Saturday, February 4, 2023

Celebrate National Cheese Day with Delray Beach Market’s The Cellar and Pantry

Cheese can be hard, soft, gooey, chewy, pungent, fragrant, and it comes in vast varieties of sizes, textures and colors. To celebrate this diverse food, we sat down to chat with Matt Reilly, cheesemonger and co-owner of The Cellar and Pantry, the Delray Beach Market’s wine and cheese shop.

Located on the right side of Delray Beach Market’s main entrance, The Cellar and Pantry offers guests wines by the glass or bottle to enjoy with their market vendor meals. Reilly, along with his two business partners Carissa Toro and Lee Salas, has also curated cheese & charcuterie flights (4 cheeses with 3 meats paired with specialty accompaniments). If you just want a cheese or a meat platter, they have those options. The cheeses include goat cheese, provolone, gouda, pecorino, and one of my personal favorites, stracciatella; while the meats range from prosciutto di Parma and coppa to Genoa salame and salamini (choose from hot or mild).

What about pairing your wine with your cheese? They offer that too!  On a daily basis the store carries about 30-40 different cheeses, and Reilly says they will be working with about 200-300 cheeses on a rotating basis, so the assortment is truly vast.

Reilly and Salas are both experienced cheesemongers. Reilly is a former New York chef turned restaurant consultant turned cheesemonger, and Salas was chosen to compete in this year’s International Cheesemonger Competition in France.  The two of them, alongside the team’s marketing maven Carissa, have created a space where you can learn about the cheese, meats and wine you’re buying by simply asking questions. They are excited to share their passion with us. The shop also carries local fine foods including artisanal jams from Coco Fine Foods and honey from Bee Healthy Farms. 

So what’s Reilly’s favorite cheese? His eyes light up when he begins the intricate history of Gran Mugello. An Italian cheese with a history that dates back to the 13th century, this cheese is the best expression of that terroir and the signature cheese of Tuscany’s Mugello Valley. Make sure to ask Reilly about its story on your next visit while you savor a piece. 

33 SE 3rd Ave., Delray Beach; 561/562-7000;

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Christie Galeano-DeMott
Christie Galeano-DeMott
Christie is a food lover, travel fanatic, bookworm, Francophile, and she believes art in all its forms is good for the soul. When she’s not writing about the incredible dishes, people and places that capture South Florida's culture and vibe, Christie is irresistibly happy in the company of her husband and a glass of red wine.

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