Norbert Wabnig Founder of The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills

By Brian Lemay 1 comment


jbjb(p(p This is the guy who runs the show;
his name is Norbert Wabnig, the king of queso. Cheese is truly an art form, it s a collaboration
between man and nature, to present something that is actually beautiful. Norbert Wabnig
has a philosophy based on a deep enjoyment of life and he does this based through two
passions, cheese and music. As the proprietor of the Cheese Store of Beverly Hills, he has
inspired multitudes of foodies to make the pilgrimage to his counter. “Lets talk a little
bit about cow cheese!” The Cheese Store never exudes the pretension you might expect. It’s
my pleasure to welcome you to the cheese store of Beverly Hills. People come because they
are curious, because it’s fun. What makes it so enjoyable is Norbert Wabnig. “You can
almost grade any good Cheese Store by the smell when you walk in the door. If it doesn’t
have a really pungent odor when you walk in the door, you’re not in the right place.”
A son of Austrian actors and impresarios, he came from a rich family history of combining
great food and entertainment. When they left Austria, they landed in New Orleans, raising
Norbert in the United States capital of sumptuous food and music. In 1978, Norbert bought the
then cheese shop, which he had been working at since 1975 while trying to make it as a
musician. “I actually came to Los Angeles to become a hit songwriter.” An aspiring keyboardist,
he gigged throughout Los Angeles with his band, Wendell Nightfall, which was comprised
of friends from New Orleans. He discovered the cheese store when he arrived in LA in
1975 and answered a job service announcement. What started as a part time job became a life
passion. After buying the store, he moved his piano upstairs and shared his enthusiasm
for life and fine food downstairs. So how did he get from this to this? “I was broke
after about six months out here, and I had to get a job. It was a tremendous adventure
purchasing a store I knew very little about. I have a passion for both of them when I get
tired of cheese I run up here and when I get tired of this I go downstairs to cheese. Today,
the Cheese Store sells more cheese than any other specialty cheese shop west of the Mississippi.
“Cheese is very nationalistic. Because of that, though you may find 150 or 200 different
cheeses in an Italian shop or a French shop, we have almost 600 here. We have cheeses from
France, Italy, Spain, Germany, The Netherlands, Austria, Australia, New Zealand and Canada,
as well as a flourishing number of American Artisan cheeses. People ranging from stars
to culinary students, from chefs to the novice cheese enthusiast, come to discover new tastes
and gather insights “We have here today, the foremost authority in the world on cheese.
His name is Norbert Wagnig. Norbert is a highly sought out expert and is regularly interviewed
for television, print and new media. As the History Channel discovered, he is a perfect
fit with his encyclopedic knowledge of the history of cheese. “The monks acted as a bridge
from the ancient world into the medieval world and they kept alive this making of cheese
and they turned it literally into a work of art. The French have been around for a long
time and they ve eaten a lot of mold in their day. Roquefort is a particular kind of blue
cheese made in the southern region of France. s of pure sheep s milk and it has to be aged
in the caves of Roquefort. It s been around a long time and there s a reason for that.
It s good food. God made man, man-made cheese. In the end cheese is not the only field of
Norbert’s expertise He has become successful by being a living example of a philosophy
that places community at the heart of business. The finer things in life are not simply acquisitions,
but are a communion of nature and people, bringing friends and family together. s a
wonderful way to bring for example the whole family together. Tear them away from the television
and have a conversation. Cheese should be an adventure, you should enjoy it. Don’t try
to make it into a science, don’t reduce it to that. Don t over analyze it, just enjoy
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1 Comment

Elizabeth Larroquette

Sep 9, 2010, 5:38 pm Reply

Norb is a rock star!

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