Chef Tom Connin brings 30 years of gourmet experience to the Ile de France Cheese community as corporate chef for parent company ANCO Fine Cheese. A serious cheese buff, he's taught all things fromage at the Institute of Colorado Culinary Arts, Johnson & Wales Culinary School and Colorado Mountain College. Now he's ready to share his cheese pairing tips and fabulous new recipes with you! Visit us on Facebook and Twitter for more from our resident #CheeseBuff
When and how did you develop a passion for cooking?
My mother is an exceptional scratch cook. She taught me the basics. I worked in all types of restaurants through high school and college. Also instead of crime thrillers, I have always read cookbooks, food magazines, and food sections of the major papers.
When did you first fall in love of French cheeses?
I traveled in France for a month as a junior in college, eating fresh baked bread, charcuterie, cheese and pastry. Before then I'd had very limited exposure to this way of eating. It changed how I looked at food.
What's the first step in creating a new recipe?
I think settling on the overall concept is the most important thing. First I look at the audience. Who are they? What is their perspective? Then I see what ingredients and equipment are available.
What inspires you to try new things in the kitchen?
I am drawn to fresh ingredients such as produce, seafood, cheese, meats; then I look to discover interesting ways to combine the different flavors and textures.
What is your favorite thing about cooking with French cheeses?
Melt-ability and the range of cheese with this quality
What is you favorite cheese snack to serve at parties?
Chevre mixed with julienne Piquillo Peppers, then spread on Paris Toasts or Brie w/truffled mushrooms crostini.