When Paula Lambert gets her lifetime achievement award this fall, photographers will ask her to say “cheese.” But she’s already been saying, selling, writing, and celebrating all things cheese for 40 years—and isn’t stopping now.
Lambert, who founded the Mozzarella Company in Dallas in 1982, will be honored this fall with the Grand Dame Lifetime Achievement Award from Les Dames d’Escoffier International, an international organization of women leaders who achieve excellence in the fields of food, beverage and hospitality.
Votes from 2,400 members in 43 chapters in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the U.K., and France led to the award, which is given out every two years.
“It means the world to me literally, because it’s an international award, and because I was selected by my peers,” Lambert told Dallas Innovates, “My life is very rich because of the wonderful people I’ve met through our cheeses over the past 40 years.”
Four decades of cheese-enhanced triumphs
Lambert will be recognized for 40 years of cheese-enhanced triumphs: In 2021, she was named one of the Top 50 Cheesemakers in America by Food & Wine magazine; she’s included in the James Beard Foundation’s “Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America; she’s been featured on Food Network and multiple other media outlets; and is the author of two books on cheese: “The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook and Guide” and “Cheese, Glorious Cheese.”
Lambert will be honored along with one other biannual lifetime award winner at the LDEI Annual Conference in NYC on Oct. 22.
“My mission has been to introduce Dallas shoppers and food lovers to the high quality cheeses that we make, that are similar to those found in Europe and other countries,” Lambert said. “I want shoppers to taste the flavors and appreciate the quality of our artisanal cheeses. And this is still my mission today, after 40 years!”
Deep Ellum store and an e-commerce site
Ever the entrepreneur, Lambert has a brick-and-mortar “handmade cheese” factory at 2944 Elm Street in Dallas’ Deep Ellum neighborhood. But she also operates a robust e-commerce site. Her site offers a wide array of selections liked the aged cheeses above, from Biervesa cow’s milk cheese to Monte Festivo goat’s milk cheese to “Deep Ellum Blue,” Rosemary Formaggio, and many more.
Hands-on cheesemaking classes at the MozzCo factory
You can see a video of Lambert leading a cheesemaking class in her factory by going here.
One other Grand Dame to be honored
One other winner will be honored with a Grand Dame Lifetime Achievement Award this year: Bev Shaffer, a chef and author of six cookbooks who opened What’s Cooking?, a kitchen store, cooking school, and catering company in Cleveland in 1984. Shaffer has since led the Cooking School and Market Kitchen and Bakery at the Mustard Seed Market & Café, Ohio’s largest retailer of natural and organic products.
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