Just Say Cheese, Please!

May 1, 2009

The fifth annual Seattle Cheese Festival takes place in May.

It’s that time of year again. . .time for the fifth annual Seattle Cheese Festival, which takes place this year May 16 and 17 on the cobblestone streets of Pike Place Market. More than 250 artisan cheeses from around the world will be available to taste at the Cheese Concourse.

New this year is the venue for cheese education. All seminars will be held at the museum room at the Pike Brewing Company mid-block on First Avenue between Pike Place and Union.

The 2009 featured speakers include:

Janet Fletcher, cheese columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, who will explain how professional judges taste cheese during competition.

Peio Etcheleku, of the Agour Creamery, will share the story behind his family’s Basque cheese-making tradition.

Laura Dubouloz, of Herve Mons, will speak about how the affineur finishes or ages cheeses to perfection.

Renowned Spanish cheese maker Señor Tomas will discuss the “national” cheese of Spain, Manchego.

Tami Parr, of the Pacific Northwest Cheese Project and author of the forthcoming book “Artisan Cheese of the Pacific Northwest,” will speak about how artisan cheese makers in the Northwest have come of age.

Tickets are $30. To learn more about the seminars and to sign up, visit www.seattlecheesefestival.com.

Pro/Am Grilled Cheese Recipe Contest – This year’s contest is open to professional chefs as well as home cooks. The winning recipe will be featured in the café at DeLaurenti Specialty Food & Wine. Enter at www.seattlecheesefestival.com. Submissions are due by May 1.

Returning favorites of Cheese Fest include:

Cheese Fest Best Month – For the month of May, area restaurants will feature a dish that celebrates cheese and the Seattle Cheese Festival.

Wine (and Beer) Garden – For $10, visitors may sample five wines or beers. Northwest and international wines will be represented. The Pike Brewing Company will pour craft beers, which are brewed on premise at the Pike Place Market.

Chef Demos – Watch cooking demos from chefs including Joseba Jimenez de Jimenez, of Harvest Vine and Txori; Chester Gerl, of Matt’s in the Market; and Leslie Mackie, of Macrina Bakery. The complete list is available at www.seattlecheesefestival.com.

Fresh Mozzarella Making Demos – Experts from DeLaurenti Food & Wine will share techniques for making fresh mozzarella and burrata.

2009 Seattle Cheese Festival At a Glance:

When: Sat., May 16, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sun., May 17, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m
Where: Pike Place Market
Note; No entry fee.
Seminars — $30 each
Wine Garden — $10 for five pours
More: www.seattlecheesefestival.com

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