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    June 12th, 2011OliverInterviews

    Lisa Yee has led a varied life – her jobs to date include being paid to eat chocolate, writing a speech for a president (which was, she admits, later got re-written) and she has been a judge at cheese sandwich contest.

    She has, however, found fame predominantly as an author and Lisa Yee's latest novel, Absolutely Maybe, is available now.

    What's your favourite cheese and why?
    I'm a pretty basic gal. A like a good brie, and smoked cheddar is nice.

    How often do you eat cheese?
    Hmmm… I'd say a couple of times a week. Maybe more. I use it cooking all the time, like sprinkling shredded mozzarella over homemade soup.

    Do you think cheese works best as a starter, main course or dessert?
    I think it can be all three, but I mostly serve it as a starter, usually with some crackers and apple slices or grapes.

    When you were judging the cheese sandwich contest did you come across any new ideas that you've since taken into your life?
    The "Make Your Own Cheese Sandwich” contest was sponsored by Florida's Dairy Farmers and was for kids. I remember one recipe involved cheese and Skittles. Another sandwich was cheese and potato chips. I really didn't embrace any of the ideas I came across.

    What's the secret to making a good cheese sandwich?
    Simplicity. My favourite is to get a slice of sourdough or French bread, put a thin layer of olive oil on it and some salt and pepper. Then put a couple of slices of avocado on it and top with brie. Then broil and eat. Heavenly!

    It's said that eating cheese late at night gives very vivid dreams – has this ever been the case for you? Have you ever used any of these as ideas in your books?
    I can't say that I've ever had wild dreams due to eating cheese. Then again, I've never tried to trace the gastronomical origins of my dreams. I guess the next time I eat cheese, I will try to track what happens in my sleep.

    Has cheesed played a significant role in the creating of any of your books?
    Cheese is in my novel Absolutely Maybe. The main character, who calls herself Maybe (her mother named her Maybelline after the cosmetics company), makes herself a cheese sandwich in one scene. And later in the book, another character grabs a big hunk of cheese and just starts eating it. Plus Maybe works on a taco truck, so of course cheese is mentioned.

    Do you think it would be possible to write a story with cheese as the main character?
    As for cheese being the main character. I think that would hard, unless it's a picture book like The Stinky Cheese Man.