America’s cheesemakers in Sonoma
CHEESE TAKES CENTER STAGE this weekend in Sonoma during the 10th annual Sonoma Valley Cheese Conference.
Now in its 10th year, the Sonoma Valley Cheese Conference explores all aspects of cheese, from the nuances of mac and cheese to the art of cheese marketing. While much of the event is designed for industry professionals, the public is invited to the kick-off party on Sunday, Feb. 24, from 1 to 4 p.m. at MacArthur Place in Sonoma.
Attendees can sample a wide swath of goat, cow and sheep cheeses from more than a dozen producers from across the country, including the Vermont Butter and Cheese Co., Two Rock Goat Cheese, Cedar Grove Cheese, along with Sonoma Valley producers such as Laura Chenel Cheese Company and the Epicurean Connection.
There will also be a “Winter Mac ‘n’ Cheese Cook-off,” judged by a panel of food experts and writers; a cheese rolling competition and other cheese-making demonstrations.
In addition to sample cheeses, guests can sip on beers from the likes of Moylan’s, Marin Brewing Company, Gordon Biersch and Rogue Ales, while wineries such as Envolve, Bedrock, Idell Family Vineyards and Breathless Wines will be served.
Tickets are $40, or included with the full conference registration price.
The next two days feature seminars and networking sessions at the MacArthur Place. Wisconsin farmhouse cheesemakers Andy Hatch of Uplands Cheese and Katie Hedrich of LaClare Farms will join California cheesemakers Gabe Vella of Vella Cheese Company and Carleen Weiruch of Weiruch Creamery to discuss new generation cheesemaking. In addition, Bob Wills of Clock Shadow Creamery in Milwaukee and Kurt Dammeier from Beecher’s Handmade Cheese in Seattle and New York City will talk city life cheesemaking.
On both days of the conference, an array of additional topics will be presented. Speakers include: Waldemar Albrecht; Ray Bair, Cheese Plus; Jeanne Carpenter, Wisconsin Cheese Originals; Judy Creighton, California Artisan Cheese Guild; Sid Cook, Carr Valley Cheese; Brad Dube, Food Matters Again; Gordon Edgar, Rainbow Grocery Cooperative; Janet Fletcher, food writer; Glenda Humiston, USDA; Brian Hunt, Moonlight Brewing Company; Denice Jones, Moylan’s Brewing Company; Hans Kunisch, Greenleaf; Chris Roelli, Roelli Cheese; J.B. Rumberg, Other Avenues Food Store; Alissa Shethar, North Bay Cheese; Lynn Stray, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese; Ari Weinzweig, Zingerman’s; Marilyn Wilkinson and Heather Porter Engwall, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board; Anna Wolfe, Gourmet Retailer.
Generous time and space are available for talking with other participants during breaks and lunches. The conference offers an invaluable opportunity to learn as well as sharing knowledge, challenges and solutions. Tickets for the entire conference are $250, including all sessions and lunches.
To register, email Sheana Davis at email@example.com or call 935-7960. Visit theepicureanconnection.com to learn more.