Yesterday started out just like any other day. The cat jumped on my head at 5:20 am. I begrudgingly navigated the school parking lot from hell at 7:45 am. Stopped for coffee, the morning paper and checked in with the locals at 8 a.m. Sat at my desk for too long trying to meet writing deadlines so clients don't fire me. Picked up the kids from school at 3:30. Got another coffee.
And then at 4:30 p.m., the UPS truck backed up the driveway and delivered 14 boxes of cheese to my garage.
That wasn't all. Those 14 boxes of cheese joined 11 other boxes, bags and totes that today all came together for the first ever "25 Best Cheeses of Wisconsin" photo shoot. Five hundred pounds of cheese and five hours later, we have the shot I want. It will debut on April 16 at a Wisconsin Cheese Originals Gala Tasting at Olbrich Gardens.
What possesses someone to take on such a project, you ask? Blame Dan Carter, a legend in the specialty cheese business. A year ago when Dan handed me a marketing poster in Italian featuring a glamour shot of 30 different Italian cheeses, he said he thought I'd know what to do with it. After months of studying the poster, I a) still can't speak Italian and b) decided to do a similar shot of 25 Wisconsin cheeses. So I hired a designer, a photographer and a printer. That was the easy part. What was more difficult was selecting 25 favorites out of 600 Wisconsin cheeses.
The task proved so tough, in fact, - and please don't tell anyone - that there are actually 26 different cheeses from 26 different companies featured in the 2-by 3-foot art poster. I realized this gaffe halfway through the shoot today. After slapping myself upside the forehead, I chalked it up to "oh well - who doesn't love a bonus cheese?" So while the "25 Best Cheeses of Wisconsin" project will actually be 26 awesome cheeses, I figure they're all winners.
*Fine Print: all tickets sold in advance. Evening includes tasting 25 cheeses, appetizers from Bunky's and a signed & numbered Wisconsin Cheese art print. See you there!