Last year, Sasha Davies became the cheese hero we didn't know we were waiting for by releasing a book we didn't know we needed it covers the entirety of West Coast cheese, crumbling the three-state behemoth into manageable bites with descriptions of more than 300 varieties from 92 producers. More than simply a good read, The Guide to West Coast Cheese is godsend for people who have run through Cowgirl Creamery and are sick of the pedestrian Q&A from the local cheesemonger ("How about brie? It's a soft cheese.") Davies researched in the very best way, by taking a summer to drive around and visit cheesemakers, and we love people who take summers to drive around and visit cheesemakers. Actually, we love everything Davies has done in the way of cheese-gathering. First, she chucked her finance gig at Charles Schwab to start at the swampy bottom in cheese caves back East; then, in 2006, she and her husband took a four-month road trip visiting 40 artisan cheesemakers around the country, duly chronicled in her blog, Cheese by Hand. She has also taught at the Cheese School of San Francisco, which is interesting mostly because, hey, we have a cheese school!
Sun., Jan. 16, 3 p.m., 2011