It’s Cheese Sex Death’s 3rd Birthday!
How does one start a blog called Cheese Sex Death?
A lot of people ask me how I became a full-time cheese preacher,
going from enthusiastic eater to grating Parmigiano
directly into my mouth for thousands of followers.
It’s been a bumpy little ride, with lots of ups and downs and utter failures.
Let me take you through it.
Just a couple years ago, I was a directionless college grad with no career prospects
and 2 worthless undergraduate degrees (in English and Film Production).
I was working seasonally in the shoe department at Macy’s.
I had just dropped out of a comedy writing class.
And my seasonal cooking blog was failing.
All I knew was that I really loved to eat, especially cheese.
At the time, that meant melting lots of cheddar onto black bean burgers and
eating bowls of Velveeta and shells at my grandma’s house in the summer.
So how did I go from a casual cheese eater to devout worshipper? Here’s the TLDR version:
I simply pursued my curiosity for the pleasures of the curd, and It blossomed into a passion.
Then I found an untrodden path in marketing that I could eventually make a career out of.
What’s my advice to anyone looking for that next step?
Simply follow what tickles your curiosity, be it cheese or wine or something completely different like poetry.
You never know where it will lead you. Maybe you’ll simply discover a pleasurable new hobby, or ignite a lifelong passion.
You might find even a job prospect, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
Not everyone needs to find soul-defining passion in their work life, and especially not right away.
There is no “one perfect path” or soulmate career.
Just find something that fulfills you and then get your jollies with hobbies and other delights.
At least let yourself indulge in life’s earthly pleasures, and make yourself a cheese plate.
Cheese makes every day more fulfilling.
If you’re still here and still curious about how it all went down for me,
here’s the timeline of how Cheese Sex Death came to be.
My mom brings home from the farmers market a 2-lb block of SarVecchio Parmesan from Sartori Cheese, in Wisconsin.
I crumble off handfuls, getting lost in flavors and textures I didn’t know existed.
I obsess over this crunchy cheese that tastes of pineapple, peanuts, and cream.
I visit Chicago’s cheese shop Pastoral and witness a cheese case for the first time.
The cheesemonger asks if I want a sandwich: “Baguette with brie, mustard, and butter” he says; “trust me, you want it.”
I sink my teeth through the crisp crust and thick slabs of butterfat,
harboring a crush on the monger.
I spend a semester studying film in Bonn, Germany. I’m vegetarian,
and survive on dark bread with lots of gouda.
I graduate college with dual degrees in English and Film Production.
I get a job as a hostess, obviously, and start a movie review blog called “The Shit Erika Saw.”
I eat meat again for the first time in 7 years: duck heart hash at Le Pigeon in Portland, OR.
I officially become a foodie.
I start a seasonal cooking blog called Seasonal Suppin’.
I visit New York City and stumble upon Bedford Cheese Shop in Brooklyn.
I fall in love with the magical descriptions of cheeses and envy the cheesemongers.
I rebrand my food blog to “The buckwhEater.”
I intern at Plate Magazine, where I’m assigned a project on Spanish cheese.
I start researching and am immediately lost in the variety of cheeses and stories behind them.
I google “how do I devote my life to cheese” and discover a blog post from Madame Fromage.
that tells me to get some books and get a job at a counter. That day, I apply at Pastoral.
I quit my front desk job at a salon and become a cheesemonger.
Feeling unfulfilled behind the counter, I quit my cheese job to work at Longman & Eagle, a then Michelin-starred restaurant in Chicago.
I rebrand my blog to “The Dining Demon” and focus on restaurant reviews.
I quit my restaurant job for another restaurant job. It doesn’t work out, and I’m soon unemployed.
I visit my bestie in LA, where we fall in love with a raw milk dairy vendor at the Santa Monica farmers market.
It is on this trip that I decide to start my cheese blog. We pondered what to call it while hiking.
My boyfriend says, “You love cheese, you’re goth, and you eat orgiastically. Call it, Cheese Death Sex.”
I call my mom with “the news.” She suggests that “Cheese Sex Death has more of a punch.”
I rebrand my blog as Cheese Sex Death. The first post is an imperfect recipe for Baba Ganoush,
a vegan eggplant dish. In other words, it still took some time for the cheese theme to stick.
I use my “blog experience” to get a job doing social media for Lettuce Entertain You restaurants.
Having no marketing background, I train myself by reading blogs and listening to social media podcasts.
I start doing #CheeseChurch by regramming 3 cheese pictures every Sunday.
My first successful blog post is a demo on how to make scrambled eggs. There is (again) no cheese in the recipe.
My Instagram reaches 1,000 followers. I celebrate with a wedge of blue cheese in my cleavage and decide I like this direction.
I go to the Cheese Monger Invitational. Someone says, “are you Cheese Sex Death?”
I record that moment as the highlight of my life thus far.
I quit the restaurant world to work for the dairy industry at Lifeway Foods. I become obsessed with kefir.
My friend asks for a private cheese class. There are 12 disciples, and we call it Cheese Church IRL.
I host my first public class, on how to pair whiskey with cheese.
I decide to launch a cheese event company and buy a domain.
I realize I’m a better marketer than a businesswoman and decide not to launch a cheese event company after all.
I launch my first piece of merchandise, the Camembert Pin.
I quit my job at Lifeway to work for Culture Magazine part-time and
to devote my life to digital marketing for others in the cheese industry.
A video of me grating Parmigiano into my mouth goes viral. The Cheese Church grows.
I launch my first t-shirt, the Cheese Slut Shirt.
Cheese Sex Death turns 3 years old.
What does this year have in store?
I’ll be making more sexy, quality cheese merch so you can wear your love for the curd.
I’ll also introduce you to more cheeses, pairing ideas, and recipes.
There’s bound to be a lot more fuck ups along the way,
so bear with me.
It’s my passion to keep you guys turned on to the curd and make cheese a larger part of the American lifestyle.
Let’s all raise a wedge to that!