Monday, July 25, 2011

Southern Cheese Fest: save the date + help needed

Mark your calendars:
The Southern Artisan Cheese Festival
will be Saturday, October 1st, at the Nashville Farmers' Market. Wahoooo!

If you work at or have contacts at any companies who may be interested in sponsoring one of the coolest events around (shameless self promotion!), please let me know. Sponsorship levels are from $250 to $2500, with many levels in between.

Many details are coming together, but we could still use some help on the planning crew. Here are some areas where we need folks. (Folks who will be rewarded with cheese!) Please send me a note if you're interested in jumping in...

> Vendor coordinator: Communicate with artisan food producers (other than cheesemakers) to make sure they have all the info they need and that we have their info. Maybe some research making sure we found all the people making great stuff in the South (cured meats, jams, breads/crackers, etc). Make sure we have a good mix of products. Great communication skills, organizational wizardry, a love of food, and some patience thrown in for good measure are all ideal qualities for this role.

> Sponsorship wrangler: Help us identify potential sponsors and inquire with them. When sponsors sign on, make sure we have their info, logos, etc so they are properly recognized along the way.

> Wine wizard: Know and love wine? Great. Have contacts in the wine distributor world? Even better! We'll be sampling wine at the festival, so we need someone to line up and coordinate with wine distributors, including communicating festival and logistical details, make sure they're taken care of at the actual event, etc.

> Publicity/promotion: We need help getting the word out, especially around the Southeast. Maybe you've done some publicity or maybe you're a freelancer who wants to pitch a story about us. They're aren't a ton of folks talking about southern cheese yet, and this is a first time event like this in the South, so it could be a cool story to tell. We can also put you in touch with some of the cheesemakers who will be here to get their perspective.

Potential sponsors and planning committee folks, please contact me at kathleen-at-thebloomyrind-dot-com.

If you need a shorter commitment than what I've described, we'll be looking for volunteers to help the day of the event. Send an email with your contact info to volunteers-at-southerncheesefest-dot-com, and we'll be back in touch in the next few weeks as we nail down volunteer roles, shift times, etc.

And please please please help spread the word!

Thanks for everyone's enthusiasm so far - this is going to be great!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

List o' cheeses for this weekend (7/15-16)

It's Night Market time again! Always a festive, music-filled, wine-accompanied way to get your shopping done. In addition to many fabulous artisan cheeses, we'll have some hand-crafted, sustainably raised pork goodness from Nashville's Porter Road Butcher (pork pate) and Atlanta's Pine Street Market (coppa and salami). Yes indeedy!

Here's what's on hand at the 'Rind this weekend (both Friday Night Market and regular Saturday hours)...

Locust Grove Farm, TN
Clinch River - luscious, citrus-y, fresh sheeps milk cheese.
Clingman's Tomme - firm, nutty, tangy sweetness.

Sequatchie Cove Creamery, TN
Cumberland - semi-firm, buttery, grassy, a bit egg-y

Sweetgrass Dairy, GA
Hopeful Tomme - semi-firm, goat/cow blend, milky, nutty, slightly herbacious

Chapel Hill Creamery, NC
Carolina Moon - Soft, buttery, Camembert-style
Hickory Grove - Firm, nutty, buttery, Trappist-style

Looking Glass Creamery, NC
Chocolate Lab - rind of choco stout + cocoa nibs

Caromont Farm, VA
Alberene Ash - rustic goat cheese pyramid with ambient blue mold rind

Jasper Hill Farm, VT
Moses Sleeper - heavenly, creamy, soft-ripened

Consider Bardwell Farm, VT
Rupert - Alpine style, aged 13 months
Dorset - semi-soft, washed rind

Rogue Creamery, OR
Oregonzola - their homage to Gorgonzola

Lark's Meadow Farm, ID
Helen - aged, bit o' sharpness
Dulcinea - hard, aged sheeps milk, floral + sweet

Cabot + Cellars at Jasper Hill, VT
Cabot Clothbound Cheddar - rockin' aged cheddar

Cobb Hill + Cellars at Jasper Hill, VT
Ascutney Mountain - cheese love child of all my aged faves

As always, email me with any special requests: kathleen-at-thebloomy-rind-dot-com

See you at the Nashville Farmers' Market Friday (6:30-8:30pm) or Saturday (10am-2pm)!


Cheese Fest Sponsors, We Need You!

(The First Ever) Southern Artisan Cheese Festival is in the works - and we need you, dear supporters of cool stuff happening in Nashville and the Southeast.

Our aim is a modest one: put southern artisan cheesemaking on the map. Like we said, modest. Care to lend a hand to make this lil' ol' vision a reality? (And by lend a hand, we mean write a check.)

That's right, for the price of, well, many cups of coffee, you can present your brand to the many a fancy food festival goer. Aaaand you get good old fashioned bragging rights to making (The First Ever) Southern Artisan Cheese Festival happen.

We have sponsorship levels from $250 to $2500. For details, drop a note to kathleen-at-thebloomyrind-dot-com.

And for bonus awesome points, we'd love to have a few folks help us wrangle sponsors. There are all sorts of perks to volunteering for a cheese festival, namely, uh, cheese. Same deal, send a note to kathleen-at-thebloomyrind-dot-com if you want to be a really important part of Team CheeseFest. (Did we mention bragging rights?!)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Fresh mozz! And 20 other knockouts this week.

Many a cookout this weekend, eh? How about gettin' a little schmancy with your toppings. Love the classic bacon, mushroom, swiss? Try it with aged Thunder Mountain Swiss or Rupert. Want something ridiculously creamy and melty? Try Cumberland or Dorset. Always love some blue on your burger? Give some creamy Crater Lake Blue or earthy Kelle's Blue a go. Bonus points on your rockin' blue cheese burger: add a bit of Rum Raisin Fig preserves to take you to your sweet + savory happy place.

Or maybe burgers aren't your thang. How about a much adored caprese salad? I've got *fresh mozzarella* from the ladies of Chapel Hill Creamery. Not too many farmstead mozz makers in the south, so I'm excited to have some this week!

Ooh, or maybe some BLTs on steroids...aka a BLT with fresh mozz and basil in place of lettuce. (like the photo up top)

Okay, you get the idea. Mix things up a bit. Have some fun. Eat some amazing cheese handcrafted by hardworking farmers and cheesemakers right here in the US of A.

Caromont Dairy's Alberene Ash

I've got 21 cheeses in the lineup this week. Something for everyone! Here are a few highlights...

** Fresh Mozzarella! from Chapel Hill Creamery
** New cheese from Caromont Dairy in VA called Alberene Ash. Rustic pyramid of goat cheese with an ash line through it and a thin, soft rind of ambient blue molds native to the farm. (pictured above)
** Last wheels of the season of luscious, bacon-y Winnimere.
** Just a few wedges of Twig Farm Washed Rind. Super creamy goat and cows milk blend cheese with a nutty, somewhat pungent rind. This cheese is a rare find in this neck of the woods.
** Aged, Alpine style Rupert from Consider Bardwell Farm, where my cheese career adventure began with a 2-day cheesemaking workshop (in Vermont in the middle of winter!) I've loved this cheese since we first met.

And many, many more!