Tuesday, August 6, 2013

My Trip to Madison - The Adventures of an Official ACS Conference Cheesemonger

Hello everyone!

I just returned from seven wonderful days at the American Cheese Society Conference in Madison, WI. I was given the honor of being one of two people in charge of all of the cheeses at this event - the receiving, the prep, the execution, etc. It was an amazing experience and I thought I would share some pictures with you all :)

Here's the Capitol building in Madison my first night there. Quite a view.


Our glorious prep area... this is where we built and prepped our fair share of cheese :)

The refrigerated truck that I spent many hours in... what you can't tell is that this truck is on an incline and these carts did not really like to stay put. Made my life interesting :)

This was the first event of the conference after the Certified Cheese Professional Exam. 200 people took the test and the folks from Emmi Roth and Cypress Grove helped us throw this shindig together. The raclette was delicious!!

And here are some pictures of more events...

... the Wisconsin beer and cheese tasting session

... and the Meet the Cheesemaker event. This was a blast! Over 70 cheesemakers in North America were there showing off their yummy cheeses.

... the cheese and chocolate pairing session. This was probably the most popular event of the whole conference!

The cheese plates that Jason did an amazing job building for the induction ceremony for the Guilde des Fromagers. Jason was the other Official Conference Cheesemonger and he did an amazing job working with the volunteers and being the creative mind of the two of us :). Thanks Jason!

Pictures from the Festival of Cheese - over 1700 cheeses were entered this year and every one of them was out for sampling on Saturday. Michelle Haram, Debra Dickerson and team did an AMAZING job organizing and prepping for this event.

And the cheese that took Best in Show - the Winnimere! Mateo Kehler and crew had to drive more of their cheese from a few states over in order for there to be enough to sample. The bottom picture is of Mateo setting out this fantastic cheese. Unfortunately this cheese is usually only made in the winter time, so make sure to keep an eye out for it this winter!

And here are some obligatory scenery shots...

I hope you enjoy these pictures! I had an amazing time at the Conference and was so honored to be a part of it. Thank you to Jason for being a great partner in crime, the American Cheese Society folks (Nora, Becca, Michelle, Jana, Steve and Jane) for giving me this great opportunity and to all of the cheesemakers who I had the pleasure to work with over the course of the week.

I do have TONS of cheese that I brought home from this event, so I'll be trying to post more frequently over the next couple of weeks. I apologize for the latest stretch of silence but I hope these pictures make up for it!

Until next time, eat, drink and be happy!