Meet the team
You may have seen them cooking up delicious delicacies on TV, hosting guests at your local deli, or serving up some of Switzerland’s best cheeses at one of the premier food and wine shows across Canada.
The Switzerland Cheeses senior team are always on the move, travelling the nation and the world to bring Switzerland Cheeses and recipes to communities everywhere. They are passionate about good quality, mouthwatering cheese and helping to preserve the beauty and integrity of Switzerland’s gorgeous grassland, pastures, rolling hills, admirable mountains and endless fields.
Joe Dal Ferro, President, Switzerland Cheese Marketing Inc.
Joe held high-level marketing and sales positions with numerous international companies before joining the Switzerland Cheeses in 2007. Originally from Toronto, Dal Ferro says he loves heading up the team at Switzerland Cheese because he gets to interact with people from across the nation, sharing flavours and passion around natural cheese. Joe is a real community relations expert; there’s nothing he would rather be doing than mixing and mingling with fellow foodies, chefs, and cheese lovers across Canada. He is often the face of Switzerland Cheeses in and can be seen on Breakfast TV shows and at many food and wine demos across Canada, helping to show Canadians how to incorporate Switzerland Cheeses into daily recipes for friends and family.
“What I love about Switzerland Cheeses is the respect for nature, the respect for tradition and the uncompromising approach to producing the highest quality natural cheese,” he says. “I enjoy eating a piece of cheese with some fresh fruit, nuts and a good glass of wine. When you have products of this calibre, I find it is best to enjoy them in their simplest form and experience the full flavour of the cheese.”
Helga Unzog, Merchandiser, Switzerland Cheese Marketing Inc.
Helga is originally from Austria but now lives in the greater Toronto area. She honed her chops in the hospitality and gourmet food industry, first in Europe, before Switzerland Cheeses scooped her up and added her to the team in Canada. Food is her passion as she loves to cook at home and on the job. She specializes in supporting the numerous locations, from small family run delis to large-scale grocery chains across Canada that provide Switzerland Cheeses to Canadians.
“The best part of this job is meeting beautiful people from culturally diverse backgrounds. I find it so enriching, I love meeting with and getting to know people from various communities across Canada,” she says. “Educating Canadians about our products is something I take pride in. Just think, Swiss cheeses are made of uncompromised, pure and high quality dairy from cows who still graze free in pastures throughout Switzerland.”
Her favourite dish to make with Switzerland Cheeses is charcuterie or in sandwiches.
“Melted Cheese such as Raclette or Fondue is always a delight on the palate.”
Giovanni Lo-Basso, Key Account Manager, Switzerland Cheese Marketing Inc.
Giovanni knows good cheese; it’s in his blood. Born and raised in Puglia, Italy, Giovanni now calls Montreal home. He is well-respected in the food and culinary community across Canada has held sales and management positions at several celebrated grocery and specialty stores in Eastern Canada. Giovanni says travelling around Canada as part of the Switzerland Cheese team has allowed him to experience so much of the nation he never expected to.
“From Victoria to Toronto, meeting people and explaining to them the virtues of the cheeses from Switzerland is a blast. Meeting people is what I love about my job, people from all walks of life. It’s what makes Canada great,” he says. “It’s easy to convince folks to make Switzerland Cheeses a part of their menu, because of purity of the cheeses as well as the versatility of the cheeses. I enjoy eating them with some sweet fruit such a pear, sweet grapes, with figs and, of course, in good company.”
Vartan (Vic) Kouyoumjian, Merchandiser, Switzerland Cheese Marketing Inc.
Vic’s been with the team since 2005, after a successful career in the culinary meat business he joined the Switzerland Cheeses group because he says it’s a product he can stand behind proudly.
Vic was born in Lebanon but grew up in Montreal; he loves telling folks exciting facts about Switzerland cheeses that people may not have previously known.
“The interaction with people and helping them learn about all of the different regions of Switzerland, how the cheese is made, and where it all comes from is great. For instance, so many people have no idea that Kaltbach is aged in these magnificent caves in central Switzerland,” Vic says.
“I love the purity of the ingredients — the grass-fed milk — and the affinage process, which make it superior quality and unique taste. In the morning, I love melted Switzerland Cheeses on country-style loaves, or on a nice baguette with ham grilled in the oven. I also love Fondue with friends, mixed with Vacherin, and Le Gruyere, and on a sunny day I like to make Raclette on my terrace!”