Monday, June 25, 2012

Day 846 : A recap of the Cheesemonger Invitational

This past Saturday was the much hyped Third Annual Cheesemonger Invitational. Hosted by Larkin Cold Storage, a speciality food storage warehouse in LIC, cheese lovers gathered from near and far to watch the competition, enjoy some nibbles and tipples. Forty-five mongers from around the world were asked to perform a series of tasks: a written test, a blind taste test, a 60 second pitch selling one of pre-selected cheeses and finally a wrapping, cutting and care challenge. The winner was Adam Smith of Cowgirl Creamery DC with Justin Trosclair of St James Cheese Company in New Orleans taking second place and Bryan Bland of Pastoral in Chicago taking third place. For the complete list of the top 11 finishers, check it out here:

Scroll down to see my coverage in photographs of the event.

Part of the Alps of cheese display

The Cellars at Jasper Hill, one of the event's sponsors

A few shots of Rodolphe Le Meunier's amazing Loire Valley cheese display. Le Meunier is one of the world's foremost affineurs.

Neal's Yard Dairy's table. One of the highlights for me was their St James Cheese, the orange brick pictured in the center. An unpasteurized washed rind sheep's milk cheese that just totally knocked my socks off!

One of a few raclette grills melting cheese for your enjoyment

Cheese tools, cheese papers, and more...

Part of DiBruno brothers cured meats display

More raclette grills making the "Swiss Nachos" seen below

Other spreads from DiBruno Brothers

Grilled cheeses waiting to be grilled in case you wanted a full-on sandwich!

Beverages galore!

Although not the best shot, a candid shot of Adam Moskowitz, the man behind the cheesemonger invitational's magic and the twelve finalists.

A great evening was had by all -- plenty of delish cheeses, nibbles and drinks and of course good old fashioned competition! Here's to Adam Smith of Cowgirl Creamery in DC and all of the competitors! I look forward to seeing everyone at next year's Cheesemonger Invitational if not sooner!

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