The weekend of March 15th and 16th, The Lady headed south to Central Point, Oregon to attend the 9th Annual Oregon Cheese Festival which happens every March under a huge tent on the grounds of Rogue Creamery. She worked hard and had one terrific cheese adventure.
The fun began on Friday night with a four-course dinner at the Ashland Springs Hotel. Talk about Cheese Swells, the room was filled with the creme de la creme of Oregon Cheese Royalty plus a fewothers from all over the country including Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery’s Queen of Cheese, Allison Hopper, Murray’s Cheese Diva, Culture Magazine‘s Lassa Skinner and Joan’s on Third‘s Cheesemonger, Chester Hastings (author of The Cheesemonger’s Kitchen).
The centerpiece at each table was a beautiful cheese plate featuring several lovelies from members of the Oregon Cheese Guild. Three of the four courses featured dishes made using other Oregon cheeses:
The first course was a scallops with sunchoke puree and a warm beet salad featuring Portland Creamery‘s fresh chevre.
The second course was a savory cheesecake made with Rogue Creamery’s Caveman Blue.
The main course featured a Draper Valley chicken breast stuffed with Willamette Valley Cheese‘s Eola Jack Cheese and twice baked red potatoes stuffed with Tillamook Vintage Smoked Extra Sharp Cheddar.
The dessert was a raspberry hazelnut tart with a rhubarb coulis.
Each course was served with an Oregon wine.
The Lady sat with Rogue Creamery’s Tom VanVoorhees (recently featured here as one of our ACS CCP mongers) and Liz Alvis, Owner and Cheesemaker at Portland Creamery. Also at the table were local cheese lovers who bought tickets which supported the Oregon Cheese Guild.
Saturday morning came early with The Lady setting up the Murray’s Cheese booth at the festival. The Lady paired three Oregon cheeses, Rogue’s Caveman Blue, River’s Edge’s Siltcoos and Tumalo Farms’ Classico, with Oregon Growers‘ Pear and Hazelnut Pate and Portland’s Unbound Pickled Cherries and served them to most of the 3,000+ attendees.
That evening The Lady attended a party at the home of Rogue Creamery’s David Gremmels and Cary Bryant. Again it was a house and deck filled with the Cheese Swells, all celebrating the 80th Anniversary of Rogue Creamery. The Kalish Twins, Charlie and Michael, were there which gave The Lady a chance to catch up with them; the last time she saw “the boys” was at the Bra Cheese Festival in Italy in 2011.
Other Cheese Swells at the festival and Rogue party included Tami Parr, Author of Artisan Cheese of the Pacific Northwest, Christine Hyatt, The Cheese Chick and former President of the American Cheese Society, Sue and Larry from Rogue Creamery, Rod Volbeda from Willamette Valley Cheese Company, Brad and Sarah Sinko, Head Cheesemaker at the new Face Rock Creamery along with Face Rock’s owner, Greg Drobot. There were lots more and I apologize if I omitted someone…
When she left the party, David gave The Lady a goodie bag that contained, among other things, a book about the history of the Rogue Valley, a Rogue Nation rubber bracelet and a condom… not kidding… a condom…
Sunday morning found The Lady driving home with a respectable bag of cheese, wine, books and memories to share with me… so I could share them with you.
You can buy Tami Parr and Chester Hastings book by clicking on the amazon icon below.
Up next will be a story about a workshop The Lady attended that featured Allison Hooper… stay tuned…