Follow Dep Lifestyle Magazine:
Three days of cheese, cheese and MORE cheese awaits at the 10th Annual Artisan Cheese Festival. Take a farm tour, sign up for a class to learn from our experts how to taste, buy, serve and enjoy distinctive artisan cheeses with wine, beer, cider, and even sake.
Meet the cheesemongers and vote on their Best Bites! Sample cheese-inspired dishes from more than two dozen restaurants at California Cheesin’ – We Do it Our Whey! With wines, beers, and ciders to complement.
Visit the Bubbles Brunch or go to the Artisan Cheese Tasting and Marketplace where you can taste and buy cheeses from over two dozen artisan cheesemakers and artisan food producers; sample artisan wines, craft brews, and much more. Celebrity chefs, world class cheese, wine, beer, cider and more all in one fun filled weekend!
Friday, March 18
Cheesemongers’ Duel – The Best Bite
Friday night under the Big Top is where cheesemongers will take center stage in a light-hearted yet energetic competition to see who can create the best bite using California artisan cheese. Guests are encouraged to vote for their favorite bite while enjoying plenty of artisan wine, cider and beer. A “Fantasy Cheese Table” will be center stage, so guests may taste the wide variety of local and rare cheeses at this not-to-be-missed party to kick off the weekend. Tickets $50; The Big Top at the Sheraton Sonoma County, 6 – 9 p.m.
Saturday, March 19
Farm Tours & Lunch
New this year, the popular and coveted Friday farm tours have been expanded to Saturday! Guests will be guided on walking tours of various local farms and creameries to meet the cheesemakers and farmers, learn how the cheeses are made and taste the fruits of their labor. Tours on Saturday will feature an educational component such as a discussion or tasting led by an industry expert on a variety of topics. Tours allow guests to observe behind-the-scenes aspects of cheesemaking and interact with the animals in their natural environment. Each tour includes round-trip transportation from the Sheraton Sonoma County, as well as cheese tastings and lunch. Cheese is available for purchase on most of the farm tours. Tickets and specific details about the farm tours to be available January 1, 2016; $135; 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Seminars + Tasting and Pairing Demonstrations
In addition to the educational components that are included on the farm tours, there are also a handful of seminars offered a la carte on Saturday at the Sheraton Sonoma County and at Cowgirl Creamery in Petaluma. Led by industry experts on a variety of topics, the seminars will range from pairing cheese with sake to the similarities of making cheese and chocolate. Confirmed instructors include Peggy Smith and Sue Conley of Cowgirl Creamery; renowned cheese writer and author Janet Fletcher; author and cheese expert Laura Werlin; cheese expert and founding president of the California Artisan Cheese Guild Lynne Devereux; and cheese and wine author Kristin Jackson. During the lunch break and after the afternoon seminars authors will be available for book signings. Books will be available for purchase by Copperfield’s Books. Tickets $75; Sheraton Sonoma County and Cowgirl Creamery Warehouse. 10 – 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 – 3 p.m.
California Cheesin’ — We Do It Our Whey!
In celebration of a decade of California’s Artisan Cheese Festival,
guests are invited to taste their way around this evening celebration of California cheese, sampling dishes from some of the Bay Area’s best chefs and caterers. Each chef will incorporate their favorite locally made cheese into an impressive dish for attendees who will then cast their vote for their favorite dish. The winner will be announced on-site during this lively and festive competition and there will also be a special tribute to some of the icons of California’s artisan cheese industry. Artisan wines, beers and ciders will be on hand to complement each dish, and live music and a photo booth will add to the jovial atmosphere. Tickets $75; The Big Top at the Sheraton Sonoma County, 6 – 9 p.m.
Sunday, March 20
Sunday Bubbles and Brunch with Visionary Chef John Ash
Considered the Father of Wine Country cuisine, chef John Ash will be dishing up a special Sunday brunch celebrating California cheese at every course. Chef Ash will provide a live cooking demonstration and sparkling wine will be provided by Gloria Ferrer Champagne Caves. Tickets to brunch also include coveted early entry into the Artisan Cheese Tasting & Marketplace at 11 a.m., before it opens to the public at 12 p.m. Tickets $115; Sheraton Sonoma County Ballroom,
9:30 – 11 a.m.
Artisan Cheese Tasting & Marketplace
The grand finale of the Festival, the Marketplace brings together more than 90 artisan cheesemakers, winemakers, brewers, chefs and producers to sample and sell their products directly to attendees in this feast for the senses. Guests can discover the next wave of local, hand-crafted cheeses, boutique wines and artisan-brewed beers as well as interesting cheese products, books and recipes. Each ticket includes entry to the Marketplace, an insulated cheese tote bag and a signature wine glass. Tickets $45 for adults; $20 for children 12 and under; The Big Top at the Sheraton Sonoma County, 12 – 4 p.m.
Complimentary Cooking and Entertaining Demonstrations
In between tasting and buying cheeses at the Marketplace, guests are invited to watch live cooking and entertaining demonstrations conducted by local chefs and cheese experts, including a demonstration of how to create the perfect party cheese platter. Free with a Marketplace ticket; Sheraton Sonoma County Ballroom, 12 – 4 p.m.
You can purchase tickets at www.artisancheesefestival.com.
Follow them on Twitter for current update.
Sheraton Sonoma County
745 Baywood Drive
Petaluma, CA 94954
Friday, March 18, 2016 at 8:30 AM –Sunday, March 20, 2016 at 4:00 PM
Generous sponsors of the Artisan Cheese Festival include All American Printing, American AgCredit, Beehive Cheese Company, Bellwether Farms, John Boos Boards, Central Coast Creamery, Cheese Connoisseur, Chevoo, Cowgirl Creamery, Culture Magazine, Cypress Grove Chevre, Donald & Maureen Green Foundation, Fiscalini Farmstead Cheese Co., KWMR Community Radio, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Laura Chenel Chevre, Marin French Cheese Co., Mike Hudson Distributing, Nicasio Valley Cheese Company, Nugget Markets, Oakland Packaging, Oliver’s Markets, Pennyroyal Farm, Petaluma Market, Petaluma Post, Pisenti & Brinker LLP, Pt. Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co., Pure Luxury Transportation, Real California Milk, Redwood Hill Farms & Creamery, Rustic Bakery, Sheraton Sonoma County, Valley Fig Growers, Valley Ford Cheese Company, Willapa Hills Cheese and Yelp.
About California’s Artisan Cheese Festival
A 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, California’s Artisan Cheese Festival strives to increase cheese appreciation, educate consumers about artisan cheeses, support the cheesemaking community and its sustainability and celebrate the creations of California’s many farmers and cheesemakers. The festival began in March 2007 as the first-ever, weekend-long celebration and exploration of handcrafted cheeses, foods, wines and beers from California and beyond. In keeping with its dedication to the community, the Artisan Cheese Festival donates 10% of all ticket proceeds to Sonoma Land Trust, Marin Agricultural Land Trust, Petaluma Future Farmers of America, California Artisan Cheese Guild and Redwood Empire Food Bank. To date the Artisan Cheese Festival has contributed more than $80,000 to these non-profit organizations that work to support the artisan cheesemaking community and its infrastructure in California. For more information, visit www.artisancheesefestival.com.