Meet Cooking Class Instructor, Gianaclis Caldwell

Get to know Gianaclis Caldwell ahead of her class, "Easy Mozzarella and Burratta - From Scratch!" on March 7. Gianaclis is the author of the award-winning book Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking and owner of Pholia Farm.

Tell us how your love of cooking (or cheese) and food began.

I actually fell in love with making cheese before I came to fully love eating it. Up until my interest in making it started, I hadn't tried that many really grand cheeses. I enjoyed the usual suspects, but along with a hunger for knowledge grew the hunger for truly epic cheeses.

Did you go to school for cooking or cheese making? If so, where?

Even now, there are no definitive ways to learn to make cheese, which might be a good thing! When you work with milk as the major ingredient there is more variation than with arguably any other food ingredient. This means that only with time and practice can you perfect the craft. I learned from books, time, and classes - and I'm still learning!

What is your specialty or what are you best at?

In teaching, I'm known for being able to break the complex science into fun, digestible bites in a way that invigorates your cheesemaking quest.

If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

I'm going to make this if I had one cheese to eat for the rest of my life. This might come as a surprise, but I wouldn't choose some of the more complex, mind-blowing cheeses that I just drool for (such as Rogue Creamery's Echo Mountain Blue and Jasper Hill Farms Harbison). Instead it would be Oregon's Ochoa Creamery (Don Froylan) Queso Oaxaca. It's truly one of the most satisfying and well crafted simple cheese in the US. (Even when I'm at big cheese competitions judging, it is always up there at the top!)

When you are not with the goats, how do you enjoy spending your time?

Not really a surprise, but writing. If we get to get off the farm for anything other than working (my teaching and book travels) then hiking is a big love. I also teach ballet to older ladies (my age and up) and take ballet. In another life (one that made me not so tall) I would have loved to have danced.

More Co-op News

Fall Staff Picks

Thanks to alpine trails and shaded valley creeks, outdoor recreation is year-round in the Rogue Valley. But fall usually makes for more frisky feet, so we asked Co-op employees for their favorite fall activities and recommendations for what they grab before they head out. 


Applegate products joining Co-op Basics

Just in time for the school year, Applegate products are being added to the Co-op Basics program! The Co-op carries a variety of Applegate products, like sliced deli meat, cheeses, bacon, and sausages. Now as part of the Co-op Basics program, you’ll be saving up to $2 on Applegate products across the store, every day. 

Applegate sandiwhc

2019 Farm Tour Recap

Another successful farm tour is in the books! With 30 farms this year, visitors could see how bigger farms work, like Herb Pharm, Fry Family Farm, and Rogue Creamery, while also experiencing the joys of smaller farms, such as Turning Point Farm, Fox Run Farm, and Daily Blessing Farm.

Visitors of all ages enjoying Goodwin Creek Gardens
Visitors of all ages enjoying Goodwin Creek Gardens

Top 15 Things to Do in Ashland (When It's Smoky)

Ashland is a paradise for the outdoors - but sometimes Mother Nature has different plans for us.

When smoke from wildfires becomes an issue, there are still plenty of great activities to enjoy around our wonderful town. Check out this list for some inspiration!

AFC Celebrates 20 Years with Magnolia Farms

This year, the Ashland Food Co-op proudly celebrates their 20 year partnership with Magnolia Farms. Their pasture raised, no antibiotics, no hormones lamb is a staple in the Co-op Meat Department. Magnolia Farms is graciously donating the lamb for our August First Friday in celebration of our long standing partnership.

Compostable Bags

The Co-op has been asked if compostable plastic bags are a viable alternative to the standard plastic bags offered in the produce and meat departments. 

For several reasons, compostable bags are not in line with the Co-op’s goals and standards. 

Not compostable at home

Sustainability Update: Energy efficiency and zero waste

Energy Efficiency
We are happy to announce that we are a member of the Energy Trust of Oregon’s Strategic Energy Management program. This is a free program available to customers of Avista and Pacific Power, which offers awesome incentives including a paid internship!

Meet the 2019 Board of Directors

Congratulations to Annie Hoy, Melina Barker, Lisa Beam, and Steve Bowman for their election to the Board of Directors! We were delighted to have such a strong slate of candidates to fill our four vacancies. You can read more about each new director here.

How to stay sustainable with paper products

Have you thought about how sustainable your paper home products are? While the use of single-use plastics has (rightfully) been criticized, some products are made to be single-use - like toilet paper, paper towels, and napkins. With these products, it’s best to examine sustainability by looking at what goes into their production.

Board elections are open!

We are grateful for the engaged community that supports the Ashland Food Co-op. We're a grocery store owned by you (with a few thousand of your friends). But your ownership isn't just coupons and discount; you help shape the future of the Co-op through the election of the Board of Directors.

This year, seven candidates are nominated for four board positions: two will serve a three-year term; one will serve a two-year term; and one will serve a one-year term. Additionally, the current board has proposed three by-law changes for approval.

Farm Tour on the Shelves

The Farm Tour shines a spotlight on Southern Oregon - it represents the full range of products grown in the Rogue Valley. The Farm Tour isn't until July 14, but here's a list of tour activities for participating farms that are also on the shelves at the Ashland Food Co-op. Get an early taste of quality local goods!

Planning for Summer... and Smoke

By Emile Amarotico, General Manager

If we are lucky, we’ll only have another seven week smoke intrusion this summer. If we are not, we could be the next Paradise. In less than 13 hours, last November’s Camp Fire wiped out nearly 19,000 structures and more than 80 lives. With community help, we were able to raise over $14,000 to support Chico Natural Foods Co-op’s efforts to feed some of the nearly 20,000 displaced Paradise residents.

The Co-op's "Secret Garden"

Did you know the Co-op employees have a small garden on our campus? Planning and management falls on our fantastic Co-op volunteer: Henry Herting.

Below, Henry shares some background on the garden, what it’s used for, and some additional tales from over the years.

Originally, the need for a kitchen garden arose from having a kitchen classroom in which culinary classes were being held. Visiting chefs have always been invited to use the garden for any ingredients they may have forgotten or items they could use as garnish for their dishes.