Another weekend, another cheese festival! Friday March 20th through Monday March 23 brings California's Artisan Cheese Festival in Petaluma, California. This third annual event is California's premiere cheese festival and is held in cooperation with the California Artisan Cheese Guild. 10% of ticket sales from the event go to nonprofit organizations committed to protecting and preserving land needed for farm and dairy animals, and training and supporting current and future artisan cheesemakers in California. What can you expect? Well, you can ease into things on Friday evening at the Meet the Artisans welcoming reception at 6pm. Later, you can continue the festivities during a restaurant dine-around at participating local restaurants (check the website for complete details). But don't drink too much, because Saturday brings a day of cheese education with seminars offered throughout the day. Industry luminaries like Laura Werlin, Janet Fletcher and Sue Conley and Peggy Smith from Cowgirl Creamery will be on hand to teach you pretty much everything you ever wanted to know about cheese (see the Festival website for a complete schedule). On Saturday night, a festive Gala Dinner cooked by local chefs will feature artisan cheeses paired with boutique wines.
But that's not all.....on Sunday, attendees can browse through the Artisan Cheese Marketplace, which promises to be sort of the farmer's market of your dreams with cheese, cheese, cheese - oh, and wine and a few other things too, like olive oils and tea and goat's milk ice cream. Other activities will transpire through the day, including chef's demonstrations and such, all in one gigantic harmonic convergence of good food and good cheese. The Oregon Cheese Guild will be attending so if you're coming from the Northwest you'll feel completely at home, I promise you, because I will be there too and I'll make sure of it. If you stay through Monday you have the option of taking a creamery tour, though those tours are selling out quickly so check on that soon if you're interested.
For much, much more info, see the festival website. Tickets are available for all of the seminars as well as the Marketplace on Sunday - to buy tickets to any Festival events happening throughout the weekend, click here.