Madame Fromage


Photo by Marianne Bernstein

Photo by Marianne Bernstein

Hello, cheese lover.

Thanks for sauntering into my dairy dream. I’m Madame Fromage (a.k.a. Tenaya Darlington), an author, freelancer, and educator. This blog is where I share pairing ideas, spotlight mostly hand-crafted cheeses, and record my cheese travels. I’ve been blogging for about eight years now, and in 2013 these explorations led to my first cookbook/cheese guide, Di Bruno Bros. House of Cheese, written in collaboration with my fave specialty foods store in Philadelphia.

Since then, I’ve co-authored 2 more books with my spirits-loving brother, André Darlington. Check out what we’re up to at our cocktail-centric sibling site, With The Darlingtons. I’ve also published a novel (Maybe Baby) and a collection of poetry (Madame Deluxe).

When I’m not online, I freelance for Edible Philly and The Philadelphia Inquirer, teach tasting workshops, develop recipes for cookbooks and companies, and hang out with my cheese gang (the Rennet Rough Riders) here in Philly. By day, I run the M.A. Program in Writing Studies at Saint Joseph’s University, where I’m part of the writing faculty. I teach courses in creative writing, food writing, and magazine writing.

If you need me, drop me a line:

Why Cheese?

Blame the state of Wisconsin and a Swiss mother. Before moving to the East Coast, I worked as a food editor at Isthmus Newspaper (Madison, WI), where I nibbled my first bites of artisan cheese. When I landed in Philadelphia in 2005, I stalked cheese makers at farmers’ markets and fell in with a rough crew of swarthy cheesemongers at Di Bruno Bros. — my local shop — and then this blog, and a book, were born. The short video at the bottom of this page tells the whole crazy story.



For a glimpse into my dairy-centric life, check out this 8-minute video presented by WHYY in Philadelphia…

Contact info:


I love helping cheese lovers discover the hunks of their dreams, which is why (jokingly) I call myself a “cheese courtesan.” I also love showing people how to taste artisan cheese and develop a language for the flavors they detect. It marries the two things I love most: words and dairy products.

In the last five years, I’ve taught Cheese Tasting 101 classes, plus focused workshops on cheddars, blues, washed rinds, Alpines, goat cheeses, and pairings. At conferences, I’ve taught sessions on social media, writing, and photographing cheese — for bloggers, cheesemongers, social media geeks, and enthusiasts. At the moment, I’m working on a new book, so my schedule is…oops…consumed by edits and crumbs.

To read more MF…


What exactly is the history of your curious obsession?

Madame Fromage started as an itsy bitsy site on Blogger back in 2009 – as a former newspaper journalist, I wanted to connect with other food writers and explore the wild wheels I sniffed out in specialty shops and farmers’ markets. Since then, this site has grown into a place where I ripen ideas, share recipes, offer tasting notes and pairing tips, and highlight the stories of cheesemakers I meet along my winding way.

Who takes MF’s photos?

All of the photos on this blog are taken by moi. Please don’t steal them, at least not without plying me with strong cheese. Thanks, pussycat.

Do you accept advertising, Madame?

MF is a personal project, a sort of pillow book of dairy fantasies. It hardly seems appropriate to mix business with that sort of pleasure.

Do you want to collaborate on a project?

Try me. I tend to collaborate with chefs, other food bloggers, and sometimes cheesemakers. In general, I purchase my own supplies and spend every vinegary dime buying cheeses I love. I don’t do sponsored posts, but I am open to samples or giveaways that fit my curious little niche of artisan cheese and extraordinary pairings.

Do you make cheese?

No, my love. But I do have an odd fondness for goats. And a great reverence for those who make cheese for a living.