Cheese, by definition, is aged. Deer Valley Resort, no stranger to culinary excellence, has managed to put both a new emphasis and a new face on this much-beloved, ripened food. Deer Valley’s resident cheesemaker Corinne Cornet-Coniglio’s close attention to ingredients’ origins and close partnerships with local purveyors has paid off big time for Utah cheese connoisseurs looking for a new fix.
Originally from Europe, Cornet-Coniglio started making cheese as a hobby while living on a farm in Colorado. After several years, some culinary training in France, and raising about 50 goats of her own, her cheese-making hobby grew into a full-blown enterprise. Fortunately for us, Cornet-Coniglio and her goats decided to move from the Aspen area to Midway. She quickly made a name for herself in Utah, winning Best of State for her creations and catching the attention of Deer Valley’s head chef, Clark Norris.
“I became aware of her cheeses last summer at a local foods show ... love at first bite,” Norris reminisces. “They were the only local, soft-ripened, French-style local cow and goat’s milk cheeses available. These gourmet cheeses are on par with some of the best made anywhere but were made right here at 8,100 feet.” And so it was almost inevitable that, when her business partner decided to retire, Norris made Cornet-Coniglio a job offer she couldn’t refuse. She started working alongside Norris and the other chefs at the resort last September.
Consistent with the style she developed in Colorado, Cornet-Coniglio uses milk from goats and cows pastured in nearby Heber City and Ogden. Her cheeses, which she makes during the vampiric work hours of 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., are featured in Deer Valley restaurant dishes like Royal Street Café’s “The Provence Kid” bruschetta. And all five of her signature cheeses—including a creamy bleu, a traditional double-cream cow’s milk cheese, and a triple-cream brie infused with black truffles—are available for purchase at the Deer Valley Grocery Café (1375 Deer Valley Dr, 435.615.2400,deervalley.com).
“I really love to make cheese,” Cornet-Coniglio says. “It’s more like a hobby than work. And actually, working at night is very nice. It’s very peaceful; I can put on some classical music and wait for the cheese to curdle.”