Dutch’s Cheese Curator Rachel Young Is Also a Pro Bassoonist

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A native of Oswego, Illinois, Rachael Young moved to Cincinnati in 2011 and became the principal bassoonist for the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra in May 2015. She also lives a double life as the curator of Dutch’s wide-ranging artisanal cheese selection. Classical music and fancy cheese may seem like elitism overload, but for Young, it’s about the “drive to experience life to its fullest.”

 

Rachael Young
Rachael Young

Photograph by Annette Navarro


It was my dad who actually suggested the bassoon. He was a big classical music lover. It was just sort of a side thing when I was playing my violin in high school. I was just always doing better as a bassoonist.


The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance is quite unique in that they are one of the first organizations in the country to completely merge the ballet, opera, and philharmonic. Sometimes we do concerts that feature all three. It’s kind of an amazing job for a classical musician.


Going to see a concert that’s just extraordinary, it’s an experience. You don’t take it with you. It’s over and it’s gone. But your emotional experience of it is very strong. I think food does that to people in a way. It’s that specific parallel of experiencing your senses to their fullest but also experiencing life to its fullest through these two artforms that really keeps me passionate about it. It isn’t just helping rich people eat fatty, delicious foods.


There’s a goat cheese out of Capriole, just north of Louisville, they add paprika. There’s this kind of buoyant, spiced quality to it the same way American music has a lot of roots in syncopation and jazz harmonies.


Fine dining people love going out to dive bars. Same thing with classical musicians. No, we don’t just sit around and contemplate the subtleties between the Brahm’s symphonies and which movements we like the best.


I absolutely adore the late night slices over at Goodfella’s on Main Street. And dipped in ranch dressing. This is obviously just globs of cheap mozzarella, but there’s something about the sauce and the way it combines.

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