Here's the official scoop:
Held at the Monona Terrace in downtown Madison on Nov. 6-7, the festival will offer attendees the chance to meet dozens of Wisconsin cheesemakers and taste more than 100 of the state’s finest artisan, farmstead and specialty cheeses.
The two-day festival will feature a variety of events, including a Friday night Meet the Cheesemaker Gala Reception, Saturday morning guided tours and educational seminars, and a Saturday evening Artisan Cheesemaker Dine Around. Advance tickets are required. Visit www.wicheesefest.com to purchase tickets.
Hosted by Wisconsin Cheese Originals, a new member-based organization that I launched in March, the festival will be a premier destination for cheese enthusiasts and food buyers from across the nation. As Wisconsin becomes nationally recognized as a mecca for original artisan, farmstead and specialty cheeses, I wanted to create a festival that would be the perfect venue to learn more about, celebrate, and taste hundreds of the original cheeses our cheesemakers are crafting.
So, with all that said, here are the festival events:
Friday Night Meet the Cheesemaker Gala Reception: Shake hands and talk shop with the current generation of rock star cheesemakers. Sample 100 different Wisconsin original cheeses, network with foodies and enjoy your favorite wine or microbrew. Tickets: $25 per person.
Saturday Morning Tours: Choose between a private coach bus tour of Green County cheese factories, including Chalet Cheese (the only Limburger cheesemaker in America) and an elegant fondue lunch at Roth Kase USA; or partake in a personal guided tour of the largest producer Farmer’s Market in the nation, with lunch at Fromagination on the Capital Square. Tickets range from $35 - $55 per person.
Saturday Afternoon Seminars: Choose from a stunning line-up of six seminars. Enjoy wine, beer & cheese pairings, learn the art of crafting cave-aged and pasture-grazed cheeses, or the science behind “stinky” cheeses. You’ll be a cheese geek by the end of the day. Tickets range from $20 - $35 per seminar.
Saturday Evening Dine Around: Experience a culinary sensation at one of six participating Madison Originals restaurants. Each chef will partner with a local cheesemaker and host a one-of-a-kind three-course dinner. You’ll join the featured cheesemaker at a private table for 12. Tickets: $75 per person.
Additional sponsors of the First Annual Wisconsin Original Cheese Festival include: BelGioioso Cheese, Fromagination, Dairy Business Innovation Center, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, and World Import Distributors. Thanks to everyone for their support and I hope to see all of my Cheese Underground readers at the festival!