Over the course of 30 years in the food and wine industry, Alison has proven to be an innovator, leader and collaborator dedicated to the promotion of high quality and sustainably sourced products.
From education in the Artisan Cheese Industry, to managing fledgling non-profits, she continues to excel in projects in the specialty food industry.
She is affiliated with Les Dames d’Escoffier and the American Cheese Society.
Alison is proud to be an American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional and Certified Cheese Sensory Evaluator.
Today, Alison brings cheese to the people with the Roving Cheese Shop at several locations around the Sound and teaches Cheese & Wine Appreciation and Making Fresh Cheeses Classes at some of the finest schools in the region including Chateau Ste Michelle, The Pantry, Whisk, Heirloom Cookshop, The Works & bin 41. She also provides staff training and consults on all things cheese for many clients on the West Coast.
In 1992, Alison bought a small retail wine and cheese shop, Brie & Bordeaux, in the Greenlake neighborhood of Seattle. The shop grew from a very small selection of 10 wines and 75 cheeses growing the business to include a catering, a French-influenced bistro, a retail shop with a 500 bottle selection of wines and over 200 cheeses. B & B achieved local and national recognition for excellence in the Bistro and Cheese & Wine Shop.
Alison sold B & B in 2000 creating her own consulting company with many restaurant, retail and wine industry clients. One of her most fun projects was being the primary consultant in the design and launch of the original Beecher’s Handmade Cheese retail store in the Pike Place Market.
Recently, Alison became a member of the 2018 class of the American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Sensory Evaluators® (ACS CCSE®) and is an American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional® (ACS CCP®). These ACS Exams are the first and only exams of their kind. The CCP exam was launched by the American Cheese Society in 2012 to encourage high standards of comprehensive cheese knowledge and service for professionals in all areas of the industry and the CCSE exam was added in 2018 to certify those who have demonstrated an elevated level of expertise in the industry. These exams are based on the knowledge and skills required to successfully perform cheese-related tasks in jobs across the industry. The CCP testing encompasses a broad range of topics including raw ingredients, the cheesemaking process, storing and handling cheese, selecting distributors, marketing and communicating about cheese, nutrition, regulations, and sanitation. The ACS T.A.S.T.E. Test™ (Technical, Aesthetic, Sensory, Tasting Evaluation) evaluates cheese professionals’ knowledge and skills in the assessment of cheese, from determining cheese condition and quality, to evaluating cheese flavor, body, texture, and appearance. Individuals who pass the test will earn the title of ACS Certified Cheese Sensory Evaluator™, or ACS CCSE™. The ACS CCSE™ certification is a mark of excellence and achievement that reflects a commitment to the best possible care for cheese and service to those who love it.
Currently, there are only 30 people in the world who hold the title of ACS CCP, CCSE.
Alison teaches classes throughout the Pacific Northwest in cooking schools, at wineries & in private settings.
BOARD PARTICIPATION HISTORY:
Les Dames D'Escoffier, Seattle Chapter, President
Seattle Culinary Academy Technical Advisory Committee, Committee Chair
Beecher's Flagship Foundation (now Beecher's Foundation), Executive Director
Good Meat Project, Board Director
Cascade Harvest Coalition, Board President
Seattle Chef’s Collaborative/ F.O.R.K.S., Sergeant at Arms
Seattle School Board Nutrition and Food Policy Sub-Committee, Committee Member
King County Farm-to-Cafeteria, Member
King County Acting Food Policy Council, Member