More than a dozen nationally renowned speakers and Wisconsin cheesemakers will present a wide array of tasting and educational seminars at the Third Annual Wisconsin Original Cheese Festival, set for Nov. 4-5 at the Monona Terrace in Madison, Wis.


More than a dozen nationally renowned speakers and Wisconsin cheesemakers will present a wide array of tasting and educational seminars at the Third Annual Wisconsin Original Cheese Festival, set for Nov. 4-5 at the Monona Terrace in Madison, Wis. This two-day event will draw more than 1,000 cheese lovers from around the country for a weekend of tours, seminars, dinners and the popular Meet the Cheesemaker Evening Gala.

The lineup of seminars and speakers include:

•    Cheese Making 101: So you think you want to be a cheesemaker? Cheese Technologist Dean Sommer from the Center for Dairy Research covers the fundamental principles of the art and science of cheesemaking.

•    Wisconsin Artisan Cheese & Scotch Paring: Spirits Master at Vom Fass USA, Greg Long, proves artisanal scotches are just as good as pairing with artisanal cheeses with wines and beers. Explore four scotches and four cheese pairings.

•    A New Era for Wisconsin Cheddar: Cheesemakers Tony Hook and Joe Widmer are ushering in a new era of specialty Cheddars. Taste four aged Cheddars, ranging from 2-12 years old, moderated by Steve Ehlers of Larry’s Market.

•    Wisconsin Artisan Cheese & Rum Pairing: Coming all the way from Los Angeles, Barrie Lynn, the Cheese Impresario, presents a fresh perspective on cheese pairings with four different Wisconsin artisan cheeses and four different rums. 

•    Creating Dairyland: “A Conversation About How Cows Saved Wisconsin” author Ed Janus talks about how caring for cows saved Wisconsin’s soil, created its landscape, brought prosperity to the state and continues to shape way of life. Cheesemakers Sid Cook and George Crave bring their favorite cheeses to share.

•    Wisconsin Artisan Cheese & Craft Beer Pairings: Explore why pairing artisan cheeses with craft beers is such a hot trend. Chef Sara Hill will lead a tasting of six different Wisconsin cheeses and six different micro-brews from Wisconsin.

•    International Cheeses vs. Their Wisconsin Counterparts: Wisconsin artisan cheeses win more awards than any other state, but how do they compare against their international counterparts? Taste and compare six different cheeses with Fromagination owner Ken Monteleone.

•    Wisconsin Artisan Cheese & Wine Pairings: Experience tells us there are natural partners in certain wines and cheeses. Wine connoisseurs Jady and Gisele Grad will lead a tasting of four wines with four exclusive Wisconsin cheeses.

Additional cheese festival events include all-day Friday farm and creamery tours, a Friday evening Meet the Cheesemaker Gala, Saturday farmer’s market tours with lunch at Fromagination and 10 different Saturday evening Cheesemaker Dinners at participating Madison Originals restaurants.

To purchase tickets or to receive additional information, go to www.wicheesefest.com.