Just as field grasses and flowers signal spring’s arrival, they also seem the harbinger of fresh chèvre appearing on menus. Carolina’s chef Jill Mathias turns to Burden Creek Dairy right across the river on John’s Island for its fresh farmstead goat cheese. “I really like their goat cheese for its simplicity,” she says. “It’s very neutral and clean.” Perfect for this time of year, Mathias pairs the goat cheese with the slight earthiness of mushrooms to create a light sauce for delicate homemade ricotta gnudi, makes it the star of soufflés that she describes as “more like soft scrambled eggs than the classic poufs,” and combines it with cauliflower for an ultra-creamy soup that doesn’t require more cream.
Burden Creek owner Kipp Valentine delivers his fresh-milk goat cheese to Carolina’s door, but you can buy it at Harris Teeter, Earth Fare, Whole Foods, and Piggly Wiggly. “I find that Burden Creek’s goat cheese freezes really well. If I buy an abundance, I’ll put it in the freezer for up to a month,” Mathias says. “Once the package is open, it keeps in the refrigerator for about a week and a half.”