Whey Cool: California’s Premiere Artisan Cheese Festival One Week Away

Cheese lovers and foodies, get ready for a spectacular weekend of all things cheese.  The 6th Annual Artisan Cheese Festival is coming to the Bay Area in just one week.

From March 23 – 25, the Sheraton Sonoma County will be host to the celebration and exploration of handcrafted cheeses, foods, wines and beers from California and beyond.  The weekend-long event will prove to be educational, delightful and no doubt, delicious.  Artisan Cheesemakers will show their best along side world-renowned chefs.  The event brings together artisan cheese makers, brewers, wineries and guests for three days of tasting and and cheese-filled demonstrations.  Guests will have the opportunity to experience rare artisan cheeses, learn about the art of cheese-making while supporting local and sustainable farmers and California cheese makers.

Behind-­‐the-­‐Scenes Cheese Country Farm Tours

Friday, March 23

8:00am – 3:00pm

Cost:  $75 per person

One of the most popular events, the intimate Farm Tours are held at various local farms and creameries.  Guests can taste cow’s, goat’s, and sheep’s milk.

From Dirt to Dinner Farm Tour and Feast

Friday, March 23

1:00pm – 8:00pm

Cost:  $150.00 per person; includes transportation and gratuity.

In this intimate Farm Tour and dinner, guests will have first-hand access to Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company Cheesemaker Kuba Hemmerling as well as renowned Wine Country Chef Cindy Pawlcyn, of Brassica, Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen, and Mustards Grill.  After a tour of the Giacomini Family Dairy, guests will enjoy a focused cheese taking, the join Chef Pawlcyn for a three-course interactive dinner with cooking demonstrations in between each course and local wine pairings.  The event ends with a grand finale cheese course and conversation between Pawlcyn and Hemmerling.

Lagunitas Brewery Tour & Dinner

Friday, March 23

3:30pm – 8:00pm

Cost:  $135 per person; includes transportation and gratuity

This five-hour beer and cheese extravaganza features a six-course dinner prepared by Chef Danny Mai of Tolay Restaurant at the Sheraton Sonoma County, paired with beers from Lagunitas, the local Petaluma brewery.

Cheese Demos and Seminars

Saturday, March 24

9:30am – 11:30am / 1:30pm – 3:30pm

Cost:  $65 per person

A wide variety of options are still open!  See details online.

Grand Tasting & Best in Cheese Competition

Saturday, March 24

6:00pm – 10:00pm

Cost:  $75 per person

This popular roaming feast showcases top Bay Area chefs using artisan cheeses in a variety of dishes from sweet to savory.  More than 20 top restaurants, wineries and breweries will vie for your affection in this competition of all things cheese.

Bacon, Bubbles and Brunch + More Great Cheese with Duskie Estes

Sunday, March 25

9:30am – 12:00pm

Cost:  $100 per person

Enjoy a cheese-centric breakfast paired with Iron-Horse bubbly.  Watch cooking demonstrations with Chef Duskie Estes of Zazu, Bovolo, and the Black Pig Meat Co.  Brunch attendees also gain VIP access to the Artisan Cheese Tasting & Marketplace an hour before it opens to the public.

Photographer:  Karen Preuss

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