About a week or so ago a friend of mine, who is an excellent cook and a frequent contributor to this column, excitedly shared news of a cookbook she received for Christmas -- "Caseus Fromagerie Bistro Cookbook: Every Cheese Has a Story." Her enthusiasm for the book was so exciting, that I promptly sent a request to the publisher for a copy of my own and literally, within days, here it was. And, so goes the exuberance and pace for "Caseus," both the name of the cookbook written by Jason Sobocinski and his award-winning bistro/cheese shop, located in New Haven, Connecticut. With the kind of know-how, confidence and energy that comes along with an earned master's degree in gastronomy (from Boston University) and a move-up-the-ranks stint at Cambridge's celebrated Formaggio Kitchen, Sobocinski also captured the spot as host of the Cooking Channel's "The Big Cheese (www.cookingchanneltv.com)," a show that has Sobocinski not only touring some of the best cheese-making establishments in the country, but also cooking their cheese alongside esteemed local chefs, as well. With the United States' being the foremost makers of cheese in the world, Sobocinski encounters no shortage of material for his show -- or his bistro. Cheeses such as Cabot's Clothbound Cheddar, from Vermont, or Cato Corner Farm's blue cheese, from Colchester, Connecticut, are but two examples of notable American cheeses that Sobacinski favors for some of his signature dishes. For folks seeking imported cheese endorsements, "Caseus" includes a list of "crucial cooking cheeses," such as Old Amsterdam Gouda and Comte, which Sobocinski describes as "the king - the best ever for cooking, melting or eating straight up." Don't let the catalog of artisanal cheeses put you off. This is a fun cookbook, filled with personality, recipe sidebars and a raucous good time. Purchase "Caseus" at book stores carrying fine cookbooks or via on-line sources, such as Amazon.com (www.amazon.com) or Barnes and Noble.com (www.barnesandnoble.com).
Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.