As you may have seen, I’ve lately taken a keen interest in cheesemaking. It started a couple months back when I took a cheesemaking workshop with a friend and has really blossomed since then. I’ve made Bries, Camemberts, Bleus, Cabra al Birra, Manchego, Parmesan, Asiago Pepeta, and White Mould Bleus. Some would say it’s getting out of hand… But I enjoy it so much that I decided to pick up my namesakes domain just in case I want to take this thing commercial. So a couple weeks back I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to launch some of my cheeses to the world and also put the Vachon Fromagier name to go use via a winter cheese party!
First was the guest list. And I was pleasantly surprised that most everyone loves cheese in some way, and they’re even more keen to try out a friend’s homemade cheese. The format was simple, I’d provide my homemade cheese along with a few cheese dishes and each couple would bring a unique cheese they bought with matching wine. It was such an easy concept I’m surprised I didn’t think of it before! Here are some of the gems that people brought:
I decided I would launch my Camembert, Buttermilk Bleu, Brie, Bleu, Cabra al Birra, and Manchego. I also threw in slices of pears, walnuts, and pastes of various origin – quince, fig, and date. And to round it out I’d finish with Crab Mac n’ Cheese, and grilled corn with smoked paprika and Manchego. With my own cheese, of course!
I decked out the backyard with a small marquee, tables, chairs, candles, fairy lights, and two outdoor space heaters. It created such a perfect atmosphere for people to relax, mingle, and enjoy some fromage!
I purchased a stack of slate tiles and some white chalk to plate each of the cheeses and it really gave a cool presentation effect.
In any case, here are my heroes of the night. The Camembert, which won Best in Show:
The Buttermilk Bleu:
The Cabra al Birra:
In the end, it was an amazing night of friends, food, and drink. I don’t know what their expectations were going in but everyone raved about it the next day. I guess the point is, if you’re looking for a fun and unique way to entertain this winter then host a cheese party – even if you don’t make your own cheese! You’ll be VERY popular with your friends, trust me. :)