Sue Conley and Peggy Smith of Cowgirl Creamery have been blazing trails for more than 30 years. After moving West in the seventies, they immersed themselves in the Bay Area food revolution, Peggy in the kitchen at Chez Panisse and Sue at Fourth Street Grill and Bette’s Oceanview Diner. In the late 1980s, they decided to explore new frontiers in Marin, supporting farmers and producers directly and becoming pioneering cheese makers in the process.
In their new book, Cowgirl Creamery Cooks (Chronicle Books), the two cowgirls share their story, their knowledge of cheese, and some of their favorite recipes. We talked with Sue Conley about the book and how an old barn in Point Reyes helped spur a burgeoning artisan cheese movement.
Sue Conley (L) and Peggy Smith (R) of Cowgirl Creamery. Photo: Hirsheimer & Hamilton
CUESA: Can you tell us about your journey into the cheese business?