Maître Fromager (Cheese Master)
Afrim Pristine is Canada’s premier cheese expert and owner of the Cheese Boutique, with more than 25 years of experience in the art of cheese making. He studied with some of the world’s top cheese makers, including Luigi Guffanti, Stefano Sarti, and Carl Schilt, Jean-Paul Morin, and also trained with his father and the world’s most renowned dairy farms. His passion and commitment traces to his father and family business of 48 years, Cheese Boutique.
Afrim Pristine is one of the world’s youngest — and the only Canadian — to hold the distinction of maître fromager, an honor awarded to those who demonstrate exceptional cheese knowledge and recognized within their community. The France based Guilde Internationale des Fromageres, an exclusive association representing more than 5,000 dairy professionals worldwide, bestowed the honor on Afrim on Feb. 19, 2013.
Prior to that achievement, in March 2007, Afrim Pristine was the youngest Canadian recipient of the “chevalier,” a distinction from the confrérie des chevaliers du taste fromage de France, following an upgraded status to “officier du fromage” in April 2010. He was also selected to the Ontario Hostelry Institute’s Top 30 Under 30 in the food industry.
Afrim participates with many charities and foundations, including Camh, Sick Kids Hospital, Women in Capital Markets, Toronto & Etobicoke Humane Society, St. Joseph’s Hospital, and others. He’s also builds relationships and collaborations with some of Canada’s top chefs and restaurants, including Momofuku, Langdon Hall, Alo, Canoe, La Palma, Scaramouche, and Piano Piano and chefs such as Michael Bonacini, Mark McEwan, Daniel Boulud, David Chang, and Lynn Crawford.
Afrim’s media appearances include The Marilyn Denis Show, City TV’s Breakfast Television, CTV’s Your Morning, and Food Network. He also provides expert consulting to shows such as Top Chef Canada, Masterchef, Chopped Canada, and others. He was honored among the top 50 most influential people in Canadian food by the Globe and Mail in 2016, and named among the top 10 most influential people in the food industry by LCBO’s Food & Drink magazine.
Afrim’s first cookbook, For the Love of Cheese, was released in October 2018 and has become a best seller.