The Great Canadian Cheese Festival: Media Event!

Georgs

Georgs, the (cheese)head of the Festival!

On Monday I had the pleasure of attending a media event for the upcoming Great Canadian Cheese Festival! I was very excited to be invited to Chef Jamie Kennedy’s Gilead Cafe to mix and mingle with other cheese-lovers of the area!! The event turned out to be a great collection of short speeches by people involved in both the Cheese Festival, such as Georgs (the big cheese of the festival, seen in the picture!), and renowned cheese educators such as Julia Rogers.

The small restaurant was full of people who loved cheese, and we had a chance to nibble on winners of the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix while sipping
Harwood Estate wine and Mill Street Beer! The main munchie event was when Georgs spoke about the Cooks and Curds cheese gala which will be taking place on the Saturday night of the festival. The Gala will feature a selection of FANTASTIC Canadian chefs who will be cooking tasting dishes using Canadia cheeses. One of the chefs taking part is Chef Jamie Kennedy – which is why we were at Gilead Cafe – to get a sneak peek of what to expect from the chef at the Festival. Out of the kitchen came white bowls filled with one of my favourite foods – POUTINE!! It was a bowl heaping with thin, crispy frites, braised oxtail, Black River Cheddar and thick gravy. It was a great way to end the event. If Chef Kennedy’s dish was a good indication of what is to come, I should definitely arrive at the Cooks and Curds Gala wearing elastic waistband pants!

Chef Jamie Kennedy's Poutine

Thanks again to the organizers of the Festval for the invitation to this event and I can’t wait until Picton in a few weeks!

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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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The 2011 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix

Good Afternoon Cheese Lovers!

I have exciting news! Tonight is the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix Gala where the winners of the Best Cheeses of 2011 will be announced… and I’m lucky enough to have an invitation to attend! To a cheese-fiend like myself, that’s like finding one of Willy Wonka’s Golden Tickets inside a chocolate bar!

Tonight, 250 people of the Canadian cheese world will gather at the Palais Royale to find out which cheeses have emerged from the pack to be honoured and admired. As someone who works with cheese every day, in a warehouse/office, its very exciting to get to go to a cheesy event! It should be a great opportunity to shmooze with cheesemakers, store owners and suppliers and meet some of the people who sell me cheese, and who I sell cheese to!

Want to know which cheeses are in the running? CLICK HERE to read the list of cheese finalists for 2011 developed by the Dairy Farmers of Canada. Which cheese am I cheering for? One of my all-time Canadian favourites, Louis d’Or is a finalist in 3 different categories. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it wins at least once!

I’ll be equipped with my iPhone to tweet in real time what’s going on! Tomorrow I’ll come back and let you all know how it went.

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The Great Canadian Cheese Festival – A Contest!!

Good Monday Cheese Lovers!

I think that I have a way to brighten up this gloomy, chilly Monday morning for you! Have you ever heard of the Great Canadian Cheese Festival? Perhaps you haven’t, as this June marks the first occurrence of the celebration of Canadian Cheese. The Festival is taking place on June 4-5, 2011 in Picton, Ontario in Prince Edward County and the initiative has been sparked by cheese-lover, Georgs Kolesnikovs.

Here’s what their website has to say about the Festival:

The Great Canadian Cheese Festival will be an annual event, based in Prince Edward County, attracting cheese enthusiasts and culinary adventurers from mainly Ontario at the outset, with future growth coming from other regions of Canada and nearby United States.

Check out the Festival website: http://www.cheesefestival.ca

I am so excited to announce that Georgs and his team have offered me a pair of tickets to give away to the Saturday All-Day Tasting Seminar Program (june 4) at the Festival! This is going to be a great day full of cheese education, perfect for any cheese lover!! CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE INFO ABOUT THIS EVENT!

Here’s How to Win:

Tell me what your favourite Canadian cheese is! Enter by leaving the name of the cheese, and why you love it, as a comment on this post!

Want two shots at winning? Tweet your fave Canadian cheese and mention me: @tasteofcheese and #TGCCF. Make sure to mention your tweet in a your comment on this post!!

The contest will run for 2 weeks and will close on Sunday, May 1, 2011 at 12:00am! The winner will be picked by a random third-party source and once the winner is announced, they must contact me at either @tasteofcheese or stacey@tasteofcheese.ca within 1 week or they will lose out on their prize!

This contest is open to any Canadian resident who can make their way to Picton on June 4, 2011!!

Good luck, and see you at the festival!

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Cheese to Check out in Montreal!

Hi Everyone! We are back to blogging at Taste of Cheese! I hope you had a fantastic holiday season – we were so busy we slept at work for nights at a time being cheese-elves, packing up gifts for all the waiting cheese-lovers out there all over Canada!! But now the rush is over and its back to the world of cheese discovery for me!

Are you going to be in Montreal between February 16th and 19th? If so, then you are in luck!! I only wish I could be there to visit La Fete des Fromages (or The Festival of Quebec Cheeses, to those of us who don’t possess the ability to make the French language sound as lovely as it should!). The Festival of Quebec Cheeses is a part of the Montreal High Lights Festival and will feature a large array of cheesemakers and cheeses from Quebec – over 50 of them!! If you love cheese, it is the perfect opportunity to visit with the cheese makers and to hear their unique stories about their fantastic cheeses… and even better, the event is free! You will also be able to test out the great Quebec cheeses with loads of fantastic wines.

Visit the Fromagers at the Grande-Place in Complexe Desjardin on Wednesday, February 16 from 11:30am to 6pm, on Thursday, Feb 17 and Friday, Feb 18 from 11:30am to 7pm and on Saturday, Feb 19 from 11:30am to 5pm. FREE!

Have a few bucks to spend? If visiting the Cheese Makers for free didn’t wet your whistle, you can buy tickets to the Quebec Chefs and Cheeses event, where 4 top-notch chefs will compete against one another to create concoctions lovingly whipped up using local cheeses. Hundreds of guests will taste the yummy dishes and a panel of judges will choose one of the master chefs to receive the grand prize of $5000!!

This event will take place on Saturday, February 26, 2011 at 6:30pm

Check out the great website for this festival and if you are lucky enough to be in Montreal while it is going on, don’t pass up the chance to check it out!

CLICK HERE to visit the Festival Website

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