After Beecher’s, The Lady grabbed a cab and headed up the hill to the Seattle “No Pets” Sheraton to attend more seminars about… cheese…

The first of the day was Tasting: Pacific Northwest Dairies – Past, Present and Future.

(We will review the Sally Jackson and Dinah cheeses from this seminar when we return to the manse. We have previously reviewed the Cougar Gold and Boerenkaas and links are provided below.)

Tami Parr of The Pacific Northwest Project moderated the panel which included Marc Bates of Bates Consulting and previously at Washington State University. He took the group through the history of cheesemaking in the Pacific Northwest and after his presentation treated the group to a tasting of the WSU’s truly world-famous Cougar Gold.

Tami took the group through a tasting of a Sally Jackson Chestnut Leaf-Wrapped Sheep Milk Cheese. Sally Jackson was a pioneer cheesemaker after receiving a government grant during the Carter Administration.

Rod Volbeda of Willamette Valley Cheese Company told the story of his journey from dairy farmer to cheesemaker. He brought his young gouda, Boerenkaas, for the group to taste.

The last cheesemaker to speak was Kurt Timmermeister who left behind the restaurant business to make cheese on Vashon Island, just south of Seattle. He currently milks 3 Jersey cows and makes 300 wheels a week of a bloomy rind camembert named after his first cow, Dinah. Once a week he drives his pick-up into Seattle to deliver his cheese to restaurants and a few retail outlets including Sheri LeVigne’s Calf & Kid. He shared his lovely Dinah with the attendees.

After the seminar, the Annual ACS Business meeting was held in the Grand Ballroom with Foods of Quebec hosting a gourmet lunch from a menu developed by Chef Paul Little of the Montreal Westin Hotel. The Westin will be the host hotel for the 2011 ACS Conference and Cheese Competition. The third course of the meal was a cheese plate of five Quebec cheeses followed by a tasting of the 2009 World Cheese Awards Grand Champion, Le Cendrillon. (Again, all of these cheeses will be reviewed once we are back at the manse…)

The afternoon seminar was a panel discussion of Affinage, the art of aging cheese. On the panel were Doug Erb of Landaff Creamery, Raef Hodgson of Neal’s Yard Dairy in the UK and Herve Mons of Mons Fromagerie. The panel was moderated by Kim Iannotti of the Peterson Company. The Lady enjoyed this seminar and picked up more useful information… more details to follow…

The Lady feels this conference has been an important step in her cheesemongering journey and she asked that I thank the ASC for providing this venue for its members and cheese professionals.

Tomorrow the conference concludes with morning seminars and the grand finale, The Festival of Cheese where the winners of the cheese competition will be announced including the Best of Show and the Cheesemonger Merchandising Competition. Winners will be announced at Benaroya Hall, home of the Seattle Symphony and the event is open to the public. Tickets are $85.00.