Meet A Local Monday: Leah Park Fierro
A lifetime Angeleno and east-sider at heart, Leah Park Fierro has captured our hearts and our stomachs through the delicious and curated offerings of cheeses in Eagle Rock – Los Angeles. Having spent 6 years working at Silver Lake Cheese Store, Leah has stepped out on her own, cultivating a true artisanal sanctuary for local customers and makers alike to try new products and explore the vast world of fromage.
How did you develop your love for cheese?
I've always loved cheese! When I was really young, I used to do weird things like stick a Kraft Single on top of the rice in the rice cooker, and eat cubes of cheddar with jook. As a kid, I always chose El Cholo for my birthday dinner so I could order Cheese Enchiladas. Obviously, my taste for cheese upgraded over the years.
What made you decide to open up Milkfarm in Eagle Rock?
I grew up in the San Gabriel Valley and hung around Eagle Rock during (my friend's) college years (I went to culinary school 1 month after high school). Most recently, I lived in South Pasadena then bought a house in Eagle Rock. I noticed the community change and saw a demand for a place like Milkfarm in NELA. People like ME live on the eastside...and we love great food too...it's not just for west-siders! Also, I loved the multicultural, young, first home-buyer, first-baby-type of community since I fit in that demographic.
Tell us more about your "Meet the Maker" nights.
Meet the Maker events are fun, casual, educational hours in the day when Artisan producers and cheesemakers can come by and talk to the community about what they make and how they make it. It gives people an opportunity to put a face to the products that they try, buy and love. Customers can ask questions and to be exposed to great products (that are NEW to many) and are made locally. It's free, with no obligation to buy, so I find that the community is really embracing it. It's fun!
Is there an artisanal cheese that is in constant rotation on your dinner table?
The only cheese that I always have at home is Parmigiano Reggiano. Okay, I lied...I also always have string cheese. Other than that, every cheese is on rotation!
What's your favorite local artisan treat?
Dominico's fresh bucatini pasta, Kristen's (Solace Sweets) Nougat, Mina's (Grace and I) Fruit Presses, and Jessica's (Margo's Bark) rootbeer. Margaret's (M.Greenwood Jams) jams. So many more to choose from, how can I just pick one?
What ingredient in our May box would you most be inclined to try and why?
I would try the Smoky Sherry-Onion Compote because 1) I'm already familiar with the other items (which are delicious) and 2) because Smoky Sherry-Onion Compote is the compilation of 4 delicious words all in one title.
Follow Leah @MilkFarmLA on Twitter and Instagram
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