Born and bred in Brooklyn, Cara is a CCP (certified cheese professional) and CCSE (certified cheese sensory expert) aka super curd nerd. With over 15 years of experience from Murray’s Cheese to current Director of East Coast Sales for the French dairy cooperative, Isigny Ste. Mere, she knows her cheese! Cara particularly relishes the opportunity to pair cheeses with delicious craft brews. Cara is an alumni of Brooklyn College with a Bachelor in Television & Radio. After graduating she went on to complete a media fellowship with the International Radio and Television Society (IRTS), won by national competition, at IRTS she was placed at CBS Radio. Starting now at Heritage Radio Network Cara is working again with both her passions of cheese and radio and she can’t wait to learn the whey!
Jessica Kesselman is a food activist and loves to connect people through food from farm to table, from producer to consumer. She has been in the food industry over a decade starting as cheesemonger and worked her way up to executive account manager for a specialty food brokerage firm. Her expertise includes developing partnerships with community organizations and municipal bodies; she has established a subsidized CSA shares program for Hudson River Health Care, and Farm to School initiatives. One of her proudest achievements was coordinating local and state agriculture policy campaigns with elected officials and regional non-profit organizations to promote and preserve small farms in suburban districts and increase access to local agriculture. Jessica's passion for podcasting has led her to become a guest host for the Cutting the Curd, where she is eager to share and learn about developing food policies and activism in relation to cheese.
Joe Salonia began his career in food at the age of 13 in a northern NJ Italian restaurant and later studied to become a classically trained chef after having graduated from the Culinary Institute of America. Joe spent the next few years at the helm of several kitchens in New York and in New Jersey , when in 2001, he was named New Jersey Rising Star Chef by the New York Times, as well as receiving an Excellent rating. In 2003, he switched careers and officially became part of the cheese world by working for two cheese centric specialty food distributors that sold to the best cheese shops in the USA. In 2013, Joe joined the Gourmino team, where he leads USA sales and marketing. Joe is known for launching and championing the Save The Emmentaler® campaign which continues to educate, celebrate, and bring awareness to this historical cheese. Joe also loves being in front of the microphone where he is often heard singing ‘cheese curd’ versions of popular and classic songs.