Hey cheese-lovers (and you know who you are), you might wanna hurry up and get tickets to the fifth annual CALIFORNIA’S ARTISAN CHEESE FESTIVAL March 25th-28th at the Sheraton Sonoma County—Petaluma Hotel. This cheese extravaganza sounds like it’s gonna be something else with its Saturday Seminars hosted by top cheese experts; signature Curds, Cooks, & Cuvées dinner; larger-than-ever Sunday Marketplace; and Monday Trade Day with Ruth Reichl (invite-only, sorry); not to mention the sold-out Friday field trips.
Since Friday is sold out, let’s skip straight to Saturday’s seminars with industry leaders such as Laura Werlin, Janet Fletcher, Lassa Skinner, and Daphne Zepos. You’ll have to pick and choose amongst all the interactive, taste-driven seminars offered, from educational workshops like curd pulling and cheese essentials to boozier topics like Cheese and Wine Pairing 101 and Bubbles and Brie.
Saturday evening is Curds, Cooks, & Cuvées, quite the moveable fromage feast of seven courses prepared by seven Wine Country chefs each in collaboration with an artisan cheesemaker and a local vintner. The chefs include Duskie Estes (Zazu and Bovolo), Jeff Mall (Zin Restaurant), Nick Demarest (Harvest Moon), Janine Falvo (The Lodge at Carneros), Sheamus Feeley (Farmstead), and Bruce Hill (Picco in Larkspur). Their cheese-inspired dishes will be paired with wines from Keller Estate Winery, Handley Cellars, Kokomo Winery, Paul Mathew Vineyards, Sonoma Portworks, and Fortress Vineyards.
In addition, a panini station will showcase recipes from author Laura Werlin’s upcoming book Grilled Cheese, Please! and sparkling wines from Gloria Ferrer Winery. And for the dessert station: artisanal chocolates, dessert wines, port, bubbly, and, get this, a Straus Family Creamery soft-serve sundae bar. Choose from either the 6pm or 8pm dinner time.
Sunday’s Artisan Cheese Marketplace runs from 11am-4pm with over 65 vendors, artisan cheesemakers, vintners, and craft brewers. There will be chef demos, cheese pies from the Mugnaini wood-fired pizza oven, and book signings to boot. Attendees get an Artisan Cheese Festival tote bag and wine glass to facilitate the shop ‘n’ imbibe vibe.
On Monday Trade Day (for professionals; invitation only), Ruth Reichl shares her vision of cheese in retail, restaurants, and homes with author, consultant, and cheese expert Clark Wolf.
Click over to www.artisancheesefestival.com for the full schedule, tickets, and more info. One more reason for you to cheese it up, 10% of ticket sales gets donated to nonprofits supporting the cheese and sustainable agriculture movements.
Friday Mar 25, 2011 – Monday Mar 28, 2011 Info Sheraton Sonoma County–Petaluma Hotel 745 Baywood Dr., Petaluma