November 16, 2022

EP. 291 — Can You Say Cheese? with Carlos Yescas and Lee Hennessy

This week we’re learning all about the culture of cheese, and literal cheese cultures, with Carlos Yescas and Lee Hennessy. They join Jonathan to discuss how cheese is made, the politics and economics of the global cheese industry, and why we should enjoy Swiss cheese while we have it. It’s the episode equivalent of a gorgeous charcuterie board!


Carlos Yescas is a cheese scholar, advocate, distributor, and researcher. He documents cheese traditions and stories and is currently researching raw-milk use in cheesemaking around the world.


Lee Hennessy is the founder, farmer, and cheesemaker of Moxie Ridge Farm. Lee is a first-generation farmer and a transgender man with a surprising background in both wine and Hollywood. He lives and works in Argyle, NY and in his spare time he enjoys spending time with his goats, reading long fantasy series, learning to play instruments and singing.


Want to stop doomscrolling? Take Carlos’ advice and learn more about cheese! He’s on TikTok @cheeseyescas and Instagram @CarlosYescas.


Lee is on Instagram @hennessie. Moxie Ridge Farm is on Instagram @moxieridgefarm, and at Sign up for their newsletter for information about seasonal cheese shipping, and Lee’s cheesemaking class through Small Farm School.


Follow us on Instagram and Twitter @CuriousWithJVN to join the conversation.


Jonathan is on Instagram and Twitter @JVN and @Jonathan.Vanness on Facebook.


Transcripts for each episode are available at


Our executive producer is Erica Getto. Our associate producer is Zahra Crim. Our editor is Andrew Carson.


Our theme music is “Freak” by QUIÑ; for more, head to


Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness & Carlos Yescas and Lee Hennessy JVN [00:00:00] Welcome to Getting Curious. I am Jonathan Van Ness, honey, and every week, you guessed it! I sit down for a gorgeous conversation with a brilliant expert to learn all about something that makes me curious. Today’s episode is a real gooey, ooey, cheesy celebration. On today’s episode, we’re joined by a returning guest, Lee Hennessy, who we love, and Carlos Yescas, where I ask them: What’s the story of cheese cultures? Welcome back to Getting Curious. Honey, have we got an episode for you. I think you all noticed now that, like, every time we have a food expert on the show, whether it’s Padma Lakshmi, Sohla [El-Waylly], whether it’s Pati Jinich, honey – I’m always asking about cheese. And on an episode this summer with Lee Hennessy about farming, it hit me. We had finally found our cheese expert. So we invited Lee back to the show to talk about all things

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