Saturday, March 21, 2015

Seminars, Cheesemaking Classes, Cooking and Pairing Demonstrations

Join local industry experts, chefs and cheesemakers for a variety of interactive seminars and demos throughout the day at the Sheraton Sonoma County, Petaluma. Seminars include lunch. Cheesemaking classes are $95, Seminar 1 is $75 and all others are $65. The seminar schedule is as follows:
9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.  Morning Session
1:30 p.m. –  3:30 p.m.  Afternoon Session

MORNING SESSION – 9:30am to 11:30am

Seminar 1: What A Perfect Pair: Honey & Cheese
Presenters: by Amina Harris, Director of Honey and Pollination Center at the Robert Mondavi Institute of Wine and Food Science, UC Davis
Lynne Devereux, Director of Marketing and Public Relations of Laura Chenel’s Chevre and Marin French Cheese Company
Attend this sweet and salty session to learn how to pair a pecorino with the perfect honey. We’ll go ‘into the hive’ to learn how bees produce honey and how vital their pollinator foraging is to our food shed. We’ll taste an array of honeys and handcrafted cheeses from California that express seasonality and varietal. Finally, we will toast our newly acquired knowledge with mead, the world’s oldest fermented beverage and experiencing a well-deserved revival in the craft beverage scene. The honeys and cheeses will all be locally produced and sourced and express local terroir. Also, the first Honey Flavor Wheel was recently developed by Amina Harris and all students will use the wheel during the tasting.  The Honey Flavor Wheel will go home with you at the end of this seminar to share your new found knowledge with friends and family! (Ticket price is $75 per person)

Seminar 2: Cheese & Cider: Happily Ever After
Presenters: Janet Fletcher, Author and Educator including Planet Cheese online newsletter
Ellen Cavelli, Co-owner of Tilted Shed Ciderworks
Artisan cheese has a new love match: fine cider. Today’s trendy hard ciders have little in common with that sweet, fizzy beverage from the supermarket…and they are uniformly awesome with cheese. In this session, Ellen Cavalli of Tilted Shed, a next-generation leader in the American Cider Revival, will guide you through a range of traditional cider styles (French, West Country, Basque and single-varietal), as well as wholly unique styles, as interpreted by American producers. Then cheese authority Janet Fletcher will help you discover the cheeses that fine cider loves best. (Ticket price is $65 per person)

Seminar 3: Pair If You Dare
Presenters: Stephanie Skinner, Co-owner and publisher of Culture: The Word on Cheese
Thalassa (Lassa) Skinner, Co-owner and Independent Sales Manager, Culture: The Word on Cheese
Cheese alone is fantastic, but cheese with accompaniments can be sublime. In this innovative seminar, we’ll go beyond the ordinary with a broad selection of cheese styles alongside out-of-the-ordinary pairings. Think pickled vegetables, smoked shellfish, chocolate, teas, sour beer, and tropical fruits. We’ll discuss what makes a good pairing, and why. Join us as we dive into the fabulous world of mixing tastes and textures, finding comfort in both contrasts as well as in complements. (Ticket price is $65 per person)

Seminar 4: All About the Milk: Tasting & Working with Different Cheeses
Presenter: Soyoung Scanlan, Owner and Cheesemaker at Andante Dairy
Taste and learn about  how different milk ( cow, goat and buffalo) expresses itself in the context of soft-ripened cheese. Cow, goat and buffalo’s milk each have distinctive flavors and characteristics. To show the differences and similarity of each milk, Soyoung will make a St. Marcelin- style small soft cheese using lactic curd/bloomy rind cheese making technique. You’ll taste samples at different aging stages to show how each milk develops texture and flavor – from young with bloomy rind and with a little lactic and firm - to three weeks when the texture is runny and full flavored. At its best, cheese is designed to bring out the magical property of milk and to reveal the essence of terroirs - this class will be a rare opportunity to experience, and taste, this expression first hand. (Ticket price is $65 per person)

Seminar 5: Cheese and Chocolate – The World’s Two Best Foods on One Plate, One Palate
Presenter: Laura Werlin, Author and Educator and Heather Haskell, TCHO Chocolate
Even us die-hard cheese lovers would have a tough time choosing between our beloved fromage and a good piece of chocolate if stranded on a desert island. Luckily, there’s no need to choose! These two fav foods may not sound like an intuitive pairing, but together, the right pairings can be transcendent. Get the basics on chocolate by way of the Bay Area’s unparalleled TCHO chocolate, and cheese, and taste the stellar pairings chosen just for this seminar side by side. You’ll never separate the two again.  (Ticket price is $65 per person)

Seminar 6 – Cheesemaking: Morning Stretches: Mozzarella Making
Presenter: Louella Hill, aka The Milk Maid, Educator
Get ready for the most fun exercise you’ve ever done: Mozzarella Stretching! This not-to-be-missed seminar is for cheese lovers who want to knock “mozzarella” off their bucket lists. Class will lead you from liquid milk all the way to pearlini, ciliegine, boconcini and ovalini balls. Once you master those shapes, you’ll move onto braids, twists, and ropes and, finally, stuffed mozzarella. Participants will take their cheese creations home (we’ll supply Ziplocs and ice)—if the ‘cheese homework’ even makes it that far! (Tickets are $95 per person)

Seminar 7 – Cheesemaking: Cheesemaking 101: Feta & Friends
Presenter: Sacha Laurin, Assistant Cheesemaker at Winters Cheese Company
The origins of feta go back as far as the late Roman Empire. The recipe can seem similarly Byzantine. Fortunately, cheesemaker Sacha Laurin has adapted the feta making process for the home cheesemaker. In this class you’ll make your own batch, then dress up your hunk with olive oil, tapenades, fresh and dried herbs, and other goodies. (Tickets are $95 per person)

AFTERNOON SESSION – 1:30pm to 3:30pm

Seminar 8: Four Ingredients to the Nth Power
Presenters: Peggy Smith, Co-Founder of Cowgirl Creamery
Sue Conley, Co-Founder of Cowgirl Creamery
Ready for that next step in cheesemaking? Want to learn why? And how? With only four ingredients in most cheese, there are over 1,000 varieties of cheese. The four basic ingredients are: rennet, cultures, milk and salt. How does each of these elements contribute?  Cultures… Rennet… Aging… Finishing… You will have fun as you learn how these four main ingredients can interact to make cheese so different. This class will take place at the new Cowgirl Creamery warehouse just a short walk from the Sheraton. (Ticket price is $65 per person)

Seminar 9: California’s Sheep’s Milk Cheeses (and wine)
Presenter: Laura Werlin, Author and Educator
Sheep’s milk cheeses are rare around the world, and California has been no exception – until now. With a new influx of sheep dairies to the state, newcomers and more established cheesemakers are making their mark on sheep’s milk cheese. In this session, you’ll learn why sheep’s milk cheeses are relatively rare, who are the folks bringing us this new bounty, and what is it about sheep’s milk cheeses that make us love them. We’ll find out the whys and hows side by side with their purely California wine companions. (Ticket price is $65 per person)

Seminar 10: Bite of California – Cheesemaker Battle for the Best Bite
Competing Cheesemakers include Cypress Grove Chevre, Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery and Pennyroyal Farmstead Cheese!
A little friendly competition between cheesemakers? Yes, please! In this session, California cheesemakers will serve up their best bite of California. To illustrate the versatility of cheese and some of the incredible foods produced in California, each cheesemaker will prepare two bites using their cheese:  One sweet and one savory. In a friendly clash of California’s booming specialty food world, you’ll get to know a few California cheesemakers, learn about food pairing, and vote for your favorite “Bite of California.” (Ticket price is $65 per person)

Seminar 11: Hops vs. Malt: A Smackdown with Cheese
Presenter: Janet Fletcher, Author and Educator including Planet Cheese online newsletter
Two brews go mano a mano in this tasting, competing for your palate. In one corner of the ring we have a hoppy ale and in the other, a malt-focused brew. Each beer will stand up to seven California artisan cheeses. Guided by Cheese & Beer author Janet Fletcher, you’ll learn to identify the cheese styles that respond better to hoppy beers, and the types that clamor for malt. The exercise will help steer you toward the cheeses that complement the brews you love, and vice versa. (Ticket price is $65 per person)

Seminar 12 – Cheesemaking: Three Milks, One Recipe, Many Tastes
Presenter: Louella Hill, aka The Milk Maid, Educator
Goat, sheep and cow milks differ in chemical composition and so also differ in the way they turn from milk into cheese. Put on your learning cap, roll up your sleeves and see it all first hand with this hands-on class lead by the San Francisco Milk Maid. You’ll enjoy two exciting hours learning the difference between goat, cow and sheep milks by tasting, touching and smelling your way from starting liquid to finished wheel. This class gives non-cooks (and less confident foodies) a way to do something special, hand-on and very cheese-centric during the festival. Class will build confidence around language used to describe the differences between goat, cow and sheep cheeses as well as familiarize participants with the cheesemaking process. (Tickets are $95 per person)

Seminar 13 – Cheesemaking: Cheesemaking 201: Pressed Cheese, Romano
Presenter: Stephanie Soleil, Educator
Home cheesemaker, you’ve made enough mozz to cover 1,000 pizzas. Ricotta? Pah-lease, you started making ricotta before the Italians! You’re ready for cheesemaking 201. Join home cheesemaking evangelist Stephanie Soleil in making Romano, a pressed aged cheese. You’ll learn how to press cheese at home and how to properly age cheese in your own refrigerator. Everyone will go home with their own little round to age for weeks or even months! (Tickets are $95 per person)

EVENING SESSION – 6:00pm to 9:00pm

Chefs vs Chefs — The Best Bite
This popular roaming feast showcases top local Bay Area chefs using artisan cheeses in a variety of dishes from sweet to savory. More than 20 top restaurants, caterers, wineries and breweries will vie for your affection, and your vote, at this lighthearted competition of all things cheese. From soufflés to sandwiches, guests can expect to experience artisan cheese in ways they’ve never had before at this gastronomic showdown. (Tickets are $75 per person)