BCAE Instructor Spotlight: Marianne Staniunas

Posted by Marie Scarfo on Mon, Mar 20, 2017


Our Instructor Spotlight Series continues! The latest instructor, featured in our May/June catalog, is Marianne Staniunas, BCAE Tasting instructor and expert on all things cheese, wine, and honey! Catch the full interview right here, and stay tuned for more awesome details about our even more awesome instructors.

BCAE: First off, welcome to the BCAE! Tell us a little about yourself.
MARIANNE: I am an attorney who decided to seek out a different quality of life, almost four years ago, when I left private practice for the cheese and wine world - which had always fascinated me - beginning work with Formaggio Kitchen South End.  I still use my legal training to do pro bono legal work and volunteer work on the side and feel that I have achieved more of the balance in life I was looking for.

BCAE: What do you love most about teaching?
MARIANNE: My favorite thing about teaching, is being able to share information, flavors, experiences about and with things that I love with others.

InstructorSpotlight_MarianneStaniunas-1.jpgBCAE: So, you’re a cheesemonger, wine buyer, honey expert & beekeeper. How did you get into these trades?
MARIANNE: As I mentioned, I started out as an attorney with an interest in wine and cheese and food generally.  I had become an attorney because I wanted to help people, but after working in several different roles over more than eight years, I realized that I wasn't using my degree to help people in the ways that I had hoped.  I became disillusioned with the whole attorney life and lifestyle, and decided to make an abrupt shift on my career path. 

Working at Formaggio opened up so many opportunities for me to learn about all kinds of artisanal foods - from wine, to cheese, to honey - and for me to become more knowledgable in all of these areas.  I am the Honey Buyer for the South End Shop (as well as a buyer of several other products), a cheesemonger, and assistant to the Wine Buyer.  Working at Formaggio also has allowed me to pursue other interests, from using my legal degree to do the kind of pro bono legal work that is meaningful to me, to do additional volunteer work, and to pick up some other hobbies. 

I got into beekeeping as a result of my endeavors to learn more about the production side of honey - both in my role as Honey Buyer, and as part of some of the volunteer work I do for a non-profit in Uganda that was starting an apiary.  I was fortunate to get connected with The Best Bees Company here in the South End; I had a beehive last season, and the folks at Best Bees manage several additional hives for both the South End and Cambridge Formaggio shops.  My bees did not make it through the winter, but I am excited to try again this season.

BCAE: What’s your favorite thing about beekeeping? What do you find to be the most challenging?
MARIANNE: I still consider myself a novice beekeeper - I think it takes years and years of practice to move on from that status! - but my favorite thing about beekeeping is the bees.  Bees are incredible and the functioning of the beehive as a super-organism still boggles my mind.  There is so much to learn about how bees work, the challenges they face, and there are so many difficult decisions to make as a beekeeper, regarding when and how to intervene, and when to just observe.  The biggest challenge for me, is trying to figure out that intervention piece.

BCAE: Unfair question, but we have to know: what’s your favorite cheese?
MARIANNE: My favorite cheese??  Cheese is made by living organisms, and so every wheel is a little different - even when you use the exact same recipe, and provide the same aging conditions.  For me, that means that various cheeses move in and out of my "top five," depending on the flavors, textures, etc. of a given wheel.  That being said, one cheese that I always come back to as a standby is Colston-Bassett Stilton - a rich, earthy, musty, mouth-wateringly delicious cow's milk blue from Nottingham in England.  


Take a class with Marianne!

Inside Honey: The Bee's Cheese

Spring Cheese & Wine

Spanish Cheeses & Sherry

Honey Tasting & The Basics of Beekeeping

Artisan Olive Oil & Vinegars: A Tasting Tour



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Spring Cleaning at the BCAE!

Posted by Erin Kilmer on Fri, Mar 02, 2012

Spring Tulips for Spring Classes at the BCAESpring cleaning!

For many of us, spring cleaning means sweeping, scouring and scrubbing our house to perfection to welcome the warm weather. These days though, spring cleaning is not just for houses! Health experts and nutritionists across the country are touting the beautifying benefits of detoxing and cleaning your body from the inside out, and we’ve got a crop of classes that will teach you to do just that.

First, learn the basics with Naturopathic Medicine: 7 Pillars to Optimize Your Health. Once that’s done, see what you should be putting in your body with Positive Pill Popping: Vitamins & Minerals for Health. Finally, rev things up with Your Metabolism: From Sluggish to Speed Demon.

If spiritual renewal is more your style, check out Stress Less: Creating a Place for Peace and Stress Free, Naturally.

By the time you’re done with your spiritual and physical cleansing you’ll be feeling good enough to make bold choices. Possibly even a career change! Insider’s Guide to the Modeling Industry, anyone?

Looking for another class to boost your spring?  Browse all of our Self & Work classes online now!

Topics: Self Classes, Spring Classes at the BCAE

Lose the Winter Blues with Spring Classes Coming Up at the BCAE!

Posted by Erin Kilmer on Fri, Jan 20, 2012

So what if we’ve barely gotten any snow this year? If you’re anything like this BCAE staffer, you’re all set with winter and have a serious case of Spring fever.

And while I can’t wish my way to May, I can peer ahead to our March/April term!

In addition to higher temperatures, here are a few things to look forward to: 

Passion Turned Paycheck: A night with Alex & Ani

They’ve been spotted in Vogue and Marie Claire, and on the arms of fashionistas from New York to Boston. For one fabulous night in April, they’ll be at the BCAE! Alex and Ani’s Director of Retail Operations, Susan Soares, will be dishing details on the company’s history, mission, and how you can take an idea you love and turn it into a job you love to do!

Urban Beekeeping Try out Urban Beekeeping at the BCAE!

Want to get a little bzzzz on? Join Noah Wilson-Rich, owner of Boston’s Best Bees, and get on board with the do-it-yourself beekeeping trend! You’ll leave with the goods to start your own hive, a jar of all natural honey, and a jar of beeswax lip balm. It won’t be long before you’re asking, “Burt who?”

Brew & Chew

Beer: it’s what’s for dinner. Well, it’s what’s going with dinner, anyways. Join Chef Will Gilson and Peak Organic for an evening of discovering delicious recipes and the beers that will make them even better. Get ready to raise your glass and lift your fork, these perfect pairings will insure both plates and pint glasses are emptied.

Warmer days ahead! Check out the great classes we have coming up today.

Topics: BCAE classes, Spring Classes at the BCAE