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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

05/01/2017 - Janet Fletcher: A Life in Cheese

Janet Fletcher is an author, journalist, and cook who trained at the Culinary Institute of America and at the celebrated Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, California. Her writing for the San Francisco Chronicle has received three James Beard Awards. She has written for many of the nation's premier food and wine publications and is the author or coauthor of more than two dozen books on food and beverage. A certified master gardener who maintains a large garden of perennials and edibles, Janet lives in Napa Valley with her winemaker husband.

Janet is the author of a fascinating blog, Planet Cheese and holds cheese classes at Silverado Cooking School and other venues.

A note from Janet:

I live, cook, garden and write on a quiet street in Napa Valley. My house is not large but my kitchen is…and my sunny garden is bigger yet. Here, I develop and test recipes for cookbooks and magazine features; evaluate cheeses for my classes and columns; and prepare dinner nightly with my winemaker husband. In my garden—a terraced landscape of roses, fruit trees and raised vegetable beds—I find inspiration for daily cooking and an antidote to deadline stress.

I discovered farmers’ markets and the pleasures of the table as a college student in Provence. Shelving plans for business school, I enrolled in cooking school instead. But it was the two years I spent as a cook at Chez Panisse that shaped my taste, honed my skills and nurtured my interest in fresh produce, small-farm issues and traditional foodways. As a San Francisco Bay Area journalist—first at the Oakland Tribune, then at the San Francisco Chronicle—I have spotlighted the trends and profiled the people who make Northern California such an exhilarating place to cook, eat and work.

I continue to write about food and wine; teach cooking and cheese-appreciation classes, often for private groups; collaborate with chefs, wineries and restaurants on book projects; and undertake custom writing and recipe projects for food and wine clients. My newspaper journalism has been honored with three James Beard Awards and the International Association of Culinary Professionals Bert Greene Award. I was also the scriptwriter on two Beard Award-winning DVDs produced by the Culinary Institute of America. In spare moments between deadlines, you can find me in the garden.

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