Rich Rogers thinks he has the greatest job in the world: cheesemonger. The neighborhood resident and his wife, Karen, opened Scardelloat 3511 Oak Lawn about three and a half years ago. “I’ve always loved cooking and food,” Rogers says. “I love to make multi-course meals for friends and family.” About seven years ago, he “fell in love with cheese.” Dallas dairy cases, even at high-end grocers, couldn’t satisfy his constant search for new and interesting cheeses. “I would mail-order and try to find the weirdest piece of cheese I could get my hands on,” he says. Soon, Rogers decided to leave a 15-year career in film and video production to open Scardello.
The shop carries dozens of cheeses, and Rogers still is always in search of something new and different. There are cheeses from all over the globe, but Scardello, named after Rogers’s grandfather Pete Scardello, focuses on American and Texas makers. “All the cool things happening in cheese are happening in the U.S.,” Rogers says. European cheese-makers are bound by tradition, he says, and many American cheese-makers are coming into their own right now. Rogers considers cheese more than just a snack or an ingredient; he likes to serve a cheese plate as its own course at the end of meals. At Scardello, customers can order cheese plates and sandwiches, along with beer and wine. Monthly cheese classes allow students to taste 17 cheeses and pair them with beer or wine. “The best way to learn about cheese is to taste it,” he says.
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