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After visiting her parents’ home in Austria while growing up, Gina often wondered why America didn’t have fabulous European-style cheese shops. Hence, Venissimo Cheese was born. In 2003 Gina opened the first Venissimo Cheese in Mission Hills, intending to do for cheese what Starbucks did for coffee. Since then, she has opened neighborhood shops in Del Mar, Belmont Shore & Downtown East Village San Diego. Soon the camembert will be as well-known as the cappuccino!

Gina has compiled a knowledge-base of more than 2000 domestic and international cheese varieties! (Incidentally, she has tasted nearly all of them.) She can tell you the type of milk, country of origin, production methods, and perfect wine and food pairings for each one.

Over the years while visiting both domestic and international cheesemakers in her quest for the worthy title of “Cheese Wiz,” she learned elegant simplicity. Nothing is more simple and elegant than wine & cheese.

Gina is a member of the American Cheese Society and teaches classes all over San Diego. She has written articles for various trade publications and is working on a screenplay plus the country’s first cheese television program.

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4 Ways To Become The Captain Of Your Life

1. Get it started, then get it right... Dreaming of something is one thing, but taking action is quite another. It took me more than 15 years to gather the skills, strength and courage to start Venissimo Cheese. And when I did, it sure wasn't perfect. But the sheer adventure of building something from scratch was the most incredible experience of my life. Of course I love what we have become (we're continually striving to get it right). But I truly treasure the memories and exhilaration of getting there. Wouldn't you rather lie on your death bed thinking, "I'm glad…

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