And The Award Goes To…

Some of the Cheesy Finalists

WHEW, What a night!!! Last night was the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix Gala at the Palais Royale where the winners of best cheeses of 2011 were announced. I was lucky enough to have been invited and it was a very swanky affair put on by the Dairy Farmers of Canada! Hosted by TV personalities Ben Mulroney and Anne-Marie Withenshaw, the event was like the Oscars for cheese. I was seated at a table for Media Invitees that was full of bloggers, tweeters, etc, where we could sit with our phones/cameras out and not be considered rude.

The Gala began with a cocktail hour where drinks and hors d’oeuvres created by students at George Brown were served. The awards followed, with tastings of the winning cheeses coming out to the table in groups after about 4-6 awards. In total, we tasted 17 cheeses – which is a lot.. even for me! The categories (there were 17 of them) ranged from Fresh Cheese to Farmhouse to Blue to Cheddar (lots of cheddar!) and it was amazing to be able to taste so many all at once! Each cheese course was served with pairings, such as veggies, nuts and eggs as well as red or white wine to wash the cheese down. CLICK HERE to see the list of all the winners!

One of our 3 cheese courses

And what about the cheese? I was very happy to munch on some of my favourites, which certainly got the recognition that they deserved!! Amongst all of the cheeses were a few that have always stood out to me as fantastic Canadian cheeses, such as the Grand Champion, Louis d’Or, as well as Avonlea Cheddar, Blue Elizabeth, 4-Year Perron Cheddar and Lankaaster! A new surprise was the flavourful and complex Mont Jacob and the rich, velvety Tre Stelle Mascarpone! The big winner of the night was Louis d’Or, which won in 3 different categories, as well as winning the overall prize! Keep your eyes peeled for a blog post all about Louis d’Or, coming soon!!

Overall, it was a great event with lots of cheese to eat, and lots of people to meet! I can’t wait to start putting up some of the winners on tasteofcheese.ca and getting them to people all over Canada. Thanks again to Beatrice for the invitation, I had a great time!

Cheers to Cheese!

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