed and survived off of moon cheese. However, this was not my destiny.

Flash forward some years and hello! I have humbly found myself in a hospitable world of cheese all along. Growing up outside of Pittsburgh on some rural, forgotten road in Robinson Township, I knew little about cheese beyond the feta in my mum’s Greek salads or the munster I wanted on my sandwiches. I grew up simply with simple cuisine, which didn’t change much my first two years at Pitt. College taught me so much about many things (that’s when I found out the moon was not made of cheese). One of my favorite classes was the Anthropology of Food!

In May 2016, I was hired at Legume. Thanks to serving, I have learned volumes about cocktails, wine, and farm-to-table cuisine. I ate my first raclette and experienced many other delicious (cheesy and not cheesy) things that expanded my palette’s horizons. In February of 2020, Legume closed. Earlier that same month, I whipped together an application for Chantal’s. Shortly after, I was determined worthy to begin my journey as a cheesemonger junior.

I am grateful to be a part of this cheesy team. In the chaos and uncertainty of 2020, cheese has changed this little space cadet’s life. I’m taking small steps to learn as much as possible before I make a giant leap towards owning goats to produce my own cheese someday.

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