A Weekend of Cheese—Friday, Saturday and Sunday—7th Annual Artisan Cheese Festival at Petaluma’s Sheraton Hotel, tickets for many events still available
Fresh mozzarella. The innocence of childhood, summer evenings on a swing set flying through air scented with magnolia. New grass, slightly damp, soft against my cheek. A baby’s elbow: velvet, dimpled, full of hope. (Patricia)
There’s something about cheese that inspires people—to know more, eat more, celebrate its diversity, wax poetic, and ultimately go to its source. This weekend, that means Petaluma and the 7th Annual Artisan Cheese Festival, which runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Sheraton.
While Friday’s ever popular farm tours sold out months ago, tickets are still available for most other events, and everything is priced individually.
Friday offers an inaugural Meet the Cheesemakers and Their Cheeses event ($35) where you can informally chat with cheesemakers and farmers and sample over 75 cheeses, and artisan wines and beers, to your heart’s content. Saturday features a Grand Tasting and Cheese Competition ($75), from 6 to 9 p.m. This popular roaming feast pairs leading restaurant chefs and cheesemakers using artisan cheese in a variety in dishes, from sweet to savory, creating scrumptious things to eat in order to win your vote.
There are 14 seminars, cheesemaking classes, and cooking and pairing demonstrations throughout the day on Saturday. Cheesemaking classes are $95, all others $65. Select authors will sign their books. If a cheesemaking class sounds interesting, book it online NOW, as most of them have less than 4 spots available.
Sunday begins at 9:30 a.m., with the Stark Reality Brunch prepared by chef Mark Stark ($115)—start the day with a glass of bubbly and an artisan cheese inspired sit-down brunch. Attendees enjoy VIP access to the Artisan Cheese Tasting and Marketplace and can enter one hour early before it opens to the hungry masses.
Sunday’s Artisan Cheese Tasting and Marketplace ($45) celebrates cheese under the big top. Meet over 70 artisan producers and experience the best of local cheese, beer and other specialty foods. Attendees receive an insulated bag for carrying purchases and samples of cheese, beer, wine and other artisan foods.
Details: The 7th Annual Artisan Cheese Festival is March 22-24, 2013, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., at Petaluma’s Sheraton, 745 Baywood Drive, Petaluma. Tickets $35 to $135. Many events are already sold-out, so purchase tickets for all events now. www.artisancheesefestival.com.
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