What has four battles, forty mongers from around the globe and $10,000 in cash and prizes at stake? The 2nd Annual Cheesemonger Invitational of Long Island City, of course! Mongers from New York, Canada, California and even Ireland and Australia will come together on Friday, July 8 to compete in a quartet of challenges.
Whether simply introducing themselves, precisely cutting and wrapping pounds of cheese or creating the perfect fromage flight, these talented cheese whizzes will go wedge-to-wedge in front of over two hundred spectators and be judged by some of the world’s leading authorities. And competition won’t be the only draw to this cheesy gathering – with music spun by DJ Aaron Kirtz and DJ Carlos Souffront and food prepared by fromager and pairing expert Tia Keenan, this event is sure to be amazing.
Sadly, The House Mouse was not able to score tickets to this sold-out extravaganza. Naturally, anyone who does make it to Larkin Cold Storage for Friday’s event is encouraged to send along some photos and play-by-play of the competition.
Half eaten Rush Creek Reserve in front of a full wheel of Pleasant Ridge Reserve. Taken at Zingerman's Deli in Ann Arbor, MI.
It’s a busy night per usual at Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor, MI and I am having my first taste of the highly sought after Rush Creek Reserve, the new soft rind cheese from the makers of the award-winning Pleasant Ridge Reserve. Carlos, the cheese monger, has a wheel hidden behind the counter and hands me a tiny plastic spoonful of the pale yellow paste. Soft and creamy with a tiny hint of mushroom, bold and beefy yet still delicate on the tongue, this bloomy raw-milk cheese seems to have it all. So why is this gooey goodness being hidden behind the counter? Demand for this cheese has been so high that Zingerman’s only has this one sample and the wheel I am taking home on hand. They are expecting delivery of a few more wheels next weekend, but how many is unknown.
I am not only here for the cheese, but to meet the innovative cheese maker who created it: Andy Hatch of Uplands Cheese Company of Dodgeville, Wisconsin. Andy is a quiet, unassuming guy with a friendly smile and looks more like college student than a master cheese maker. We sit down at an outside table to talk about his latest cheese creation. Continue reading