Portland, Maine

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Shannon Tallman

Pusher of Parmigiano, lover of Limburger and guardian of Gruyere!

Job Cheese buyer/ACS Certified Cheese Professional / Whole Foods Market Portland

Lives In Between Old Port and West End

I have lived and worked in Portland for the past 10 years.  It's here that my unexpected culinary journey through a few kitchens landed me in the back room of The Whole Grocer. There, I spent over a year, making vegan cookies and tahini bisque before we moved on to becoming Whole Foods, which after 8 years, has led me to where I am.

Through a path of self-education, endless reading and eating, I became an American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional (essentially a cheese sommelier) and only one of two in the state of Maine.

I actually found my love of cheese in one of the kitchens in town. I remember walking in and seening the chef moving across the kitchen with handfuls of herbs and spices, throwing them into this mason jar of oil and cheese. She made me look at to to be more than what it was, or what I had known it to be.

When I'm slinging St. Andre, I'm usually just enjoying a lot of down time with my wife, our two cats and good nibble of cheese. More than likely, you've seen us out at our favorite places like Caiola's, Eventide, Empire and Pai Men (to name a few).

Why did you choose Portland? Portland chose me. Or rather, my partner chose me and she lived here. But, once I moved up--back in 2004-I knew there was no going back. I like to tell people that I upgraded from the Hudson to the ocean.

Who are Portlanders you admire and why? Because I mostly live in the food bubble, for me, it's people like Rob Evans, Masa Miyake, Abby Harmon, Arlin Smith/Andrew Taylor/Mikey Wiley, Guy and Stella Hernandez and Sam Hayward. It's their commitment to the vast community we have in Maine, without compromise, that I admire most. . Their support for our farmers and food artisans that keeps Maine food community strong.

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