Meet Our Cheese Masters

Meet Our Cheese Masters

Today, we introduce you to the cheesemonger. And this isn’t just any cheesemonger, but a Di Bruno Bros. cheesemonger — a rare specialist with an abnormal amount of cheese enthusiasm. This cohort doesn’t just sell cheese, they eat cheese day in and day out, sharing their discoveries and stories with anyone that will listen and try a taste.

They are men and women dedicated to spreading the good word of cheese. Individuals who spend their days trying upwards of 20-30 different types of cheeses, identifying flavors, pairing cheese with everything around them, and becoming every customer’s best friend. For example, take any wedge of cheese… any wedge at all. A Di Bruno cheesemonger can tell you the story of the farm that makes it, why the cheese is extra special, and the best way to eat it. Whether it’s straight up, paired with a jelly or jam, on a sandwich, with your favorite mac, or maybe even something cool that no one even knows about. They’re that good. The best part about them is they love seeing other people excited about cheese.



On top of being incredible cheesemongers, these mongers are Certified Cheese Professionals (or CCPs as they're known around these parts). A Certified Cheese Professional is a cheesemonger who has passed the American Cheese Society's CCP test—the highest standard possible for cheese professionals. The three hour, 150 question test aims to unify the industry so cheese professionals speak the same “language” and basic philosophies of cheese.

Emilio Mignucci, our VP of Culinary Pioneering, along with revered leaders in the cheese world like Sue Sturman, Max McCalman, the late Daphne Zepos and ACS members, wrote the CCP exam over an eight-year period, finalizing the exam in 2012. To date, ten of our cheesemongers are CCPs and more will take the exam each year!

Emilio VP of Culinary Pioneering


The Cheese Cave Godfather

Emilio is a third generation owner at Di Bruno Bros. and serves as the Vice President of Culinary Pioneering. He’s always on the quest for the latest and greatest eats, and loves telling the stories behind them. His expertise and passion for food has helped him to grow the cheese offerings here at Di Bruno Bros. from the 50 varieties it offered in its earlier days to well over 600 cheeses from all over the world–each with their own unique story. He's helped write the esteemed Certified Cheese Professional Exam—the highest standard for cheese professionals, and has been recognized for his work in the food industry. In 2010, the Italian Trade Commission acclaimed Emilio for “Distinguished Service” in importing, representing, and educating on Italian Food and Culture. The James Beard Foundation also honored him for his help in making Philadelphia a world-class food city. What a guy!

What is your favorite go-to snack?
Aged provolone and hot soppressata. The classics.

What's your catch phrase?
Life is too short to eat bad food!

Hunter CCP


Award-winning Monger!

Certified Cheese Professional, and winner of the 2021 Cheesemonger Invitational, leading the drive to bring the finest cheese experience to all our stores. "I started 10 years ago at Di Bruno Bros. 9th Street in the Italian Market as a Cheesemonger. My Grandfather, Giuseppe Abbruzzo, who was an incredible inspiration of mine, had just passed away. He was a cheese and meat guy behind the counter there for 62 years. I knew I had awfully big shoes to fill, but knew I would never let him down.
I realized that it wasn't only my job to help people find exactly what they wanted, but it was in my blood. I knew this was more than a job-- it was a calling: to find, learn about, teach, serve, and celebrate amazing gourmet delights all day, every day. I've worked at each of our Retail locations, but now make my home in our only suburban location, The Ardmore Farmer's Market, where I am proud to lead one of the best teams ever."

What's your favorite cheese?
Cravero Parmigiano Reggiano, aged by master affineur Giorgio Cravero. He selects this cheese from one producer at the moment, who's attention to detail rivals the passion Giorgio has for aging it. 100% of the flora fed to the cows comes from the immediate region, so it's easy to call this the most authentic Parmigiano Reggiano available. It coats your mouth with a delicious complexity of nuttiness, gentle sweetness, and warm, inviting finish.

Amanda CCP

Amanda Bernhardt, CCP

Di Bruno's Sweetheart

Leading the charge at our newest location at The Franklin, Amanda is a busy lady! Everyone would agree though, Amanda is one of those people you just like to be around. She's a fun-loving, cheese-eating adventurer with a soft spot for Labrador Retrievers, the great outdoors, and a good book. Not to mention she’s a CCP and recently honored by ZAGAT Philadelphia 2014 30 Under 30. What's not to love?

Favorite cheesy dish:
Asparagus with a grated pecorino under the broiler. So simple and delicious. It reminds me of my mom's cooking when I was growing up!

What's your favorite cheese?
Ossau Iraty—classic, flavorful, and stoic.

Bryan CCP


And the Emmy goes to...

Bryan is currently Di Bruno Bros’ Field Merchandiser for Cheese & Charcuterie and was the Cheese Specialist at its flagship store in Rittenhouse Square. Before joining Di Bruno Bros, he worked for the artisanal cheesemaker Jasper Hill Farm & studied cheesemaking at Penn State’s School of Agriculture. Passionate about food, Bryan’s eaten his way across six continents, from Michelin-starred restaurants to countless roadside stands. Also an acclaimed filmmaker, he may be the only Emmy award-winning Certified Cheese Professional in the world!