The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

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May 8, 2014

COOKING WITH SIMON: Haute goat cheese pairs perfectly with wine

PALESTINE — So which came first, the wine or the cheese? Actually it doesn’t matter because it’s the perfect pairing.

And I’m not going to get into white versus red and which cheese to eat with what wine. Just enjoy wine with cheese.

Of course, I am about to have plenty of wine so I am forever seeking out great cheese. Recently, I was inspired with a great selection of goat cheese. Not your generic goat crumbles or spread available in area grocery stores but instead, handmade artisan goat cheese made using old-world French cheese making traditions.

Even better, this cheese is from Longview. Laura Vanderbilt purchased Haute Goat Creamery, an award-winning goat cheese company, in 2010.

Since then she has created quite a following for her line of cheeses. Last week, Laura and her husband, Jeff came to Sabor a Pasion for dinner after exchanging messages on Facebook for several months.

She brought with her a selection of her cheeses and I was immediately impressed. The variety included fresh hand-ladled chevre, flavored spreads, crottin, amalthea, blue tomme, feta, manchegoat and, one of my favorites, goat yogurt.

Plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and granola makes a great breakfast, but when I tried it with the Haute Goat yogurt an ordinary breakfast was a surprisingly great way to start the day.

I’ve also enjoyed using the Haute Goat feta on salads and pizza. It still has the crumbly texture but is more luxurious and creamy.

Cheese is one of my passions and, to be honest, I seem to live off it most days. Paired with a variety of bread and crackers it can be very satisfying at any meal.

That’s why I can’t wait to start using the Haute Goat artisanal cheese in the restaurant and for bed & breakfast guests. The creative juices are flowing and some great menu items are on the way.

The fresh chevre is moist, creamy, lightly salted, mild and delicately flavored.

They use goats that are known for their very luxurious and sweet milk. All are from Grade A inspected dairies; no hormones or antibiotics are used.

Check out their website, www.hautegoatcreamery.com, and if you see something you like, let me know.

Unfortunately, their selection is limited outside the Longview area, and even Tyler stores don’t carry the full line. But I can bring in whatever variety you like and if there is enough interest, I will carry a selection for resale.

In lieu of a recipe, I will leave you thinking of lots of ways to use cheese. Dream on about the cheese. Instead of sheep – I will be counting goats and all the wonderful ways to use Haute Goat cheese.

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Simon Webster is the Executive Chef & Owner of Sabor Pasion Estate & Vineyard. A multi-event venue in Palestine, Texas. Born in England and raised in New Zealand he brings his globally inspired cuisine and lifestyle to guests of the Sabor a Pasion estate. www.saborapasion.com, 903-729-9500

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