Carlos Yescas joined Oldways in 2015 as the Program Director of the Cheese Coalition, which supports the production and appreciation of artisan cheese, and protects traditional cheesemaking practices around the world.
Carlos’ career in cheese began at Sheridans Cheesemongers, where he worked the counter and sold from a stand at the weekend Galway Farmers Market in Ireland. Since 2009, he has served as one of 16 supreme judges at the World Cheese Awards; in 2011, he was inducted as a member of the Guilde Internationale des Fromagers and in 2016 as a member of the Confrérie du Gruyère.
As a food scholar, Yescas taught a graduate-level class on food regulation and law in New York University’s Food Studies department. In addition, he has conducted extensive doctoral research on the principles and regulations of cheese. He holds a Master of Law from the National University of Ireland, a Master of Philosophy in politics from the New School for Social Research in New York, and a Bachelor’s degree in business from Endicott College in Massachusetts.
As an entrepreneur, Carlos co-founded Lactography, the ﬁrst artisan cheese distribution company in Mexico, and, in 2014, opened QuesoStore in Mexico City. He combined his love for Mexican cheese and research to publish the book Quesos Mexicanos in 2013 by Larousse, and was awarded second place for best cheese book at the Gourmand Cookbook Awards 2014. He previously worked in diplomacy and international relations in posts at the Consulate of Mexico in Boston, the United Nations Development Programme, and at the International Organization for Migration in New York. In 2015, Carlos was named as one of the “50 hottest places, people and trends in food” by the Guardian UK Observer Food Monthly magazine, and his work is the subject of an episode of A Taste of Mexico (10th season) that airs on PBS and is hosted by chef Rick Bayless.
Carlos is a frequent speaker on food and topics of social justice and migrant rights in a variety of venues, including The Basque Culinary Center, the International Association of Culinary Professionals, Mesamerica, Roots Conference, as well as the New York Public Library. He has traveled the western world documenting cheese traditions and stories and is currently researching raw-milk use in cheesemaking around the world.
Sara Baer-Sinnott - Oldways, President
Sara has been an instrumental figure at Oldways since its early days, joining the staff in 1992 to work on one of the first overseas Symposiums (Food, Culture and Discovery in Spain) and the first Mediterranean Diet Conference. Sara assumed the presidency of Oldways in May 2010, on the untimely death of founder K. Dun Gifford. She now develops company strategy, oversees all Oldways projects and programs, and works closely with all members of the Oldways staff.
In her years at Oldways, Sara has been an integral part of Oldways’ growth and success. She has helped develop ground-breaking programs including its Traditional Diet Pyramids; the Whole Grains Council; Healthy Pasta Meals; High Five Children's Cooking Curriculum; and many others. Her current priorities include the growth of the Mediterranean Foods Alliance, as well as overseas Symposiums and Culinarias about traditional foods and culture. Sara is also co-author of the The Oldways Table with Oldways’ Founder Dun Gifford.
Daniel McElligott - Research Associate Daniel’s cheese career began in 2013 at Whole Foods Market in Melrose, Massachusetts. There he worked behind the cheese counter, offering weekly themed tastings of selected cheeses and engaging customers through cheesy suggestions and conversations.
Daniel is also an undergraduate student at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. Majoring in history, Daniel found a link between his interests in cheese and 19th Century American history among Northeastern’s Consortium on Food Systems Sustainability, Health, and Equity. This common ground between his passion for cheese and love of history has allowed Daniel to pursue a cooperative education opportunity working as an intern at Oldways in the Cheese Coalition. This internship developed into a more involved role with the OCC in a position as a Research Associate. Daniel can also be found working as a cheesemonger behind the Salumi e Formaggi counter at Eataly Boston.