BCAE Blog

BCAE Instructor Spotlight: Marianne Staniunas

Posted by Marie Scarfo on Mon, Mar 20, 2017

 InstructorSpotlight_MarianneStaniunas.jpg

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.  

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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

BROWSE ALL OF OUR TASTING CLASSES HERE!

 

Topics: BCAE classes, wine, spring, things to do in Boston, wine education, Wine classes Boston, Spring activities in Boston, boston things to do, wine class Boston, wine tasting, Boston classes, beekeeping, urban beekeeping, Spring Classes at the BCAE, Wine & Spirits, BCAE Tasting classes, Boston Tastings, Boston Tasting classes, cheese, honey, BCAE Tastings, things to do in Spring in Boston

It's Barbecue Season!

Posted by Kim Wieczner on Wed, Jul 02, 2014

steaks

Barbecue season is finally here, and with 4th of July around the corner, it's gonna be a busy one. So we're breaking out the grill and all of the things that go with it, and we've got a great line-up of classes to take your grilling and chilling skills up a notch or two.

Is your BBQ all about the meat? Check out these classes:

Toasty Buns: Burgers to Blow Your Mind - Thursday, July 24th
Burger pros Richard (Boston Burger Blog), and Katie (Small Boston Kitchen), will teach you the tricks to making the perfect burger, and all of the fixings, every time.

Smokin Hot: Classic Summer BBQ - Saturday, August 16th
Dustin Rennells will cover all you need to know to impress your meat-loving guests...from grill temperature to marinades and rubs and so much more!

Is your BBQ just as much about the booze as it is about the food? These ones are for you:

Burgers & Beer - Wednesday, July 16th
Burger experts Richard & Katie welcome Urban Grape's beer expert, Ben Bouton for a class on the ultimate food & drink pair.

The Best Wines for a Summer BBQ - Wednesday, July 23rd
Beer is usually the star of the backyard barbecue, but break out the glassware and bring some wine to the next one with help from this class.

Bourbon and Bar-B-Que - Tuesday, August 19th
Whiskey and bourbon master Randall Bird goes through the best bourbons to go with your barbecue, and he's bringing in a meat-full dinner to complete the meal.

Taking a turn from the classic and moving your BBQ to the beach?

Creative Clambakes - Saturday, July 19th
Dustin Rennells is mixing up the New England tradition with inventive sides and more that you don't wanna miss!

clambake

Whatever your cookout inclinations are this summer, we've got classes galore. Browse them all here. Can anybody else smell the charcoal? #smellslikesummer

Topics: Boston summer classes, summer cooking classes Boston, summer in Boston, barbecue classes Boston, boston things to do, BBQ Boston, wine class Boston, spirits class Boston