It has taken me over 2 months and a November full of birthdays to finally write this post. I am deeply saddened to report that our beloved and energetic cheesemaker passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in September. We have been shocked and heartbroken and thank all of our friends, family, and cheese community for their support. Patrick left behind an aging room nearly full of beautiful alpine style cheeses in various stages of finishing.

Patrick Lee washing Teetoos at the affinage.

To honor his passion and continue his joy of sharing, his PCQI (partner and preventive controls quality individual – AKA me) has taken the reins and is putting lots of love into washing and flipping wheels. Thankfully, Patrick was meticulous in his records and management of the affinage. We cross trained each other in the unforeseen event one of us was unable to work. We talked daily about the affinage, the cheese progress, customers, and dreams. We tasted, smelled, critiqued, learned, and enjoyed.

Cheesemaker at the party!

Patrick was in his element when he was sharing his cheese. Whether at a party, a demo, or a friend’s house, he relished setting up his cheese tasting. If he had a service person do work for him at the affinage, that person left with a wedge of cheese. I am so fortunate to have shared this joy with him. And for now, I continue what Patrick started by tending the cheese he made along with a new make of Teetoos produced this fall by Patrick’s great mentor and master cheese maker, Chris Roelli. We are tending this new make with Chris’s guidance and Patrick’s notes and procedures. Plus I’m doing a lot of reading about the chemistry and art of affinage! I hope that when this make of Teetoos is ready to share next summer, we can have a big post-COVID party to celebrate his life and continue his passion for artisan cheese. In the meantime, his creations are available at our fantastic retailers.

Patrick’s tradition continues.