John Antonelli has been a member of the American Cheese Society since before he and his wife, Kendall, even officially got into the cheese business.
Since 2010, the Antonellis have run Antonelli’s Cheese Shop in Hyde Park, Austin’s only standalone cheese shop, but the couple’s role in the community has evolved to now include an array of classes, farm tours and events. As local cheese educators, retailers and wholesalers, they connect cheesemakers from around the world with every kind of customer imaginable, including chefs.
(The other local cheese shop, Henri’s, which was located on South Lamar, closed after a fire last year, and the owners announced recently that they are morphing the concept into a restaurant and bar in Northeast Austin.)
This fall, Antonelli’s will open a second location in the still-under-construction Fareground, Austin’s first food hall.
But last week, Antonelli’s Cheese Shop took another step forward into the international spotlight when John, a longtime board member of ACS, took the helm as president of one of the world’s leading cheese organizations. Both Antonellis have been involved with the organization’s annual cheese competition, which also took place at the conference, and three Texas companies came home with awards.
Brazos Valley Cheese in Waco took third place for its cow milk feta. A specialty cheese called Menonita con Pimienton from Paula Lambert’s Mozzarella Company in Dallas won third place, and Pure Luck Farm and Dairy in Dripping Springs, run by Amelia Sweethardt, took third place for its goat milk feta.