Saturday and Sunday the 13th and 14th of November were the dates for the inaugural Colorado Cheese Festival. Hosted by Jackie Rebideau, the owner of Fromage to Yours, the event was a huge success. There were over 600 attendees (twice the expected number), hundreds of cheeses to sample, cheese making demos, and a grilled cheese challenge. The event raised money for Food Bank of the Rockies, so we got our cheese and ate it too! ahem...
I competed in the grilled cheese challenge. I was paired with MouCo Cheese Company, a fantastic cheese maker from Fort Collins. They make a Camembert cheese that is to die for. It starts of creamy and mild, and as it ages gets nutty and more complex. It is best tempered to room temperature. I wanted to showcase the texture and flavor of this cheese with my sandwich, so I didn't go crazy with the ingredients. But it was a damn good sandwich! In fact my little 'wich was named "best tasting" grilled cheese. I eventually lost the overall award to my boy Michael Long (yes, I voted him best overall two nights before at the Wine Fest, but that's not important here) with his over-the-top presentation of his crab and tomato monstrosity. Some of the other competitors were:
Chad Clevenger, Mel's
Samir Mohammad, Pesce Fresco Bistro
Tyler Skrivanek, Duo
Daniel Asher, Root Down
Scott Parker, Table 6
My sandwich was MouCo Camembert with prosciutto, sliced green apple, roast pear mustard and sourdough bread. I bought a little panini press for the event and pressed the sandwich to make it "grilled". I also served a mizuna salad with stewed cherries and port.
What a fun event! Who doesn't like a grilled cheese? And the cheese companies who brought their samples really came with some excellent choices (truffle tremor?!?!).
I can't wait until next year! And if you're looking for a good gift, check out Jackie's shop, Fromage to Yours, she's got some really cool stuff over there!