About Us

PicholineFounded by chef Terrance Brennan, the Artisanal Premium Cheese brand began in a small closet in the wine room of New York City restaurant Picholine that was made into a cheese-aging cave. From its very beginning, Artisanal was nurtured on perfection to achieve the quality standards of two Michelin stars that were awarded to chef Brennan at Picholine. And, from here a cheese brand based on excellence was born.


On this mahogany cart, Artisanal started to develop a world-renowned reputation for sourcing the finest artisan handcrafted cheeses, aging them to perfect quality – a practice known as Affinage – and offering perfect pairings with wine and beers to create incredible culinary experiences. Perfect pairings and excellent cheese quality are at the root of the Artisanal brand and you can Taste the Difference.

cheese cave 

We then opened the Artisanal Fromagerie & Bistro known as the Mecca of Cheese. This led to the revolutionary idea of being the first to create five state-of-the-art cheese aging caves in New York City at the Artisanal Cheese Center.


Taste the Difference is something we stood by from the very beginning. Our website is a continuation of our pedigree in fine dining and what sets us apart. Our history confirms what we did and how it continues to evolve in a manner with one goal – to help our customers have the finest culinary experiences with cheese or to send as splendid cherished gift often enjoyed with family and friends in the traditional communal style of eating cheese.

Our Timeline

1993 The doors to NYC restaurant Picholine open with a cheese cave tucked in the back and the mahogany cart parked nearby!
1999 Artisanal Fromagerie & Bistro opens.
2004 Artisanal Cheese Center opens with five state-of-the-art cheese aging caves.
2007 Chef Brennan sells the Artisanal brand to current president Daniel Dowe and his group.
2010 Artisanal creates the Artisanal CheeseClock® to offer pedigree cheese selection and pairing services direct to online consumers.
2020 Artisanal acquires a bakery in Upstate New York to expand into European-style breads.
2021 Artisanal offers 2-day lower-cost shipping and an $8.99 rate in the Northeast region of the U.S.
2022 Artisanal to open a new state-of-art retail at its first fulfillment center in New York State that will be expanded to two more fulfillment centers in the South and West regions of the U.S. to offer a national $8.99 shipping rate.


Artisanal CheeseClock®



The CheeseClock® is based on how cheeses are served in fine dining settings starting at the 6 o’clock position of your platter with a mild cheese and progressing clockwise. That’s all there is to its name!


Cheese should be consumed from mild to strong to allow you to appreciate the subtleties and butteriness of softer creamy cheeses before a harder, much stronger aged or washed-rind cheese consumes your palette. It’s called Progression. Selecting cheese using Progression will give you a great cheese platter to serve or send to a friend.


Or, the CheeseClock® can be used to select cheese based on your beverage Pairing preference. Starting with your wine or beer preferences the CheeseClock® will guide you to cheeses that will pair well and likely be the ones you would enjoy the most. If you look at the CheeseClock®, you will see white wines pair best with Mild and Medium Cheeses, so if your preference is a chardonnay then cheeses categorized by Artisanal as Mild and Medium would probably be most enjoyed by you. On the other hand, if a heavier red wine like cabernet sauvignon is your preference then Bold and Stronger cheeses are likely to be your preference. It’s that simple – let your palette be your starting point and the CheeseClock® will help you select cheeses right for the occasion.



Selecting cheese should not be hard. If you want to compose a nicely balanced cheese platter just select one cheese from each of the four CheeseClock® categories – Mild, Medium, Bold, Strong – and you will have a very nice cheese presentation that is well-balanced. If you want just two cheeses I would select one from the Mild or Medium categories as they are best paired with white wines and one from the Bold and Strong categories that are more suitable to red wine.


Perfect pairings come down to you and what you like, but the use of Progression and Pairing as guidelines in the CheeseClock® were designed to make your decisions easier, give you confidence as a host, and help you develop a deeper appreciation for cheese.


We love Artisanal Cheese and enjoy sharing it even more – you can Taste the Difference!