I have no idea how long we’ve known Maliysa of LouLou Cheese Girl, but we originally met her when she worked at 15C Wine Shop in Templeton. Not long ago we heard that she had opened up her own business revolving around cheese and presentation. We have now had the privilege of partaking in her creations on three occasions and I can guarantee we will have more experiences.
Recently at J. Dusi we had two boxes filled with cheeses, olives, meats, dried fruits, bread, and so much more. I describe her presentations as a treasure hunt. It seems like every time you pick something up to eat there’s something hiding underneath. And that something is absolutely delicious!
I’m going to stop babbling so you can get to the Q&A, but please, do yourself a favor and check her out!
Now let’s get to know Maliysa and her new venture…
Matt: Where are you from originally?
Maliysa: I was born and raised in Costa Mesa, I am a proud Orange County Girl .
Matt: How long have you been in the Paso Robles/ Templeton area?
Maliysa: I moved here on my own to Paso Robles in 2015. I had an adorable one bedroom on 17th street which is still one of my favorite places I have lived. I’ll never forget how dark it was compared to Orange County when I moved here, I was a little scared. I now own a home in Templeton.
Matt: When did you first fall in love with food/ cheese?
Maliysa: I first fell in love with food I think when I was a little girl. Both my mom and grandma were great cooks and I spent a lot of time in the kitchen when I was younger with my grandma. One of my earliest memories is watching her make apple pies from scratch, crust and all she was an incredible baker, which I am not. She also made cookies during Christmas and our whole house looked like Santa’s workshop, there was literally every Christmas cookie in our kitchen.
Matt: What was it that triggered your passion?
Maliysa: I took a food presentation class and I was hooked!
Matt: Prior to opening your own catering/ food truck venture, where all have you worked in the industry?
Maliysa: When I moved here, I worked for Adelaida. It was a very cool experience. I went through harvest time and met amazing people. I then met Loshel (everyone knows Losh) at the Tomato Festival, he was pouring for 15c and I just wanted to work with him. We chatted and he told me to come in, I put it off and then saw him again and he asked me to come in for an interview and I met with him and Ali and I knew that 15c was my home. I did so many beautiful platters there and made lifelong friends which led to Templeton truly becoming my home.
Matt: When did you start LouLou Cheese Girl?
Maliysa: My grandma passed in April 2018 and I decided to travel and just reconnect with my passion so I went to The Cheese School in San Francisco and did an immersion program there. Then I went to Oregon wine country and Portland and then to Paris, Lyon and Burgundy. When I returned in November, I started looking for the trailer and found her in Ohio and drove to get her with my best friend Bubba in February, and launched in June 2019!
Matt: What is your philosophy on cheese/ food?
Maliysa: Anything is possible, not to take it too seriously and literally presentation is EVERYTHING.
Matt: Where are you sourcing your foods/ cheeses/ ingredients from?
Maliysa: I use a lot of international and domestic cheeses. I have a distributor in San Diego I have worked with for a very long time. I use local Central Coast Creamery cheeses, they just started doing fresh sheep milk cheese and it’s to die for. I am currently pairing it with Brecon’s Last Sandwich Viognier and Albarino, it’s delicious, I use Loo Loo Farms edible flowers on all my platters.
Matt: What are some of your favorite cheeses to deal with?
Matt: You had mentioned that you’re doing pop-ups? Are you still doing that and if so, when and where?
Maliysa: I am! I am all over! I am at J Dusi the next two weeks. My boxes are a permanent part of the line up at Brecon, I am at RE: FIND in August doing cocktail, spirits and cheese pairings. I am working with The Hatch on a big cheese and cocktail pairing party and Levo in TIn City is home base whenever I want!
I always post where I will be on my Instagram: LouLou Cheese Trailer
Matt: Based on your website, it looks like events and food styling is a big part of what you do…is that indeed a focus? What kind of events/ private events?
Maliysa: It is very much a focus. I love food and making it look beautiful and I love mostly making cheese look beautiful. The question I get asked most is if I make cheese and my response is always, I make cheese look beautiful.
I do industry parties, wine club pick–ups and I specialize in cheese and craft cocktail pairings, that is my happy place because it brings together my two favorite things.
Matt: We recently enjoyed your food at Alta Colina Winery and found out you do much more than just cheese. What are some of your menu items people could find when you’re on location?
Maliysa: Thank you that was such a fun day! I do specialty grilled cheeses, grilled peaches and burrata, my cheese boxes of love, griddle goat cheese asparagus wrapped in prosciutto, tacos. I do different stuff every week and always seasonal!
Matt: What’s the best way for people to contact you?
Maliysa: Social media, email, phone, really, all the ways!
Matt: Is there a place where people can go to find out where you’ll be?
Maliysa: Instagram and Facebook, I always post where I will be!