As Avery Aames once opined, “Life is great; cheese makes it better.” It’s hard to argue with wisdom that, I mean: I like cheese, you like cheese, he likes cheese, she likes cheese – we all like cheese! (Okay, maybe not everyone likes cheese – we can’t all be perfect).
We here in Western North Carolina like cheese so much we’ve mapped out a Cheese Trail through our part of the state and have now started the Carolina Mountain Cheese Festival!
Held at Highland Brewery in Asheville, the first annual Carolina Mountain Cheese Festival is a celebration of everything cheesy: we’ll be exploring the process of cheese-making from the field and farm to the dinner plate; we’ll expound on the history of cheese, and so very much more!
Take a look at some of the events and demonstrations planned for the first Carolina Mountain Cheese Festival:
Grilled Cheese Challenge
Watch as Asheville’s finest chefs (or at least the ones who raised their hands) come forward and compete for the coveted title of Best Grilled Cheese in the West … ern North Carolina, that is.
Learn how to make America’s favorite cheese – mozzarella! – in your own home with instruction from local Cheese-maker Lindsey Menendez.
Goat Milking Demo and Kid Corral
Ever milked a goat? Now you can see how it is done! Herd manager Scott Crewe will be on hand to do just that and to answer all your goat dairy and health questions. Spring time may also cooperate and fill the Kid Corral with bouncing baby goats – too cute!
History of Cheese Display
Learn all about the long and fascinating history of cheese, its folklore and traditions. Discover how cheese was made before the days of electricity and refrigeration and come to more fully appreciate this marvelous and multifaceted foodstuff.
Building a Better Cheese Plate
Cheese Stylist Ashley Ioakimedes will reveal some of her tips and tricks for putting together an edible work of art.
Bicycle Powered Butter Churn
Come see Jennifer Billstrom’s Bicycle Powered Butter Churn and try your hand (hand?) at this butter producing, calorie burning machine.
Old World meets New World Practices
Well known cheese-maker Peter Dixon of Dairy Foods Consulting and Parrish Hill Creamery in Vermont will lecture on how ingredients, equipment, facilities, and techniques of artisan cheese production have changed and what this means to the quality of the finished product.
Cheese & Wine Pairing with the Kast Brothers
Alexander Kast of Goat Lady Dairy and his brother, Maximillian Kast, the respected Wine Director of Fearrington Village, will demonstrate and discuss the pairing of fine cheeses with the perfect wines.
Aging Cheese and the Cave Environment
A moderated panel discussion for both the home cheese-maker and the seasoned professional, such topics as proper temperatures and the role of humidity for different styles of cheese, how to create a good aging environment at home, aging underground vs. above ground, aging problems, and the controversial topic of aging on wood will be discussed.
Mountain Cheese and Highland Beer Pairing
Rachel Klebaur of Orrman’s Cheese Shop will team with Highland Bar Supervisor Jamie DeJohn to discover the perfect cheese and Highland beer pairings and discuss why they work well together.
The First Annual Carolina Mountain Cheese Festival
Carolina Mountain Cheese Festival Lodging
If you plan on attending the WNC Cheese Fest, consider a stay at North Lodge on Oakland Bed & Breakfast. Luxurious amenities and service of the kind you will never find in a hotel await you with beautifully appointed guest rooms featuring private baths and flat screen TVs, three-course plated breakfasts, comfy cotton bathrobes, plus fresh baked cookies and pastries each afternoon! We look forward to seeing you and helping to make your Asheville adventure the very best it can be!