Andrae Bopp knew that Food & Wine Magazine would be writing about his family cheesecake recipe.
Bopp is no stranger to publications picking up his unique “gas station” food, having been in USA Today, Travel + Leisure, EATER Seattle and several others. This one seemed to take the cake though.
“I’m still kind of shocked,” Bopp said in the middle of baking batches of the now famous recipe. He’s been making about a dozen per day, he said.
Bopp was joined on one of his well known food-and-wine whitewater rafting trips down the Snake River Canyon with staff members from the magazine, knowing they would be writing about the experience.
Bopp led the group in pairing Walla Walla wines with a delectable menu that included the cheesecake recipe inspired by his great-grandmother.
Bopp said he enjoyed the guided excursion down the canyon and was excited to highlight Walla Walla’s wine and cuisine.
Still, he was shocked when he saw the August 2020 cover of the magazine and realized that his family’s humble recipe was a star — and Walla Walla shines, too.
“It’s a good little shot in the arm for Walla Walla,” Bopp said. “... Good for wineries, it’s good for everybody. There were a lot of other moving parts to that trip that made it work — great wines and great food and being out there, it was just a success all the way around.”
This isn’t the first time Bopp has been featured in the magazine; his food also made a list of “detour-worthy” restaurants, he said.
After Bopp shared the news on social media, his phone started ringing off the hook with words of congratulations and — of course — orders for the cheesecake.
Bopp said recipes run through Food & Wine’s test kitchen before they can be featured. Little tweaks were made, he said, in order for home cooks to replicate the dessert. The test kitchen also double-checks every element and ingredient, to make sure the recipe is legitimate.
Bopp said he noted several of the test kitchen employees sharing on social media that they had made the cake at home.
The cheesecake is unique in that it’s lighter than the usual dense style of cheesecakes. Plus it’s easy to accent with succulent summer berries to go with its sweet sour cream topping.
Bopp is currently topping them with blueberries from Klicker’s.
“The berries really accent it nicely,” Bopp said.