Exciting news! I’ve just announced the line-up for my upcoming First Annual Wisconsin Original Cheese Festival, to be held in Madison, Wis., Nov. 6 – 7. Tickets will go on sale exclusively to members of Wisconsin Cheese Originals starting Aug. 11 and to the general public on Aug. 18.

No tickets will be sold at the door for any event — all tickets must be purchased in advance. So mark your calendars now and pick which of the events you’d like to attend:

Meet the Cheesemaker Gala Reception
Date: Friday, Nov. 6, 2009
Time: 6 – 9 PM
Location: Grand Terrace, Monona Terrace, Downtown Madison
Tickets: $25 per person
Shake hands and talk shop with the current generation of Wisconsin rock star cheesemakers. Sample dozens of Wisconsin original cheeses, network with hundreds of foodies and cheese buyers, and have the opportunity enjoy your favorite wine or microwbrew at a cash bar. Autographs free. 🙂 View a list of participating cheesemakers (the list will continue to grow) here. This event is limited to 300 tickets.
Saturday Morning Tours
Tour Option A: Farmer’s Market & Artisan Cheese Tasting
Date: Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009
Time: 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Tickets: $35 per person
Join a small group of 4- 5 people for a personalized walking tour of the nation’s largest producer-driven farmer’s market with personal introductions to more than six cheesemakers. Lunch at
Fromagination included. This event is limited to four small group tours of 4-5 people.

Tour Option B: Cheese Plant Tour & Fondue Lunch
Date: Saturday, November 7, 2009
Time: 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Tickets: $55 per person
Join a small group of cheese enthusiasts on a private coach bus to tour two Green County cheese plants and end with an amazing Fondue Lunch at Roth Käse USA in Monroe. This event is limited to 25 tickets.

Saturday Afternoon Seminars
Date: Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009
Time: 1 – 5 p.m.
Location: Monona Terrace Hall of Ideas
Tickets: Ranges from $25 to $35 per seminar
Choose from a variety of six seminar topics, all focusing on celebrating Wisconsin artisan cheeses.
Seminar topics and speakers are listed below.
1:00 – 2:00 PM – Choose from one of the following seminars:

Seminar A: Wisconsin Cheese & Wine Pairings

Description: Experience tells us there are natural partners in certain wines and cheeses. Taste and compare four wines with four exclusive Wisconsin cheeses to find your favorite.
Presenters: Jady & Gisele Grad, local wine & cheese connoisseurs
Tickets: $30, limited to 48 seats

Seminar B: Rebirth of Washed Rind “Stinky” Cheeses
Description: Stinky cheese is back! You’ll taste three different washed rind cheeses, including Les Frères, Limburger & Aged Brick, and learn more about the science and art that goes into crafting these nose-holding beauties.
Presenters: Moderator Bill Anderson, Fromagination; George Crave, Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese; Myron Olson, Chalet Cheese Cooperative; Joe Widmer, Widmer’s Cheese Cellars
Tickets: $25, limited to 40 seats
2:30 – 3:30 PM – Choose from one of the following seminars:
Seminar C: Wisconsin Pasture-Grazed Cheeses
Description: More Wisconsin cheesemakers than ever are crafting “seasonal” cheeses from the milk of cows grazing on the lush, green pastures of Wisconsin. What makes these cheeses so
special? You’ll taste Otter Creek Seasonal Cheddar, Pleasant Ridge Reserve and Edelweiss Grazed cheese.
Presenters: Moderator Jeanette Hurt, author; Bartlett Durand, Otter Creek Organic Farm; Mike Gingrich, Uplands Cheese; Bert Paris, Edelweiss Graziers
Tickets: $25, limited to 40 seats

Seminar D: Goat & Sheep Cheeses of Wisconsin
Description: Wisconsin has become a mecca for sheep and goat cheesemakers, as the state is now home to more dairy sheep and dairy goats than anywhere else in the country. Taste four amazing goat, sheep & mixed milk cheeses and hear from four cheesemakers on why they call America’s Dairyland home.
Presenters: Moderator Bob Wills, Cedar Grove Cheese; Al Bekkum, Nordic Creamery; Cheesemker Sid Cook, Carr Valley Cheese; Brenda Jensen, Hidden Springs Creamery.
Tickets: $25, limited to 40 seats
4:00 – 5:00 PM – Choose from one of the following seminars:
Seminar E: Wisconsin Cheese & Craft Beer Pairings

Description: Explore why pairing artisan cheeses with craft beers is the new black. You’ll taste six different Wisconsin cheeses and a variety of micro-brews from around the country.
Presenters: Sara Hill, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board & Lucy Saunders, Beercook.com
Tickets: $35, limited to 48 seats

Seminar F: Wisconsin Cave Aged Cheeses
Description: Making cheese is one thing; aging it is another. Learn why cave aging cheeses is a science all its own. Hear from three distinctly different cheesemakers on how they age their cheeses. You’ll taste Cloth-Bandaged Raw Milk Cheddar, Dunbarton Blue and a unique cheese from Lovetree Farmstead.
Presenters: Moderator Steve Ehlers, Larry’s Market; Mary Falk, Lovetree Farmstead; Willi Lehner, Bleu Mont Dairy; Chris Roelli, Roelli Cheese.
Tickets: $25, limited to 40 seats
Saturday Evening Dine Around
Date: Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009
Time: 6 to 8 p.m.
Location: Six participating Madison Originals Restaurants
Tickets: $75 per person
Experience a culinary sensation at one of a six participating Madison Originals restaurants, where each chef will partner with a unique Wisconsin cheesemaker and host an amazing three-course dinner. You’ll join the featured Cheesemaker at a private table for 12.
Restaurants & paired cheesemakers include:
Blue Marlin Restaurant & Fantome Farm
101 N. Hamilton St., Madison, WI
Partnering Cheesemaker: Anne Topham, Fantome Farm
Captain Bill’s Restaurant & Hook’s Cheese

2701 Century Harbor Road, Middleton, WI
Partnering Cheesemakers: Tony & Julie Hook, Hook’s Cheese
Delaney’s Restaurant & Hidden Springs Creamery
449 Grand Canyon Drive, Madison, WI
Partnering Cheesemaker: Brenda Jensen, Hidden Springs Creamery
Edgewater Hotel & Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese
666 Wisconsin Avenue, Madison, WI
Partnering Cheesemaker: George Crave, Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese
Lombardino’s Restaurant & BelGioioso Cheese
2500 University Avenue, Madison, WI
Partnering Cheesemaker: Gianni Toffolon, BelGioioso Cheese
Quivey’s Grove & Carr Valley Cheese
6261 Nesbitt Road, Madison, WI
Partnering Cheesemaker: Sid Cook, Carr Valley Cheese
Remember — if you’re a member of Wisconsin Cheese Originals, watch for some special log-in info to buy tickets starting Aug. 11. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Aug. 18 here. Looking forward to seeing you all in November!

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