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Geneva Anderson digs into art

This Sunday: stream the California Artisan Cheese Festival

This Sunday, La Crema Winery Chef and Cheese Specialist, Tracey Shepos Cenami, will be firing up the stoves to demo three brunch dishes to a Zoom audience cooking along at home while sipping La Crema bubbles. Chef Tracey played a pivotal role in developing the culinary program at La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard and created their popular VIP wine and artisan cheese pairing experience. Photo: Artisan Cheese Festival,

The first event of the California Artisan Cheese Festival (CACF) takes place virtually this Sunday (March 15) and features La Crema Winery Chef and Cheese Specialist, Tracey Shepos Cenami hosting the festival’s beloved Bubbles Brunch. Instead of the usual three day extravaganza of cheese seminars and tastings at the Flamingo Hotel, the festival is offering its top two crowd-pleasers, revisioned for the pandemic. The haute Bubbles Brunch, which always features a celebrity chef, has become a cook and toast-along at home event and the festival’s opulent Grand Tasting now comes in a box delivered to your door. While it’s not the usual festive celebration of our local bounty, this year’s events have been curated expertly by executive director, Judy Groverman Walker, who founded the festival 16 years ago. CACF is essential for sustaining our celebrated cheesemaker community and the non-profit California Artisan Cheese Guild until the in-person celebration returns in 2022. Last year’s festival was cancelled. The 2019 CACF, the 14th iteration of the beloved event, attracted more than 2,500 guests, who participated in events held all around Sonoma and Marin counties.

Bubbles Brunch: Sunday, March 14, 10:30 to noon, PST: The audience can cook alongside Chef Tracey Shepos Cenami or sit back and enjoy the show while sipping La Crema’s limited-edition La Crema Russian River Valley Brut Rosé. Cenami will prepare three brunch dishes — Bitter Greens with Anchovy Vinaigrette & Grilled Cheese Crouton Crunch (Beehive Cheese Promontory, Pt. Reyes Toma Cheese croutons); Shakshuka (Nicasio Valley Foggy Morning Cheese); and Orange Scones (Cypress Grove Midnight Moon Cheese, Laura Chenel Cabecou ). Recipes and a complete shopping list will be emailed to participants in advance. Shopping is required. As a special bonus, these $50 brunch tickets include free access to next year’s CACF’s Marketplace.

Order your tickets HERE by Friday, March 12.

Grand Tasting, Friday March 26, to 6 pm PST: Instead of gathering round tables laden with our region’s beloved artisan cheeses and the latest locally-produced accompaniments, this year’s Grand Tasting comes in a big box, delivered in advance to your doorstep. Boasting to include ten samplings of delectable artisan cheeses (at least four pounds), participants can stream CACF while enjoying an extravagant selection of pairing goodies from the festival’s marketplace, including Volos chocolates. Grand Tasting Kit cheeses will vary, but everyone will receive at least one of the newest cheeses to be released: Qunita from Point Reyes Farmstead Chees Co. and Little Giant from Cypress Grove. Remaining selections will come from the following cheesemakers: Beehive Cheese, Bellwether Farms, Cowgirl Creamery, Cypress Grove, Laura Chenel, Marin French Cheese Co., Nicasio Valley Cheese Co., Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co., Rumiano Cheese Co., Stuyt Dairy Farmstead Cheese Co., Tomales Farmstead Creamery, Valley Ford Cheese & Creamery, and Wm. Cofield Cheesemakers.

Gloria Ferrer put together three winery exclusives to pair with these cheeses: Vista Brut, Royal Cuvée, and Demi-Sec. The hour will be hosted by Food Network star and Sonoma County restaurateur, Duskie Estes (Zazu, Black Pig Meat Co., Farm to Pantry). It will include insider tours of regional farms and creameries, pro tips on building a photo-worthy cheese board and Duskie’s favorite cheese recipes. Tasting kits are $150 and include free 2-day UPS shipping within the contiguous U.S.

Order your tasting kit HERE by Friday, March 19 at 5pm

More about California Artisan Cheese Festival
A 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, the California Artisan Cheese Festival strives to increase cheese appreciation, educate consumers about artisan cheeses, support the cheesemaking community and its sustainability and celebrate the creations of California’s many farmers and cheesemakers. The festival began in March 2007 as the first-ever, weekend-long celebration and exploration of handcrafted cheeses, foods, wines and beers from California. In keeping with its dedication to the community, the Artisan Cheese Festival has donated more than $135,000 in grants to nonprofit partners that support local sustainable agriculture including the California Artisan Cheese Guild.  For more information about the California Artisan Cheese Festival, visit http://www.artisancheesefestival.com/or follow them on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

March 11, 2021 - Posted by | Food | , , , , , ,

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