SATURDAY, MARCH 24TH, 2018


Seminars and Pairing Demos

Here is a rare opportunity to learn from some of the industry’s most knowledgeable experts – chefs, cheesemakers, cicerones, authors and more - at a variety of interactive seminars and pairings. Topics range far and wide - from pairing artisan cheese and elegant sparkling wine; to an in-depth tasting and discussion of the ultimate ooey gooey mac n' cheese. As an added bonus, each seminar attendee will receive a year’s subscription to Culture Magazine as a thank for your support of California artisan cheese. Subscription begins with the Summer issue. (Culture: the word on cheese is America’s first and best magazine devoted to the love of all things cheese.) **All sales are final and event takes place rain or shine. Parking is complimentary.

Seminar 1
Exploring your palate

Juliana Uruburu, Educator

9:30 am to 11:00 am
Sonoma County Fairgrounds
$75 per person

For over 30 years, nationally renowned cheese expert Juliana Uruburu has been teaching cheese appreciation and the art of tasting at Market Hall Foods.  In this session, she will take you and your palate on a delightful journey of discovery starting with artisan cheese.  Learn to identify the flavor profiles unique to cow, goat, and sheep milk, and experience the way each particular texture plays on the palate.  You’ll explore and experiment with classic cheese accompaniments to understand how different nutty, fatty, acidic, salty, sweet, and bitter foods work (or don’t work) with various styles of cheese.  Leave this session with a well-honed understanding of general pairing principles and be able to identify pairings most pleasing to your personal palate. 

 

Seminar 2
get fresh: mysteries and hidden flavors in fresh cheese

Debra Dickerson, Sales Manager at Tomales Bay Foods Cowgirl Creamery
Peggy Smith, co-founder Cowgirl Creamery

9:30 am to 11:00 am
Sonoma County Fairgrounds
$75 per person

If cheese is milk’s leap toward immortality, fresh cheese is the first stop along the way! Commonly called “farmers cheese” or “housewife cheese,” fresh cheese is at once simple and yet deeply complex. A favorite of chefs, these creamy cheeses shine brightly on their own and can play a starring role in the kitchen. Join Peggy Smith, who spent 17 years cooking at Chez Panisse before co-founding Cowgirl Creamery, and Debra Dickerson, as they reveal the mysteries and hidden flavors in fresh cheese. These two industry dynamos will lead you through a tasting of luscious crème fraiche, fromage blanc, and clabbored cottage cheese, all made with the highest quality local milk. You’ll pair these fresh beauties with a glass of sparkling wine and sit back while you watch a short demonstration of the art and science that makes cheese happen. Learn the Cowgirls’ top five uses for crème fraiche along with some of their favorite quick and easy-to-make recipes that are sure to light up your next cocktail party.

 

Seminar 3
fast food 1.0: The Cheese & Charcuterie Plate

Vanessa Chang, ACS CCP

9:30 am to 11:00 am
Saralee & Richard's Barn, Sonoma County Fairgrounds
$75 per person

Long before instant noodles and drive-throughs, the seemingly simple pairing of cured meat and cheese fed farmers and food lovers - and fed them well. Vanessa Chang, ACS CCP a seasoned specialty food aficionado, will guide you through the types of meats, cheese, and the pairings you might commonly find on restaurant menus across the country. Explore which types of cheese pair best with prosciutto and pâté and everything in between. You'll leave with the knowledge on how to curate a perfect plate at home whenever you need a quick delicious bite.

 

Seminar 4
beer & cheese pairing: sour vs. hoppy

Rich Higgins, Master Cicerone and Brewmaster

12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
Sonoma County Fairgrounds

$75 per person

Cheese and beer have a natural affinity for each other, and when properly paired, they elevate each other to new heights!  These days, sour beer styles and hoppy beer styles are all the rage.  Join Master Cicerone and Brewmaster Rich Higgins for a deep dive into these two important beer families and the cheeses that love them.  Taste your way through three elegant sours and three heavy hop hitters, each expertly paired with a California artisan cheese, while learning the finer points of fermentation and flavor development.  Leave this session with a solid foundation of beer and cheese pairing techniques and several new beer and cheese pairings to love!

 

Seminar 5
Taste & judge cheese like a pro

Michael Landis, Cheese Judge

12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
Sonoma County Fairgrounds

$75 per person

California is home to many award-winning cheeses - lucky us! What does an award-winning cheese taste like? How do cheeses win awards and who decides? As a past judge of the International Cheese Awards, the World Cheese Awards, and the Global Cheese Awards, Michael Landis knows a thing or two about tasting and scoring cheese. Join him for a behind-the-scenes course on the professional cheese judging process. Play like a pro for the day (and maximize your cheese enjoyment at home) as Michael guides you through the tasting and evaluation of five different styles of cheese, helping you to understand the technical characteristics and flavor profiles of each type of cheese. You’ll leave with an understanding of why it takes more than just exceptional flavor to be an award-winning cheese and a deeper appreciation for the hard work of our award-winning California cheesemakers.

 

Seminar 6
the art of melting cheese

Charlie & Michael Kalish, The Cheese Twins

12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
Saralee & Richard's Barn, Sonoma County Fairgrounds

$75 per person

Join The Cheese Twins, winners of the Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race (Series 7), to explore the art of melting cheese.  Charlie and Michael Kalish kick off this session with a tasting of California artisan cheeses rich with melting potential.  The Cheese Twins will guide you through flavor profile, texture, aroma, and explain the science behind cheese’s magical melting capability.  Using these cheeses, they will demonstrate how to create unique and delicious recipes.  You’ll taste their legendary grilled cheese and mac n’ cheese recipe and be well on your way for your next molten adventure!

 

Cheers, Santé, Prost!  However you say it, sparkling wine is one of cheese’s most seductive partners.  Raise a glass to two of life’s greatest pleasures with Planet Cheese publisher Janet Fletcher and winemaker Arnaud Weyrich of Roederer Estate, California’s premier sparkling wine producer, for this fizzy and festive session.  Learn about the fruit, farming, and winemaking decisions behind the bubbles in your glass.  You’ll taste a range of artisan cheeses with two distinct styles of Roederer Estate sparkling wine and learn when and why bubbles are the cheese lover’s best choice. 

seminar 7
Cheers to cheese
(& bubbles!)

Janet Fletcher, Author and Educator
Arnaud Weyrich, Winemaker

2:30 pm to 4:00 pm
Sonoma County Fairgrounds
$75 per person

 

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere. Join cheese maven and Culture Magazine co-founder Lassa Skinner and Ian Winget, founder of Napa Valley Bitters, to shake-up your notions about what to serve at your next cocktail party. Using local spirits and bitters, this dynamic duo will distill the basics of pairing cheese and cocktails. Originally developed for medicinal purposes from various aromatic herbs, bark, roots, and fruit, bitters are a key component in classic and modern cocktails. A drop here and a dash there can make (or break) a cocktail. Understand how bitters interact with spirits to create a well-balanced cocktail whose sum is greater than its parts. Explore general pairing principles, experience how spirits partner with cheese, and leave the session with some foolproof pairings.

Seminar 8
proof positive - artisan cheese & craft Cocktails

Lassa Skinner, co-founder of Culture magazine
Ian Winget, founder of Napa Valley Bitters

2:30 pm to 4:00 pm
Sonoma County Fairgrounds
$75 per person

 

Cheese & Cocktails

CHEESE & COCKTAILS

5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Saralee & Richard's Barn
Sonoma County Fairgrounds
$45 per person

Start your Saturday night off right with the cheese lover’s ultimate Cocktail Party. Back by popular demand, this two hour event pairs artisan cheese with cocktails created by local craft distilleries. Sample both straight pours and mixed cocktails and discover the wide world of local distillery talent. This is the perfect pairing opportunity - do you prefer Gin, Whiskey or maybe fruit-infused Vodka with your favorite chèvre or blue cheese? To top off this fete, witness the return of the legendary Fantasy Cheese Table, assembled and manned by the Certified Cheese Professionals at Whole Foods Market. Participating spirits producers to date: Alley 6 Craft Distillery, American Craft Whiskey Distillers, Golden Bear Bitters, Griffo Distillery, Monarch Bitters, No. 209 Gin, Siddiqui Rum, Sonoma Coast Spirits, Spirit Works Distillery, Venus Spirits, and Young & Yonder. 21 and over only, no children admitted. **All sales are final and event takes place rain or shine. Parking is complimentary.