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Eat and Drink

Cheesemonger 2014: Cheese pros prove creativity, skills, knowledge

Lilith Spencer from BKLYN Larder in Park Slope

Lilith Spencer from BKLYN Larder in Park Slope prepares her perfect bite of Midnight Moon goat Gouda with candied kumquat, toasted sesame seed-cocoa nibs and orange blossom water. Photo Credit: Alison Fox

This isn’t your mom’s cheese and crackers:  S'mores with blue cheese, graham cracker and chocolate; goat cheese with tomato and candied bacon; Gouda with tomato jam on a grits cookie.
 
These inventive creations and more were all part of the fifth annual Cheesemonger Invitational on Sunday in Long Island City. Dozens of cheese aficionados from all over the country showed off their battle chops, fighting to be the cheesiest champion.
 
Competitors took a written test, demonstrated their sales ability and prepared their own "perfect bite" in which they paired an assigned type of cheese with decadent accompaniments.

More than a hundred cheese lovers packed the warehouse to sample cheese, talk to the makers and find out how versatile cheese could be. Visitors enjoyed fondue, flatbreads and a wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

And Eataly's Emily Acosta took home the top prize, becoming the first woman to win the competition. Bravissima!

 

Hungry yet? Check out the city’s competitors:

Brooklyn: ?
Bedford Cheese: Dylan Hiester
BKLYN Larder: Lilith Spencer
Campbell Cheese & Grocery: Quinn Kenworthy?
Cheese Pops: Luke Johnson
Eastern District: Beth Lewand
Greene Grape Provisions: Cara Warren
Stinky Bklyn: Regina Yates
Whole Foods Market, Brooklyn: Halley Zelicoff  

Manhattan:
Bedford Cheese Irving: Cara Baker
Eataly: Emily Acosta
Lucy's Whey Carnegie Hill: Jessica Galen
Lucy's Whey Chelsea Market: Nathan Heggem
Murray's Cheese: John David Ryan, Nicole Mbisike
Saxelby Cheesemongers: Noah Pardo
Whole Foods Market, Columbus Circle: Ben Frasier
Whole Foods Market, Midtown East: Alison Velasco
Zabars New York: Marie Colas

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