Behind the Counter with Ashley Cochrane of Baker & Olive

Chef-manager Ashley Cochrane brings her love of cheese to a new specialty food shop and tasting pantry in Newport Beach.

Chef-manager Ashley Cochrane. Photo by Priscilla Iezzi.

You’re a fromager?
I got to live in Rome where I studied—and ate an extensive amount of cheeses and incorporated them into my favorite recipes. After I graduated, I became a fromager at the Montage in Laguna Beach.

Which olive oils and balsamics are your favorites, and how would you pair them?
Our Grapefruit White Balsamic is ideal for a smoky arugula-based salad; Blackberry Ginger
Dark Balsamic creates the perfect glaze for a Mongolian‑style rack of lamb.

What oils and vinegars go well together?
Apricot White Balsamic paired with our Persian Lime EVOO is on fire right now. Great on prawns, slaws, salads, veggies!

What else do you sell?
We have an amazing selection of unique artisanal, small-batch cheeses made here in the U.S. and abroad. And we have cured meats from Italy, Spain, and France, plus lots of gourmet pantry items.

Best bets for hostess gifts?
With tips about your host, we’ll select a balsamic-and-oil pairing and wrap it in our rustic shopping bag, adorned with tissue and jute. Or try our“zing boxes,” a chef-curated sampling of small bottles geared toward a cooking style.

Best part of your job?
The products and flavor profiles we get to work withthat inspire me, and beingable to “fan girl” over these products with customers.

What’s coming?
We’ll have a fun little demo nook that will include a pizza oven where our culinary team will create samples and offer how-tos on using our products like a pro.

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