A Conversation with Courtney C. Johnson, PhD, ACS CCP, cheesemonger, Executive Director of Washington Cheesemakers’ Association & member of the U.S. team participating in Le Mondial du Fromage!

By Comté Cheese Association in Comté News Fall/Winter 2023, published November 28, 2023

Held annually the Mondial du Fromage tournament has been described as relentless test of knowledge and skill — comparable to a “cheese decathlon.”

Q. You were one of 16 cheesemongers from around the world who competed for the title of World’s Best Cheesemonger. How did you get selected?

A. I was selected to compete in the Mondial du Fromage after first competing in, and winning, the U.S. cheesemonger championship, Cheesemonger Invitational (the brainchild of Adam Moskowitz): Masters.

Q. Your teammate was Sam Rollins, a recent Comté Scholarship winner, how did you find competing with him?

A. Sam and I have known one another for several years now; we actually work together regularly, as my shop buys cheeses from his company. I knew that Sam would do well, and I was very happy to see he placed!

Q. What do you wish more customers would appreciate when it comes to PDO cheeses like Comté?

A. I would like my customers to understand the traditions that a name stands for when it comes to PDO cheeses: the legacy of a craft from a certain place, as well as the guarantee of quality that the PDO signifies. Many American customers do not even know that the PDO system exists or why, so that leaves the door open for good conversations about the differences among styles that one finds at a well-stocked cheese counter.