JK: An Interview with Pondini’s Seymour Pond
The creation of PONDINI was realized from a long friendship between Matteo Panini and Seymour Pond. Both men have a passion for substantial Italian cuisine. In the spring of 2003, PONDINI was created. Their product selection came from a quest for clear, powerful and unique flavors. Jack Kelly of JKCC sat down with Seymour Pond recently to discuss the company’s unique olive oil and cheese collection.
JK: What inspired you to go totally organic with your product line?
SP: As you know, organic means doing without the widespread use of antibiotics, growth hormones, and feeding the animals with organic forage–not congenital feed derived from GMO crops.
JK: What is your most sought after cheese?
SP: Actually, there is not one specific cheese that is most popular. We specialize in very rare cheeses not found with other purveyors. That said, my three favorite cheeses are Hombre’s Parmigiano Reggiano, Taleggio, and Manchego.
JK: Who are a few of the more noted chefs that use your cheese products in their recipes?
SP: Well, Massimo Bottura, who for the last six years has been named the best chef in Italy. (See Netflix Chef’s Table series, episode 1 in which he visits Hombre Farm and speaks glowingly about our very special Parmigiano Reggianio.) Locally, Matty Boudreau, at Barron’s Cove, draws heavily on our domestic selection. Chef Marc Vetri and Chef Adam Leonti, of the famed restaurant Vetri in Philadelphia, are spearheading the amazing Brooklyn Bread Lab and the new Williamsburg Hotel restaurant. Though normally specializing in French cuisine, Chef Jean-François Bruel, at Daniel relies on our cheeses for a unique Italian themed event.
JK: What is your favorite cheese recipe? Ha!
SP: I make my own ultra rich mac and cheese from a combination of Bitto, Fontina Valle d’Aosta, and Parmigiano Reggianio Fresco.
JK: Why do you think your cheeses and olive oils are part of the daily food staple at the Vatican in Rome?
SP: Every summer, the Pope—if schedule permits—escapes the heat of Rome and takes the Vatican train to Castel Gandolfo, which is a food paradise. The Vatican yields more than 120 gallons of milk each day. The Vatican adheres to the same rigid regulations that our farms do in the north of Italy. The Vatican is totally into a bona-fide Argo-religious experience. It’s of no surprise that the Vatican enjoys our northern Italian organic parmigiano cheese. Who knew the Pope was a locavore!
JK: Thank you, Seymour, for sharing your inspirational story! All of us at the Collection are looking forward to an early tasting of your amazing cheeses and olive oils for the 2016 summer season.