Monday, August 06, 2012

American Cheese Society Conference 2012

The annual cheese shindig just wrapped up.  This year it was in Raleigh, North Carolina.  I was invited to participate on a Friday morning panel about Recruiting, Hiring, and Training the Next Generation.  The other panelists were Steve Tate from Goat Lady Dairy in North Carolina and David Lockwood from Neal's Yard Dairy in London.  It was moderated by Culture Magazine's Kate Arding.  Great, meaningful discussion.  Steve sang my praises about being the perfect intern. I loved it because I had spent time at both Goat Lady as well as Neal's Yard Dairy.  I could comment on having been an apprentice for so long as well as having launched my own creamery. 

The annual conference was phenomenal.  I love being able to gather with colleagues from all over the planet and share ideas and stories.  Really helps to recharge my batteries. 

One of the highlights is the Cheese Awards.  Over 1700 cheeses were submitted for judging in the annual competition.  Results were revealed on Friday night at the big awards ceremony.  Kinda like the Oscars for cheesemakers.  Briar Rose Creamery submitted 6 cheeses for judging.  And the results???   Third place for our Chocolate Goat Cheese Truffles!  I got to run up on stage and grab my very own ribbon.  Every year the competition is larger and so there are more folks competing for the same ribbons.  Just to get anything is a huge accomplishment!  I think we're doing something right!  

Goat Lady Diary got a BLUE ribbon, 1st Place, for their Smokey Mountain Rounds - a smoked chevre crottin.  Super happy for them!  Carrie and Bobby Bradds make such amazing cheese.  I sat with them at the awards ceremony.  When they won, we were all cheering, whooping, and hollering! 

Next year the conference will be in Madison, Wisconsin.  Can't wait to send more cheese to be judged.  I hope I can attend as well. 

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