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Eric Patterson, Marin French Cheese

Eric Patterson’s passion for great food, organic farming and dairy led him to a career in cheesemaking, first at Cowgirl Creamery and now at Marin French Cheese.

His career in food production began as a small organic vegetable farmer. Growing organic vegetables taught Eric many lessons that he has applied in cheesemaking. A community to help spread expertise and knowledge has been a critical component of each step in his journey. The community around organic and sustainable agriculture really taught him how big an impact changing our food systems can have on the environment we live in, the people who grow the food and the society in nourishes.

Eric’s 20-year career at Cowgirl Creamery gave him the opportunity to grow with the company and have a part in many facets of cheesemaking: fixing boilers, working with dairy farmers, mentoring great people and making lots of cheese of course. As part of Cowgirl, he has been active in supporting education for cheesemakers for over 20 years. Cowgirl helped establish the College of Marin program that helped cheesemakers, cheesemongers and cheese enthusiasts broaden their knowledge. The courses were taught in English and Spanish and included everything from sanitation to flavor analysis.

Recently moving to Marin French Cheese has given Eric the opportunity to keep building and expanding the community of cheesemakers that has helped so much in his career path.