What is it about cheese? What is it about that stinky substance with all kinds of weird textures, shapes and sizes that takes hold of the palate and possesses the soul? Cheese obsession was as the front of my mind as I gazed upon the crowd at the 3rd Annual Cheesemonger Invitational on June 23, held at the Larkin specialty food importer’s warehouse in Long Island City.
Larkin general manager and curd-obsessed ball of energy Adam Moskowitz, who also serves as the event’s MC, started the Cheesemonger Invitational in 2010.
Over 100 star cheesemongers came from far & wide to perform feats of fromage knowledge, care and preparation during the daytime portion of the competition, which is closed to the public.
The pool is eventually narrowed down to 10 contenders, with the final three evening challenges of precision cheese cut, wrap and plating revealing the true cheese champion (and this part is open to the public).
The big cheese of the evening walks away with a $1,000 cash prize and some serious curd cred.
Hundreds of cheese industry folk and fans descended upon Larkin. Cheese as far as the eye could see, people as far as the eye could see.
Glad to know that I'm not the only one obsessed.
The vibe was a little bit Iron Chef and a little bit rock & roll underground rave.
Cheese champ Steve Jones, of Cheese Bar (in Portland, OR) and last year's 2011 winner, provided this year's spread. Blue cheese ice cream anyone?
Copyright © 2007-2012 Marie Fromage All Rights Reserved; Photos by Marie Fromage except where noted.