Local Flavor

by Kalie Trueper ’08

Brian Diggs

Kendra Scott ’03 puts Texas cheeses on the map

Recently, Kendra Scott ’03 appeared on the Houston radio show, “Delicious Mischief,” (AM 740 KTRH) to explain why the new Texas artisan cheeses and wines have transformed the tried-and-true “wine and cheese party”—once the domain of same-old-same-old cheddars and California Chablis—into a truly local affair.

Before her brush with radio celebrity, Scott graduated from Southwestern with French and studio art degrees. “When I graduated from Southwestern, I set out to find a career, but knew that I might not settle on one for a few years. I chose to try on a few hats before settling on something, rather than go full steam ahead, with blinders on…”

Just two years after graduation, including a brief stint in graduate school, Scott hit upon the perfect pairing: she combined her background in French with her love of food and took a job as a cheese buyer.

Working as a buyer, Scott fine-tuned her palate with cheeses from all over the world. Interacting directly with farms and artisans became one of her favorite parts of the job, giving her insight into the craft of cheesemaking that she could then share with her clients.

In 2006, Scott moved to Houston and she and a partner launched the Houston Dairymaids, a business that sells artisan cheeses and specialty foods from Texas at local farmers’ markets. In 2007, under the headline, “Texas Cheese Comes of Age,” the Houston Chronicle dubbed Scott and her partner the “Big Wheels of Cheese.”

This summer, Scott began work as an independent cheese consultant, selecting and sourcing local cheese for Houston restaurants and wine bars, doing private catering, and leading cheese and wine tours along her well-worn buying routes in the Texas Hill Country. On the following pages, Scott shares some cheese-buying tips, insights, and favorites, wine pairings optional.

A Few of Kendra Scott’s Texas Favorites to Try & Taste

Mouse over the cheeses for more information.

Tommy Lavergne